As information slowly trickles in regarding this morning's shooting in a kindergarten class in Sandy Hook Elementary I am speechless.
My friend Chip, a pastor in Massachusetts sent out a tweet reading:
"No words for the tragedy in CT. Thankfully, God hears even our wordless prayers and is present with us in our grief." This reference to Romans 8:26 gives me comfort but it doesn't fully mend my broken heart.
How do you talk to children about such events? The Parade.com and coloradoan.com websites seemed to offer advice that I found the most helpful. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) also has a helpful pdf floating around.
1) Control the messenger. Limit exposure to media coverage and you know your child best - so let it come from you in the way they can hear it, respond, and ask questions.
2) Reinforce perceived and real safety and security. Maintain routine as much as possible. Assure your children these incidents are not common occurrences. Let them know you are safe here.
3) Talk to them. Don't answer questions they didn't ask. Ask questions to help them tell you how they feel and then validate those feelings even if you don't share them or completely understand them. And keep your conversations developmentally appropriate - the NASP form is particularly helpful with this. If your child's response is overwhelming - or seems extreme - consider talking to your child's guidance counselor at school or going to see a specialist.
4) Be present. Offer more hugs than normal if that will help your child. Help them to eat enough and get enough sleep. Offer to stay with them until they fall asleep if they need you too.
5) Take care of yourself and your needs too. You need time to grieve or mourn or express your feelings as well. You also need to eat and get sleep. If you are overwhelmed and find yourself unable to perform basic tasks consider calling Delaware's Crisis Intervention Services. (800) 652-2929 Crisis Intervention Service (CIS) staff are available 24 hours a day to assist people, 18 years and older.
I write this post praying that our camp families are well and together and safe. Hug yours a little tighter tonight and count your blessings.
peace be with you-
Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Shop Local Saturday.
What's the rush?
Perhaps we could all take a moment to still give thanks. We have a lot to be grateful for at camp - and we bet you do too.
This week's photo is of the Offertory from Third Session Eucharist with Mother Ruth Kirk... you know, because Eucharist means - The Great Thanksgiving.
Thank you everyone for all your care and concern for Camp after the Hurricane. Miraculously we survived Sandy relatively unscathed. We have known we needed to move the boat house at the waterfront and would need to address the beach tower's position for some time now. A few years ago we had to attach ramps to the dock after a spring nor'easter so it wasn't all that surprising that we lost them again.
We knew the storm was coming. We prepared diligently and evacuated when the Governor asked us to. Once the driving ban was lifted I really was nervous to return. And I honestly attribute camp's safety to your prayers of protection. Thank you.
That being said - there really is little to be done in the "aftermath." The waterfront will be addressed in the spring. We have some staff on the property that will be clearing the fallen trees and helping put everything drug inside back outside as we prepare for our final user groups of the season.
I've posted some before (the evacuation) and after photos below.
In honor of this weekend - the kids from the 2006 Staff Alumni Reunion. Can you spot which ones are already on staff?
The starting line at our First Annual Bike to the Bitter End Fundraiser.
Have you registered for this year's ride?
Straight to you from "the