Ah yes. Time for post-Super Bowl Monday Morning Quarterbacking. What was done, what wasn’t done, what should have been done instead. I’m not talking about the game of course. I’m talking about the 5th Annual High School Super Bowl party! In the past, Anita from Sheehy home has done much of the organizing for the party. When she suggested this as an activity for St. Joseph’s High School Student Leadership Group, they jumped at the chance. We have planned several events this year and have learned some important lessons through trial and error.
This was going to be our Comeback Kid moment.
We were going to show the world how great we could be.
We’ve been working together long enough that we can play to each other’s strengths. We coordinated a menu with contributions from each high school home. Dawson loves to be helpful and is eager to jump in, but he often takes on too many tasks and can’t do it all. He was allowed to take on two tasks. He picked up the pop for Giles home and hand delivered invitations to the eighth grade homes, high school staff and homes. Andrew knows that he gets busy, so he picked a task that he could do immediately and be done. He called up and secured a large-screen TV for the Raven’s room. Erica is good at contacting people through e-mails, so she did some coordinating of donations. Leahanna likes hands-on tasks, so she counted out the M&Ms for our guessing game. Chris loves to orchestrate and organize. He took care of designing and printing the invitations. The kids helped me make a list of snacks and prizes that would not be “lame.” Everyone agreed to stay and help clean up afterwards.
Come Sunday evening, we were ready.
All the assigned tasks were covered, except for decorating. (Note to self: next year assign a set-up crew as well as a clean-up crew.) We had plenty of food. We had plenty of pop, water and Gatorade. We had games for the non-football fans. We had cool prizes. (Note to self: the punch balls were noisy and obnoxious, especially when the kids started bouncing them off of each other. Get more next year.)
Patrick acted as referee, blowing his whistle whenever there was a touchdown, interception, field goal, etc., and drawing names for prizes. (Note to self: get him a smaller whistle, or don’t let the teams make so many touchdowns. Ouch!) We had 40 students and 20 adults over the course of the evening. This includes a dozen eighth graders who were getting a taste of life in the high school homes. Everyone seemed to have a good time – 49ers fans being the exception, but that wasn’t the group’s fault.
House parents did a lot of behind-the-scenes management, from cooking the taco meat and hot wings, to making the veggie trays, to securing coolers, and surreptitiously throwing cans into the recycling bin. But at the end of the night, the kids made short work of taking trash out, sweeping floors and rearranging furniture.
One challenge our team faces this year as a group is commitment. Sometimes members don’t attend meetings or don’t contribute. Sometimes members agree to contribute with great enthusiasm, but time flies and agreements are forgotten. Sometimes, opportunities to grow and serve just don’t take root at all – maybe because of apathy or maybe because some ideas just aren’t as brilliant in the cold light of day as they are on paper.
Some plans get supplanted by more attractive, immediate pleasures like Facebook, basketball games, and afternoon naps. Some commitments get choked out by worries, fears, and problems. Who can think ahead when a loved one back home is ill or the news is full of stories about the end of the world?
Positive opportunities even compete with each other—school, jobs, sports, theater, college visits. A person can get pretty overwhelmed! But every so often, an idea takes root and grows. A small, dedicated core group maintains their determination and focus. They coax their peers into coming along. Sometimes we end up with something unexpectedly special.
So this Monday, I can say that I am proud of my team and their performance. They showed dedication and commitment. They overcame a tough start, and finished the season on a high note. Sometimes they made me kind of nervous, and I wondered if they were going to pull it off. They hung in there! And of course, they have an awesome fan base. This team has dedicated supporters from all over the country. We couldn’t have done this without them cheering us on and having faith in us. Thank you, and thank God!
By the way, who won? I didn’t really have a chance to watch the game….