Awana Club

Last night was William’s first Awana Club meeting. Awana Club was something that my brother and I did when we were kids, we pretty much grew up in Awana Clubs, attending every week, and earned our trophies. I loved the meetings… the games, playing with other kids, even the Bible memorization. It was just so much fun. I hope William ends up liking it as much as I did.

My mom, being experienced in teaching, mentioned to me that as it was the first night it might be a little disorganized. I was glad later that she had mentioned that, because it helped prepare me for the state of disaster that it actually turned out to be. To start, the room was locked. It then progressed to the leader trying to give parents an orientation while 10 kids (ages 3-4) sat at a table with nothing to do. When that didn’t work, the leader gave them their book bags to paint, except the paint markers still had the plastic wrapping on AND the internal stopper. Confusion reigned, and most of the kids had paint all over their hands, so they had to wash them (10 little kids to one tiny sink). They finally went out to the tot playground while the leader “prepared” a snack of half a hot dog/bun and Cheetos (of all things, really?), but she didn’t have plates, cups or a knife to cut things in half. Then the kids had to come in from the playground (but line up first!) and wash their hands again (10 little kids to one tiny sink). And that was it. As William pointed out when we got to the car, “We didn’t get to hear a Bible verse or read a Bible story… or play a game.” Yeah. Kind of the foundation for the whole thing, that Bible verse.

When I saw the issues they were having, I tried to help where I could and quietly made suggestions to the leader, but I felt like it wasn’t enough. So much of the stuff actually needed far more advance planning, i think. Maybe even making one of the crafts ahead of time to troubleshoot problems and then to use as an example for the kids. Awana Club is such a great resource; I pray that next week, and the weeks to come improve.

The quote of the night from William. After he’d finished painting his bag and declaring repeatedly and emphatically, “I’m done!” one of the helpers took his bag. He watched her with great concern, and seeing his concern, she explained to him, “I’m taking this outside for some air.” He replied, “Well, there’s air in here. That’s how you’re breathing.”

Yeah, air, kind of one of the most important parts of breathing.

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12 Comments

Filed under I did something Special, Our Kid is Cute

12 responses to “Awana Club

  1. Tony

    I hope it gets better too. If not maybe we can help plain the evening for the kids with some actual bible stories and versus and maybe even some circle games, like being a train and everyone gets a turn being the engine or who can balance on the line, or animals in a circle- call out an animal and the kids make the sounds and act like the animal in the circle. Either way I hope it does get better. Love you guys. XXOXOXOO :mrgreen:

  2. grrrace77

    I’m sure it’ll get better… We go to a place in HB, which is nowhere as good as the last one we used to go to at our home church. (Our home church stopped doing AWANA.) BUT, it’s better now than when we first started… just remember that these people are volunteering their time and they want to share their love for God… and they may not be the best teachers yet, but their hearts are in the right place. I bet he’ll make some great friends there. And they’ll be more organized in the future. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I know they’re volunteers with a love for God, I knoooow. Also, my mom told me that all the people are new this year, I guess all the volunteers quit last year, so they had to cancel Awanas. I guess my main complaint was that a lot of the stuff seemed like common sense to me. Like, you know, make sure your classroom door is unlocked before class, make sure that your supplies are ready to use, hand parents their booklet and let them read it themselves… the kids are the focus, not the parents. That sort of stuff. And, for the love of God, don’t repeat that you’re new to this 56,798,323 times throughout the evening. Your actions are telling me that! LOL

      The socialization part, where William (hopefully) gets to see the same kids every week, and make friends that way, is a huge thing for my decision, even if the rest of it sucks. So there’s that.

  3. In the programs I’ve lead, I know that some “teachers” don’t think kids William’s age can do Bible verses or stories and think it should all just be play time. If it doesn’t get better, go to the program director and gently suggest a change. 🙂 That age group is one of my favorite to teach! Its a shame I’m on this coast and you are on that one!

    • Replying to my own comment.. geez… I also meant to say that Tony sounds like he would make a great candidate for teacher next go round!

    • Tony

      I think it would be fun to do, but if William was in my class I know I would play favorites…hehehehe

    • HA!! I agree! But you know what, one of the little girls came up to me as we were going to the playground and wanted me to hold her hand. My heart just melted. These kids at this age are SOOOO sweet. ❤

    • Tony

      I have found on line free story books you can print up, pictures to color, flash cards, bible verses, bible stories and games to play. I am having fun at work finding all these things and it will be great to show William some of these things too.

    • Tony: Thank you for all your research!! If he doesn’t get what he needs there, we can (of course) help him at home.

    • PPreachersWife: Yes, all the kids seemed so eager and bright! They were so cute and well-behaved, sitting in their little chairs! 🙂 The land-separation thing, well, I think that’s something we’ve bemoaned to each other for yearssssss! hehe

  4. Chris

    Oh I hope it was just first night jitters and not a glimpse into the weeks ahead! AWANA does do training (usually all workers have to go) so I will pray things improve! Tony has great ideas, too! My preschool director hat came out as I read your post, oh my! So many things not done right for that age! And I loved William’s response to “air”!!! Maybe he could give them some tips!

    • I sure hope things improve! All the kids seemed so bright, eager, fresh and well-behaved! When I saw how unprepared the leaders were, I cringed. I was unwrapping paint markers, helping set things up for the snack, etc. I might just bring a bag of stuff for next week, just in case! LIke scissors to open things, little cups and little plates, etc. Although, i don’t know if they do a snack every week? And I thought to myself the PERFECT time for a Bible story would have been while the kids were munching on their snack, but … no. All the adults just stared at each other. So silly!