Monday, July 3, 2017

Ballet Magnificat's SDI Workshop from the Perspective of a Counselor

If you've been following my posts on 'The Occupied Optimist' for some time now, you'd know that July means Ballet Magnificat Summer Dance Intensive (SDI) time! Though I often talk about what our SDI is and have posted several times in the past about all the planning and preparation that goes into making these summer camps happen, I have realized that I seldom share blog posts during the actual month of the camp. Generally, during SDI I don't have time for blogging being that I keep busy juggling the responsibilities of being a dorm counselor, ballet teacher, and Bible study leader. Of course pouring into the students is my number one priority this month, but I am excited to share with you that this year I've decided that I'm going to strive to supply you with consistent, current, weekly updates about what's going on here on campus mid-workshop! This is exciting stuff. I feel that you followers of 'The Occupied Optimist' will really enjoy these posts, not to mention that I've selfishly desired to take on this challenge for a couple years now, for the personal benefit of preserving my SDI memories as blogging is a great way to do that.

It may be overly ambitious of me to think I can pull off this updating-my-blog-during-workshop thing, but we'll see how it goes. Being that there are only 24 hours in a day and that as counselors we spend most of those hours with the students you can expect these posts to be brief, comprised mostly of pictures, bullet points, and less writing, but even still I think you will find these posts enjoyable. Feel free to follow me on my other social media platforms too for more! Links are found on my about me page. I'd love some feedback on any specifics you are interested in me writing about! Please share any thoughts you may have in a comment down below.

I am super excited about the summer workshop this year! Our theme for SDI this year is 'Heaven Come Down' and our Bible study is based off the book of Ephesians which is rocking my world. As of late, the Lord has been reminding me of his awesome sovereignty, supernatural power, and promises of peace. I am going into this workshop resting in Christ with a determination to let God be my sustainer and not be tempted to put my trust for sustenance in anything else. I'm typing this on day two. The students are in their ballet placement class and nerves are hopefully about to be released. I am excited for them and anticipating God to move in big ways this summer! To God be the glory!

Day One. 

The 'Before Shot' of my room in the Gillespie Dorms at Belhaven University

The 'After Unpacking Shot' 

The first couple hours of the move-in day in my opinion as a counselor are the hardest. We are given two hours to move in and get settled into the dorms before all the students start coming and though that may sound like an adequate amount of time, for me it never seems to be enough. When moving into the dorms for the summer I start with decorating the hall to make the students feel welcomed and then hang up the name tags I made for their doors.  Next, I unload all my personal belongings from out of the car and into my dorm room and by the time I'm done with that it is already about time for the kids to start arriving.

This summer I've been put in charge of 11 girls. They arrive at all different times between 10am and 4pm. I am thankful for the 7-hour counselor orientation we had the past two days that equipped me with the right answers to all the questions that the eager students and inquisitive parents ask. I unpack in between arrivals and it is by about dinner time when I finally feel that I am settled and finished. When all the students have arrived and are eating dinner in the dining hall, I find time to myself to plan our first evening group time and of course, get a little bite to eat for myself from the stash of food I brought with me.

Our evening group time went really well. We reviewed some basic rules and guidelines, did some fun ice-breaker activities and got to know one another. We ended our time together crafting. I had the students decorate journals I gave them using pretty scrapbook paper, magazine clippings and, Modge Podge. I think they really enjoyed it!

It's only the beginning but I already really love these girls! I can't wait for all of us to get to know one another even better and I look forward in anticipation to Monday when we start diving into the things of God during our first Bible study. I just love the process of watching them open up like flowers ready to receive the 'Son'. It's beautiful!

A few of the girls' creations!

Check out these 5 DIY Projects For Personalizing Your Stuff Using Modge Podge

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