21 June 2009

Here they come!

Check-in last Saturday morning was crazy and quick and frenzied and tiring and great. The process was actually divided: the senior Lambdas and their apprentices, the Mus, checked in first, during which time I carried bags. They had already been here once (Mus) or twice (Lambdas), so they didn’t need much help, and almost immediately after moving their things into their new homes for the next month, they left for a leadership retreat at a beautiful camp about an hour away, near the North Carolina line.

After the Lambdas and Mus left, the Nus came in one by one. We had ten new Nu girls on this hall. We combined with Alyssa and Sarafina’s six to have a brief hall meeting before going to meet Justin:

Justin Boudreau was hired by Bridges to facilitate two and one-half days of icebreakers, team-building, and leadership exercises. I was a bit skeptical before he arrived, but almost as soon as he got here, I appreciated him. Not only did we not have to plan anything for the weekend, but us counselors got to participate in almost three days of fun. I thought that Justin had a calming yet excitable personality; he did a great job of transitioning and keeping a good mix of light and heavy stuff. He switched well between active games and thought-provoking exercises and kept the students engaged by being goofy but not too out-of-touch.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Nus and learn all of the Bridges customs with other newbies. I especially liked John’s and my group of Nus, the Cuckoos! Saturday and Sunday, it was just us Nus and the counselors who had not gone on the leadership retreat; Sunday evening, the upper classes returned and had did some mentee activities including dinner and commercials. After Mrs. Swartz’s presentation of rules and expectations for Bridges students, we all retired to our first complete hall meeting and bed.

Monday was another time about which I had been skeptical: EVERYONE, and I mean everyone - all three classes, teachers, counselors, staff - would be with Justin for the day. I knew that he had done a great job with these Nus with whom he had begun to build a relationship, but I wasn’t so sure about his ability to handle all of Bridges. However, everything turned out just fine, and after dinner, parlor time to replace the rained-out scavenger hunt (during which I played Twister, passed a volleyball, chatted, and learned not one but FOUR Spanish dances: the cambia, bachata, samba, and salsa), and another big hall meeting, we were ready for classes on Tuesday.

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