Thursday, April 22, 2010

"SKIP"

I was reminded of this story tonight so thought to write it down before I forget:

I started my college career at Nebraska Christian College when it was in Norfolk in the fall of 2000/2001 school year.  I honestly really liked it, and the people there, but I knew that I would be happier with a bigger school.  And I had kinda changed up my major to more "counseling" than "family ministry."  And a week before I went to college I had a counseling session in McCook and the counselor, whom I still greatly respect, told me all about her Family Life Science degree from UNL.  I was intrigued.  Still, I think God brought this information to me when He did because He knew how much I would get out of my time at NCC, not to mention the people I met, friends I love, and network I still count on.

I had two special friends at NCC-- Lora and Aimee.  Time has taken its toll on our friendship but I still love and cherish them in my heart, even if we don't get to talk very often at all.  It was awful to leave them.  Girls, I will never forget the special meal you made me on one of my last nights there.

So off to UNL I went, and the three of us decided to stay in touch and even to volunteer that summer at some type of camp.  I did some research and found out about an organization called "SKIP" that needed summer camp volunteers fairly badly.  I talked to the girls, we applied and were accepted.  SKIP stands for: Support for Kids of Incarcerated Parents.

Unfortunately, I thought Incarcerated meant that someone had lost a limb.  I think I had it confused with incapacitated-- which actually means disabled or "laid up" (and not having lost a limb).  Or maybe I had it confused with decapitated-- which means the head is separated from the body.  So I don't know where I got this limb business but I was pretty sure of myself.

One night at our UNL Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) meeting I stayed late and was talking to some friends and just hanging out.  We get to talking about my upcoming week at SKIP Camp. I start telling them my grand plans to help the kids understand the struggle their parent(s) go through when they are incarcerated-- and the way it affects daily living.  "Like, maybe I will tie one hand behind their back and make them go through the day with only one arm."  (The looks got rather skeptical at this point-- people were imagining handcuffs but I didn't know that yet.)  "Maybe I could borrow some crutches, or wheelchairs...." I had really thought this through-- I had some friends who were nursing students, etc...  At this point my friend Jay can not stand it any longer.  He asks me what I think incarcerated means.  "That they have lost a limb."  Laughter erupts (thankfully with the only six or so left in the room).  He fills me in that incarcerated means being in jail!  Hahaha.  I laughed so hard I cried.

I had NO CLUE that we were headed to a week of camp with kids who had a parent(s) in jail.  Totally different!!  I think Lora and Aimee knew what they were getting into :)  (Aimee... I know you read this occasionally... are you out there?? Did you know??) You know what, though-- it was a great week of camp.  We went back the next summer, too.  Guess God knew what He was doing!

On the journey,

Stef

PS I have held myself accountable to ONE ice-cream sandwich everyday this week (this is sooooo hard) and have walked everyday.  I will weigh in Friday and I will let you know.

6 comments:

  1. So funny, sorry at your expense, glad you shared!

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  2. I remember this! :)

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  3. Thanks for the laugh today!!

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  4. Oh Stef, I love how honest you are!

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  5. I will never forget this....you were so excited to use those wheel chairs...and to tie kids arms behind their backs. Your blog makes my day.
    P.S. Great job on the weight loss! You're a rockstar! :)

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  6. I read this for the first time today. :) I still remember many great times from our first semester at NCC. You will always be a special friend despite all the life changes. I laughed out loud about your perceptions. Yes, I did know that it was for kids of incarcerated (in jail) parents. I do not remember knowing that you ever thought differently. Thanks for sharing!

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