This past Friday, Mr. Wilhite and I took the student leadership team (SLT) on an overnight leadership training trip with the help of two ECS moms. We started off by going to Boonville Middle School where we worked with the students in the moderate and severe/profound special education classes. The students were able to play games with the BMS students and also observe them screen printing t-shirts. The school received a few grants that allowed them to purchase all the equipment necessary to start a screen printing shop. This allows the students to work on their life skills with an emphasis on their gross and fine motor skills. The students were able to see, first hand, the struggles that some students face and the determination and positive approach they face it with. The students didn't want to leave.
We left the school and traveled to Gray Brother's Cafe in Mooresville, Indiana for dinner and then on to the hotel. We had a great debriefing session! The SLT students talked about the fact they were nervous going into the class but were surprised how easy it was to talk with the BMS students and how willing they were to accept our kids as friends. They reflected on the fact that the BMS students were so positive and they helped each other in their weaknesses. One ECS student commented on the fact that they grew excited over what we consider a menial task. She went on to say that it showed her, "just how much we complain and also how much we take for granted." We went on to look up some scriptures together as a group. To conclude our meeting, we talked about how we could take the insights they have gained from their experience and pass them on to the students at ECS. When the meeting was over, we all spent the next hour or so in the pool and hot tub. It was a lot of fun!
The next morning, we had breakfast and started our day off with a Bible study led by Mr. Wilhite. The focus was leadership and how Christ said to be the first you must be the last. When we concluded our study, we traveled to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis for the afternoon. The students went around to the different exhibits and just enjoyed themselves for a few hours. It was a great opportunity for the students to build deeper friendships.
We got back to ECS Saturday night around 6:30pm. What stands out about the trip was the answers given to the question, "what was the best part of this trip?" Given all the fun stuff we did, all the students said their favorite part of the trip was working with the students at BMS. They all wanted to go back. It was great to see the Lord speak to them on this trip about attitude, perseverance, complaining, leadership, acceptance, etc. Please pray that the Lord will continue to use them to make a difference, not only here at ECS, but also in our community.