Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicago Summer Jam!

I feel like I can't fully describe the feelings that I had doing Summer nor put everything down that I did in Chicago in one blog post. I may just fill it with more pictures than words if that is cool. I'll just give you a brief rundown of what Summer Jam is.

Summer Jam is a little 10-day camp they have at the Church in Hyde Park every August. For over 18 years they have had girls ages 10-15 come and participate in fun workshops and activities. A lot of these girls are already members but they do bring non-member friends and relatives so it's a great experience for everyone. The point is to give these girls a safe and fun environment to learn and interact with other girls who live in Chicago and give them a boost to be able to handle the challenges that come from living in an inner-city area. This year's theme was Finish Strong and so every day we tried to incorporate that theme in our workshops. My day was "Beginnings-it starts with you." In my devotional I talked about Eric Liddell who tripped at the beginning of the 400 final in the Olympics but he didn't quit and he actually won the race and set a world record. I tried to emphasize that it doesn't matter how you started that day, you can still finish strong. It really was amazing to be with these girls and for the short amount of time I felt an incredible amount of love for them. I've never connected with so many people so fast and feel that I've known them all my life. I'm not much of a crier in public but I cried hard when we had to say goodbye to these girls. It really hit me then how much of an impact they made on my life. It was just an incredible opportunity to serve and learn and grow. I've learned so much that I hope will stay with me throughout my life.        

Me with two other counselors taught yoga that morning. It was so fun!

Rachel and Ari having fun during lunch time.

Learning to do a line dance.

Andrea, Megan, and Karla decorating their invitations to the talent show.

 Jackie and Ari working on their body kindness pictures which was part of my workshop day where they had to trace each other's body and then point out what their body does for them like they have hands to help people or eyes to see the beauty of the world, etc. It was a hit especially because they got to color and draw all over it.

We learned about modesty so we had the girls make newspaper dresses and then have a little fashion show. It was so fun and they looked so cute!

 Doing the boot scootin boogie during the talent show

 Me with all the girls!
Raven and I. This girl is just the best! This is when we were doing bracelets together and she insisted on having her and I's be the same color. I started crying when they were about to leave as soon as I gave her a hug. She's a good one.


  1. I'm so glad you wrote about this because I've been wondering how it was! What a neat experience and I'm sure you were the best example for those girls!

  2. I knew you were there, but I didn't know exactly what you were doing, so this was great to read. What an awesome experience!


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Maira Gall