some highlights from an 8-day trip with middle schoolers

Some highlights from an 8-day trip with middle schoolers:

* being the camp medic and taking care of their little wounds and giving evening meds to kids who need them. "sweet dreams." "you too." as they walked off in the dark with their flashlights

* crawling into tent more than exhausted and listening to kendrick or a podcast to connect to the outside world and my own non-task-oriented thinking again

* waking kids so so early by getting them to participate in knock-knock jokes thru their tent wall

* when there were showers at the campground!!!!!!! hot water as key to mental health and happiness

* sitting in circle and seeing kids listen to each other

* the ladies in the line at target who heard about the trip and the group and said "we'll be praying for you!"

* taking risks to start conversations about sexism and racism (with adults and kids) even though I wasn't sure how it'd go. including reading an excerpt from Claudia Rankine's "Citizen" and a few of the kids broke it down with surprising realization and awareness

* kids asking me about my snake tattoo and so telling them a bit about my nephew and then sometimes they'd tell me about people they've lost, too

* figuring how to cut a jackfruit because my coworker and I were so tired at the grove store that we decided it would be neat to buy a jackfruit and bring it back to the campground. it was not ripe but the process was hilarious

* being the back-of-the-line sweep on the night hike and a kid walks with me because "if you're looking out for everyone else, who will look out for you?"

I've said it before but middle schoolers are the best.

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