Wednesday, December 03, 2014

No One Cares How Prepared You Are: A Guest Post By Kelsey

The Aftermath: a Still Life
Today's guest post comes from my lovely new coworker, Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, about the time when she had just started but I dragged her to help me with something I had never done before: Boy Scout Camp! It was... interesting. I still can't believe we pulled it off. Here's Kelsey with the details, and, of course, me with the GIFs:

Back in August, when I was just three weeks in at my new job with the library, Sara and I were tasked with leading an all day program at a nearby Boy Scout camp. It was a tall order – seven groups of twenty-five boys, forty minutes per group, and a bunch of science experiments using candy – but we were ready for the challenge. Or so we thought.

The morning of our big day, Sara and I drove forty minutes to arrive at camp bright and early. It was thunder storming, and we were feeling pretty lucky that our programs were scheduled in the cafeteria… until we arrived and the lead counselor told us that she was really sorry, she couldn't reach us earlier, but because of the storms they were pushing back our program start from 7:30 to 10:00 so they could watch movies indoors and wait out the weather.  Okay, no big deal. We found an awesome little restaurant nearby and had a hobbit-style second breakfast.

We get back to camp at ten, and learn our start time is now more like 1:00. Since there are really no more time-wasting activities we can find in the middle of nowhere, we drive back to the library, and return around 12:30. Success! We can finally set up! Except then we discover that because of the morning’s delay, we’ll be following a new (very confusing – I don’t think we ever deciphered it) schedule.  We now have only twenty minutes per group. And we’ll be sharing our loud echo-y mess hall space with floor hockey. Yikes.

Our afternoon was chaotic, loud, smelly (I say this with love, but unshowered fifth grade boys who haven’t yet discovered deodorant = gross) and by 4:00 Sara and I were exhausted. But, you know, it was also awesome. The kids were excited, we were excited, and there was candy everywhere. The key to making it awesome was being flexible. Going with the flow. Knowing that when your circumstances change, changing with them will keep you sane and your program successful. We had to do a lot of tweaking and improvising, but we still ended up with a great program that the campers loved. Flexibility can be tough, especially when you’ve so carefully planned and prepared, but all that planning and preparation will serve you well when you suddenly have to make last-minute changes. You’re acting in the best interests of your patrons, and giving them a wonderful library experience. Many of us do this on a daily basis, and for that, let’s give ourselves a pat on the back. And maybe some candy.

For your pinning needs, Here are the activities we did, from the book "Candy Experiments"!
1. Place two M&Ms in water and watch the coating dissolve-- but the colors never touch!
2. Put those aside and revisit the cup later to see the "M"s rise to the top!
3. Put sour candy (we used three different kinds-- extreme Sour Patch kids worked best) in a cup with water and baking soda. Watch for bubbles!
4. Take two cups of water. Add 2 Pixie Stix to one of them. Place one finger in each-- the pixie stix one is cooler!
5. Take home: Wint-o-green life saver to bite in the dark.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like every program of mine ever.

    It takes a lot not to be grumpy when things don't go according to plan, and especially when it's not your fault. Kudos to you for being positive and flexible. Me? I go home and eat ice cream directly from the container and complain to my husband.