Come along for the journey!

Come along for the journey!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

CHALLENGE DAY: (Bend, Oregon, USA)

Not satisfied with our tremendous cycle challenge and charitable stunts of late, we participated with Terry (Mackenzies Mom) in a day with teenagers at a high school, Neko's old high school in fact. Our trip is all about the kids you know. The event was geared towards getting young people to connect with one another, and explore issues around bullying and other problems. Of course, with a background working with teens and troubled folk, this was going to be a breeze. I wasn't going to feel out of my depth, or uncomfortable, exposed and frankly scared.

Dunked into a frenzy of Americanised emotion, whooping and holla-ing, and feeling everso British, I was finding the idea a tad scary and felt the need to run out of there. However, as the day got going, we were amazed to see the process working. Really working. It was actually more like a massive group therapy session and there was no hiding even for the so-say 'adult' facilitators.

I recalled my uncle Nigel crying during a group counselling feedback session and felt I was definitely heading down the same route. Despite my therapy centred professional background questioning the blatant prising open of such young minds for all to see, with little or no training for facilitators, or structured follow-up, the honesty and love shown by these amazing young people made it work. Gone was my trans-atlantic cynicism. Might the day's stories and vulnerabilityies provide further fuel for bullies? Doubts  were abated through seeing people connect and heal. Spectacular stuff. "Go Team"!

You too can get a bit touchy-feely by seeing their website

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