Hello lovely people! Yes…three weeks have passed since my last post and I do feel awful for not updating everyone sooner. So many things have happened since the day that I moved in, so let’s just start at the beginning.
We packed up my stuff on June 9th and took a car into the city of Washington D.C. My nerves and anxiousness were so high, and I was so unsure what this summer was going to be like. After dropping off me and my things, I bid farewell to my parents and mentally prepared myself for the training that was about to start in the next hour. As I began to unpack and fill out paperwork, I was welcomed by the ex. director, program director, and (as I would find out later) my team leader. The other team members slowly began to filter in, so we worked on introductions and getting to know each other. Since there were 14 of us (two teams of 7) it was a bit overwhelming at first. Our training began, and our days quickly became busy. We all had to be up and ready to go by 7:15 every morning so that was a gradual adjustment we all had to make. Everyone came from different walks of life and I think all of us were still unsure if we would be a good combo as teams.
My team. (see picture above) There are just no words to describe how weird we even are (but not to worry it’s a good kind of weird). There are 4 girls in the group: myself, Sam, Kelli, Kayley and 3 boys: Americo, Dylan and Nathan. I saw that we all had such different personalities, but a similar enthusiasm for our work. So, after just 2 days of training together as team (and just meeting each other), we went on our first team bonding exercise: a scavenger hunt in downtown D.C. We had no time limit but had to take pictures at certain landmarks. This was when we really saw how we could work together as a team and learned more about what makes everyone tick. Something about our collective craziness just seemed to work (believe me I still don’t know how). So, for 5 hours we ran around the city, laughed, explored new sites and got to know everyone’s quirks and funnies. We ended up in Chinatown for dinner, at the Capitol, The National Portrait Gallery and even got caught up in post Stanley Cup mayhem. It was that day that I realized: we are a team and we can do this. Even though we are all different and come from all parts of the U.S, something made us gel as a team and it was cool to see that happen.
Over the next week, we didn’t just become a team, we became a little family. Many of our days were training seminars during the morning, and then we had afternoon activities. Somehow, we always seemed to find the time to destress by laughing about something completely random. Then came the last day of training and it was thought to be the most intense. We had to do worst case scenario training. In the event that something would happen while working with the kids, we had to be ready for anything. Each team had to work together and conquer each scenario. Somehow, we breezed through it all and still managed to laugh in between each scenario. Funny right? Since day one we have been laughing and we won’t stop laughing all summer. A favorite moment of mine over the past few weeks is when Kelli came up with a little chant that we say kind of as a vow to each other: “what’s the word of the day? LOYALTY!” And loyal is truly what they have been. If one of us is having a moment, another is always there to back them up. I am so thankful for them and the journey that we have taken so far. I can’t wait to tell you all more about them over the next few weeks! We are gonna climb mountains, change the world and most likely laugh while doing so…
A post about my first 2 weeks with the kids will be coming soon!

Peace, Love and Smiles,

“There is no mountain you can’t face” …from the song The Comeback by Danny Gokey

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