Monday, April 26, 2010

Fun and Games for Profit

In the second week of the Easter school holidays Sport Boy went to Country Camp, a training and development camp for talented soccer players held at Christchurch Grammar. This is him on the first day, awaiting instructions. I wasn't too impressed with their organisational abilities and lack of communication. With a hundred kids and their parents standing around no-one took any form of leadership or provided any communication about what to do or what was to happen. Maybe the kids were just supposed to intuitively know what to do, or pick up instructions by osmosis? I don't know.
My faith was given another shake the following day when I dropped in on the camp around dinner time to find Sport Boy with a plate full of non gluten-free food! SB (and Favourite Daughter and Mrs Holt Press) are all gluten intolerant and the consequences can be quite unpleasant if they eat food with gluten in it). Sport Boy missed a week of school recently for that very reason. So despite our clear communication on his medical form the camp had not provided any special diet for him! I questioned the cook who pled ignorance but assured me that from then on they would have healthy alternatives for him at meal times!
Just as well I had called in. I was on my way home to Perth and very nearly didn't stop, in fact I turned around and went back in order to do so. Considering we paid a significant amount of money in order for him to go on the camp it was not very satisfactory. On the upside, at the end of the camp Sport Boy was selected as one of the reserve squad for a team who will go to Singapore for a tournament later this year. He may not get to go but it was a great effort and commendation on his part to be picked. 
Soccer season starts next week, although his team, which I coach, the Cornerstone Giants, have a bye in the first round. We started training this week and I was impressed with the application and attitude of the kids. We've lost a few players and gained 4 new ones and they look like they'll be quite useful.

On Monday I ran a team building training day for the office staff from the high school. Here you can see them working on some problem solving games that help with teamwork and communication.l They all seemed to enjoy the day and when I dropped in to the school a couple of days later several of them thanked me and said how good a way it had been to start the term. 

On Wednesday I ran an overnight leadership camp for the student councillors and house captains down at the Venison Farm campsite near Margaret River. It's a fantastic venue that I have used a number of times before and it is perfect for the style of camp I was running. I did a lot of team building games, ice breakers, cooperation games, initiative problem solving exercises, trust games and challenges as well as sessions on public speaking, goal setting and communication skills. We packed a lot into the 21 hours we had available!
These are the sort of programs I've been running for many years, at the schools I worked at and for groups such as Rotary on RYLA and Rypen camps etc. It is nice to be able to take it the next step and use them in the process of working for myself and developing my own "small business". The kids had a great time which is the best affirmation of my work but it's rewarding to now being remunerated for it as well.

I'm getting more bus driving shifts now which brings in regular income, along with my taxi driving. On Tuesday I'm doing some training for the inter-town coach service to Augusta and on Thursday I commence a regular day of town service driving.
In between this is when I hope to keep expanding my contract work for the high school and eventually other schools and groups as well. I'll find out this week whether I've been successful in my application for some funding to run the Behind the White Crosses project this year.
And I'm already under way in my next contract for the school, managing and organising Country Week for them. Again, this was something I did in my role as chaplain so there is a natural progression in me doing it as an outside contractor especially as I'm able to build on my existing experience and networks from the last few years. 

I'm driving town service buses tomorrow which unfortunately means I won't be home to watch the footy and see Geelong play Carlton. I'll be glued to the trannie on the dashboard of the bus though. There have been three upsets in the footy already this weekend so I'm hoping the Cats will be on guard against it happening to them.

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