Easter fell late this year. On reflection, I like it better when Easter falls early because then the hopefulness and life of spring and summer seem longer.
This is a funny school term for youth work. We are on a countdown to the long summer holidays but the youngsters are all in different places. The Year 6s have just done their SATs and are on the verge of leaving primary school and heading to secondary education. So they are on a real high and full of energy. JCYG on a Friday night has a lot of Year 6s so we will have a lot of exuberant behaviour to channel.
At the other end of the scale, many of CYG, the older youth group will be sitting major exams, so for them, it is a stressful, demanding time. A few of them will be leaving the group at the end of the term as they head of to uni (and one for a career in the army). A new chapter of their lives will be opening; exciting but not a little daunting. So CYG for this term is kept light and fun as an antidote to the heavy brain work.
Last week I was accompanied by several volunteer leaders to a youth work conference. It was an amazing conference, full of ideas and resources but the best bit, for me, was the keynote speaker; Mark Yaconelli (it’s worth Googling him!). He was inspiring to listen to and had us laughing one minute and moved to tears the next with his youth work stories. The one thing he said over and over again is that, as youth workers, our job is to do whatever the young people need to help them be alive: alive in the world, to themselves and, of course, to God.
And as we journey with the young people whose lives touch ours, that is our goal.
Youth Worker for Sutton Coldfield Group