UMC is both impacting, and being impacted by, Play SAFE

by Jenna Wyatt
Urban Mitzvah Corps, Participant

We are two days into our second jobsite, and I can honestly say these kids are changing my life…

I was a little bit apprehensive going in, because I wasn’t sure I knew exactly what to expect. I had also just finished Daisy, which I loved as it really impacted me.  But let me say that Play SAFE is nothing like I imagined; in fact, I believe it is much better.

I am currently working with a group of eight year old boys and girls.  They are most definitely a handful, yet at the same time they are some of the most inspiring kids I have ever met. With that, one thing I have noticed is how weird it is to pass on advice you have heard a million times to others. It kind of makes it more real and more believable too. It’s also hard to think about whether or not you are saying the right thing. I hope I am playing a role in guiding these kids down the right path, while I am learning about them, and surprisingly, learning more about myself as well.

The campers are your typical kids and although they whine, complain, and sometimes start trouble they are kids who just want to have fun. And they do have fun and are happy almost all the time. Every little thing you do brightens their day and puts a smile on their face, they know that you are there for them and you can tell it means a lot to them. Somehow I think I have lost sight of all of that and it is nice to be able to observe it.

They have this innocence, curiosity, and nonjudgmental side to them that I think gets lost during the teenage years and that I cannot even remember having. But at the same time I see a lot of myself in some of my girls, which is kind of strange, but it has really made me look back and just analyze everything.

Another thing that I have realized is how much more I respect our UMC staff. They work so hard to do everything for us, and I am experiencing firsthand how annoying it can be to answer the same questions many, many times, listen to people complain, deal with a person’s bad attitude, and tell a bunch of people the same things over and over again such as what we are doing next. With that I have realized is how hard it can be to keep your cool and be patient all the time.

My eyes are definitely being opened to things I have never seen before.

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2 Responses to UMC is both impacting, and being impacted by, Play SAFE

  1. marje richter August 12, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Jenna, what a wonderful experience you are having and giving. It is so great to hear what you are doing. Aging is inevitable, but maturing is optional, and you are certainly following that option. Have fun! Marje

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