Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Part 2: Behind the Scenes

The great part about being 16 at workcamp is that you can and do take many things for granted.

There are 100 water coolers outside so that you can pick up 2 for your worksite.
There is coffee and hot water ready when you wake up at 6:30am.
There are people serving you breakfast and dinner.
You pick up a bag with your crew number on it, filled with the correct number of lunches, including the special cheese sandwiches.
The classrooms are emptied of their desks when you arrive, so that you can set up sleeping space.
The program space is all set up, complete with professional lighting and sound, a little bar for coffee, bleacher seats with carpet squares, and little tables that roll in and out with game boards on them. (wait a minute, we didn't have any of that when I was 16!!)

You get the idea. Now, having been on the other side, I can see what a huge undertaking this week was. We had lots of adults there the whole time to help out, and lots more that came for a day or two, helping with set-up, take-down, or security.

The program space was crazy and cool. The stage was only a foot high, then there was a corner of bleachers, made using scaffolding and stage boards. The real bleachers of the gym housed the "crows nest" where all the technology hung out (and some of the adult men slept up there). The lights and sound came from a professional company, and we had 2 people who do this in college to run them. There was high scaffolding to put up all around it so that we could make it half the size of the gym, and hang up 16-foot curtains. There was a large screen to put words or videos up, a huge cross to hang in the center, and banners of workcamp. Putting the space together left me sore for the next 2 or 3 days. I could hardly get out of my bed (on the floor) I don't know if it's just because I'm out of shape- quite possible- or if it was the heavy lifting, climbing, and constant running around which did not stop in the next couple days.

Boy scouts came to take out all the desks in the school- careful to write down how many were in each room. One man made the bar out of wood and in the process got a splinter which required an orthopaedic surgeon to remove. Two guys got up every morning before wake up to fill the water and drive to the store to get 100 bags of ice. I set up the coffee the night before so that the overnight security guy could plug it in around 5am. Another couple people got up before everyone so that they could pick out a song or something witty to say to wake up the workcampers and give announcements. We sorted the lunches at night or in the afternoon while the crews were out at site. Some of us went out every day to different worksites in the attempt to get every single person's face up on the big screen. We had meetings to discuss how each night should go-- bring them up, take them down, give a talk, get them back up and energetic, give them something to think and pray about before they go to their rooms. Figure out where to do confessions and how to make the space sacred when it's a hallway of a public high school. Start the slurpee machine at 10:30 am so it's ready at 6:30pm. Put together the videos, slide shows, and clips that will be used in talks. Be attentive to kids or adults who seem overwhelmed (I stunk at that, but we had some awesome adults who served the other adults constrantly) Do all this with a positive attitude and smile, and remember Who it's for.

Thank you, Lord, for all the people who did these things for me 7 years ago! For those who did not get any recognition for their service, and were taken for granted. Bless them now, to show the gratitude I did not know to have then!

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