Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Creating Creative Creation

Main Entry:
1cre·ate Listen to the pronunciation of 1create
\krē-ˈāt, ˈkrē-ˌ\
Inflected Form(s):
cre·at·ed; cre·at·ing
Middle English, from Latin creatus, past participle of creare; akin to Latin crescere to grow
14th century
transitive verb1: to bring into existence created the heaven and the earth — Genesis 1:1(Authorized Version)>
2 a: to invest with a new form, office, or rank created a lieutenant> b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior created a terrible fuss> <create new jobs>
3: cause, occasion creates high food prices>
4 a
: to produce through imaginative skill <create a painting> b: design<creates dresses>
~Merriam Webster

I'm totally convinced that our students will do ANYTHING if it's their idea! That's really the driving force behind the children's programs they created this summer. Sure, we did a LOT of filling in the blanks, helping generate thinking and ideas... but the drive behind the program lay in the hands of the students. As I'm looking through the pictures what these creative individuals created, I'm really amazed by the creation! Sounds silly, I know, but I know that as a leader team, we could not have come close to providing what they did unless they were fully invested!

Here's how it happened. We did not use a curriculum, we did not recycle something we'd already used, we did not tell the students what they should do. We did provide them with some brainstorming session, we did give them an idea of what children need and how to scale their ideas to fill up 3 hour time frames, we did ask them to produce. We also divided them (actually, they chose) into teams: teaching, games, crafts, skit and music. We also tried to keep tabs on what was (or was not) getting accomplished. We started with a theme for the week (they chose the Olympics) and a teaching theme (inspired by Pilgrim's Progress, one of our seniors from last year came up with a teaching model for obstacles in a Christian's life) and tweaked it as leaders to fit into 5 days.

After all agreeing on our themes and our 5 days, we started filling in some blanks: crafts, schedules, activities, small group discussions/activites, skit (amazing - all on video and edited by the students) and music. There were many last minute things we all had to pitch in to do, but the week before we left we went over all of it as a group - every last detail - and they did a great job filling in the missing pieces. I think they were proud of what they accomplished, and they should be!!

Finally, we divided our team up into smaller groups for the evening programs, which we really centered around fun. Last year, we had grueling 3 session days and were doing a program in the morning and a different one at night. The kids were BEAT!! This time, we made our evening adventures - pirate and princess party, campfire/pajama party night, wacky/tacky superhero night and our opening and closing ceremonies. I really think it was a great program - and we also sent out an email to all the families with a little invitation so the kids could come prepared to dress up. I was AMAZED at how creative these kids are - I'm not sure why! They really came prepared and obviously the parents joined in the fun.

If you want a team to participate, commit, and enthusiastically serve, you have to give them the controls. It may not be easy, but I can assure you that with a little guidance and wisdom, it will pay off in the end. When we let our creator be our guide, it's even more impressive!

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