Thursday, November 30, 2006

Behaviour issues drugs difficult strong obnoxious attitude

.... on the tube home tonight and I was making notes about a task ahead.
This group of young humans who I have been asked to work with. Cold contact. Impact needed quickly. Or they will face tough times before Christmas.

I describe

Behaviour issues

No purpose
No hope
At risk
Seek excitement
No responsibilities
No accountabilities
Beautiful humans.

I need to design a session with them
It is sometimes called
Informal Education
It is more than that ...........

Some years ago there was a group of teenage young women who terrorised others in the community.
Real intimidating, oppressive and aggressive.
They were a gang really.
Beautifully dressed and without boundaries...........
Then ..............
Me and a couple of women workers got them to come out in a mini-bus. We had to sell the adventure - it was exciting - so they came.

We travelled well into the countryside in the evening darkness. We left the urban inner-city scene behind as we had some fun singing in the bus.
We ended up at Fellowship Afloat. It was, and still is, a boating activity centre and suddenly the young women became out of their depth. The first thing I remember was their high heeled shoes having trouble walking down the gravel path to the boat. It was pitch dark. Only one torch to show the way. Water on each side of the footpath.
Walking into darkness from darkness.
They started to cling to me and the other workers like their lives depended on us.

Eventually the lights of the motor boat appeared ahead and we clambered aboard and set sail into the darkness ........
I was scared - and there was much more clinging.
Later ........
We returned to base and sipped sweet tea and had fellowship aboard.

On the way back in the bus there was an incredible sense of relief and achievement. And from the girls too.
We talked and talked all the way back. I remember some details of those interactions.
I asked a question to everyone, as I often do.
"Chose any animal for each one of us in the bus - one which has the characteristics of that human - and say why?"
I don't remember the details other than it was an most wondrous experience of openness and listening.
AND that they told me that I was a 'sheep dog' - loyal - working hard - AND always running around yapping ...

I don't remember us having any great hassle with the girls after this adventure. I guess we still had some. But relationships were great and we started a group for them which was once a week. Just for them. Loads of decision making and participation.
I only remember the small details mentioned above .......
..... but it was about twenty five years ago .......!