Friday, October 24, 2014

Message from our Peer Leader

We have started a new thing here at Turning Point. We have a Peer Council and the Peer Leader or President will update the blog with activities and more of a personal view on the happenings in the program from a youth's perspective.
Here is the first update:
Weekly Events:
Turning Point Family care has came up with new things that will help the youth take more charge of what is going on in the facility. We created directors so that youth can learn leadership and self discipline.

The goal of president/leader is to help out the directors and assist them when they need the help. He is also in charge to make sure they get their duties done.
The goal of the service director is to have one youth be in charge of setting up service for the youth and must have four hours weekly.
The goal of Activity Director is to set up protocol activities for the level three and up therapy levels. He is in charge of off campus activities and helping to plan the longest day as well.
The goal of the PRS Director is to teach the youth social skills that will help the youth with skills that they will need to return to society. They will facilitate PRS groups with the help of staff.

Longest Day: 10-16-2014

The youth had an 18 hour therapy day. For breakfast they had pancakes and bacon with over easy eggs on the Camp Chefs. Then the kids went to two elderly homes to do community service and spent  hours helping them out.
The kids then came back and went to the rooms and wrote resumes for what position they wanted. As I mentioned above there are directors and that is what the requests were for. Afterwards we had Sharon’s group about being positive and what it means to be positive? Then we made brochures that talked about our selves. After we were done with that we went around and each youth had to write down one positive thing about another youth on the brochures. Then we did a jump rope exercise that helped us practice our teamwork skills. And the staff went against the youth to see who completed the task first. After the jump rope we split into three groups and each team did their own Dutch ovens.  Once we got done with the Dutch ovens we started a hike. that ended at the base of three peaks.  After that we had a fire and spent time  talking about what the youth needed to let go of. The things that we wanted to let go were thrown into the fire.

As a youth, I thought that this was one of the best longest days that we had and I thought that the youth got along really well for the most part. I hope that we do this sometime soon again. I loved the food and the activities that we did.

Halloween Party

Paint pumpkin: 11:00The first place prize will get candy Twinkie, soda—Second place will get candy and Twinkie---Third place will get candy.
Pumpkin pie contest: 2:00
The person that wins will get a Twinkie
Pumpkin search 4:00p.m.
There will be 4 groups of teams and we the group that can find the most gets, will get a Twinkie and a soda each.

Dinner 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Movie- with candy, popcorn, soda and Twinkie: 6:45 p.m.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Longest Day In October

 This month according to tradition we did a long, long day. We held many groups throughout the day and focused on the youth. We used the theme of victim empathy and empowerment throughout the day. We started the day off early with a big breakfast to fill the boys up. After that we went to two different homes to help the owners of the homes with their yard work. The boys and staff helped trim trees, rake leaves, throw stuff away, dig up gardens, etc. The people were so happy to have the help and really appreciated the help. This is a great way for our youth to interact in the community, not only to get their service hours, but to show that they can make a positive difference in someone else's lives.
As administration we decided to start a new peer council for the youth. We developed this as a way to empower the boys in the facility and hopefully get them to see that they can control things in a positive way and use this control and power to build healthy relationships and have a happy life.
We also did groups on self esteem, treating others with respect, and attunement with each other during the afternoon.

As dinner time approached we let the youth know that they would be in charge of cooking their own dinners. We gave them the ingredients and told them to make what they wanted to make. We also broke them up into teams. It was a good way to see the youth come together and resolve conflict, or they did not resolve conflict. Some of the food was great, some of it was not.

 As the sun went down and dinner was cleaned up we had the youth read the following poem.
The Cold Within
Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
>From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death's stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

James Patrick Kinney

After this we headed out on a hike at which the end they were greeted by the fire. At the fire they were to read on a piece of paper what was keeping their cold within and to burn it if they were ready to move forward. This was a very moving experience for so many of the youth, staff and therapists as well.

We truly work with some great kids. 

We look forward to the next big activity!