We began Wednesday with the group sharing the UU principles, our chalice lighting, and a reading as part of morning devotions and a way to let others know a bit about our faith.
After breakfast and chores, we headed to our respective worksites for what turned into a productive day! Yes, a chunk of time for each team was spent undoing work from previous days, and the outdoor crews were delayed by a midday thunderstorm, but all in all, we returned feeling pretty successful!
At the evening program, we learned more about ways the community is coming together and trying to revitalize as well as the vital role affordable housing plays in this equation.
After the program, we took a drive to the picturesque Kingdom Come State Park and ended the day with treats at the Dairy Hut.
The youth are in the groove on the construction projects, and all are finding new strengths and ways to cooperate. They are also getting pretty comfortable being together at this point, which means both increased connection and increased goofiness. Helping the kids find an appropriate mix of the two has allowed the fearless adult leaders the opportunity to love, laugh, and set limits. 😉
I love the fog and clouds that settle in the valleys (what the locals call “hollers”) of the mountains.
Our lesson today was that sometimes things don’t go quite as planned, yet we make the best of what we’ve got. Both groups experienced some setbacks on site due to a variety of challenges with materials, tools, and “unforced errors”
Tonight we (ok, not exactly all of us) ate a traditional southern meal including mustard greens and pinto beans, played games together, and took well-deserved showers.
Back at it tomorrow.
Game night with the group! Ellen and Oliver playing Hog Wild. Evelyn and Rosa practicing hackey sack. And Jason, Abigail, Devon, Megan, Henry, Mike, and Malia playing some card game that involves lots of arguing while Luke looks on.
Day 1 was a success on all accounts!
Despite the heat and sweat running down our faces, so much great work was done by everyone. Truly! – each of the youth had shining moments of teamwork, ingenuity, and persistence and both teams made a lot of progress on their projects.
Our evening program helped us better understand a little history of coal mining and how the industry collapse has affected the area.
We ended the evening with some town festivities and fireworks right outside our building.
In the photos, you’ll see the younger group enjoying treats from an Icee truck that stopped by their site (yes, please!) and the older group who got a picture with the lovely homeowners whose house we’re working on.
In addition to ongoing blog posts from the trip, keep an eye on this photo album. New pictures will be added daily!