Good morning, Jim.
Tape = good. Not sending anyone home today. It occurs to me that it's a good thing I don't tape the chaperone's doors...by now I think we've reached the point that they'd come out of their rooms to get sent home! Not really. It's a great group of chaperones this year.
Finally got a picture of our bus driver, Wesley. How appropriate. He even has a degree in the Bible. I haven't asked him where he goes to church or if he's ever felt his heart strangely warmed. He's a great driver and a lot of fun.
Our first concert was at Oakcliff UMC. It's a beautiful old church in a depressed neighborhood. It has really unique features (including a dedicated handbell room just off the sanctuary...you can actually see it in the picture below). We sang there for about 75 or 80 kids from the surrounding community. They were a great audience. The concert was one of our best. You'll notice in the picture below that the kids aren't holding any folders. At the beginning of warmup I had them put their folders down and then we went through several of the pieces. Yes. They were mostly memorized. So we went with it. The only one who forgot where we were in the music was...me. And I had my music open. Great job, Mr. Director Extraordinaire. The good news is that even with me spoon feeding them the wrong lyric, they got it right.
Speaking of chaperones, Nan Franklin isn't traveling with us this year. She had always done a centering devotional before we sang. This year Cindy Petersen has taken up that mantle. Unfortunately I can't hear them because she does them while I'm figuring out where we'll be singing and such.
Then, of course, there's the magic. Our youth go to the kids and talk...and listen. It was a little more difficult in the church setting because of the pews, but they made it happen. A couple had cute stories. One younger girl told our youth that she'd wanted to make music ever since she was a little girl!
Howdy, Olivia! Great to hear from you on the blog. Hope Ireland was/is a great experience. We miss you too. I think this is a good look for you. But next time please ask before you take Patrick's hat...
After the concert we changed at the hotel and then went to 6 Flags for the day. It was a lot of fun...and the lines were short. And then it happened. About 4:00 or 4:15. All around the park, our youth had the same experiences. They were on the ride or next in line for the ride when 6 Flags closed the park for approaching bad weather. It was about 40 minutes before the weather came. We waited a while. Once the weather (and the bus) arrived, we went ahead and left the park. It didn't stop raining until sometime overnight--and there were intermittent thunderstorms the whole time. Good sleeping weather.
Dinner was at a pizza place called Campisi's. It was served family style, and it was awesome. Great salad, great pizza, and great conversation.
I've mentioned the youth are beginning to show the signs of stress. Beth (who by the way has been serving as official photographer this week, for which I'm indebted to her) caught these pictures of the youth finally cracking up. They can't take much more of this...
Congratulations to Allyn Waller and Madeleine Henner on winning our mascots last night. The guys are starting to generate some competition--a pleasant change from the beginning of the week when we threatened just to give them both to the girls...
Today we sing a concert and then head to Shreveport for the final portion of the "Tour de John." Looking forward to seeing my alma mater (and trying to get to the bookstore to get some items for the kids. GO GENTS!