As day 1 comes to a close, I am reflecting on the last few hours and really excited for this group of boys and how they are already coming together as a team. There were a few of the boys who were very quiet on the van ride up, but once we arrived at Cran-hill, and started a fun name game, those quiet boys started to laugh and relax. They had to say their name and come up with a food that starts with the same letter as their first name. The boys got to know each other and found some things they have in common. We have also seen a lot inclusion with the entire group already as well; one of the boys was shooting basketball by himself as the others were playing gaga ball and we watched as a few of the boys noticed the missing team member and were quick to call out to him and them went to the basketball court and began shooting with him.
As we left for dinner there was thunder and lighting and a little rain rolling in, we weren’t sure whether we would be able to get on the climbing wall. However, after dinner, things cleared up. We walked to the climbing wall and the sun was shining through the trees. We have never had so many boys try all three sides of the wall…they were challenging each other and racing up each side.
It was a lot of fun to stand back and just watch as the boys encouraged each other and cheered as they reached the top and rang the bell.
We even had a few staff members get on the wall and race the boys to the top!
After the climbing wall we spent time at the gaga ball courts and then went back to the stone house and set up for an evening fire. We taught the boys how to start a fire with a flint and steel and once we had a nice fire, we pulled out marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers and finished the night with some good ole’ fashion s’mores!!
Please continue to pray for the boys as we have a few who are home sick and others who are already starting to open up and talk about some of their struggles and challenges. The staff is doing an amazing job responding, shining Gods love, and just simply being present with these boys.
Tomorrow we will be attending chapel in the pines, completing some more teambuilding, and the boys will be introduced to their horses. The equine staff does a great job to use the teen assessment notes from our clinical staff to connect each boy with a horse whos personality mirrors their own. Horses are really special animals…I can’t wait for these boys to meet their new friends tomorrow!