Today's my first day back at the internship since our retreat this past weekend. Yesterday kind of flew by, since I just napped all day and watched cartoons and helped my mom make lunch for me to bring to the office for the week. I almost forgot until this morning that the youth are coming in today, because our regular summer programming starts! So we meet with them every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The retreat was long and tiring but really great. We were slightly delayed on Friday because the van reservations were messed up. But we moved along anyway and got things started. Everyone was a little tired but in good spirits. We got started on checking in, agendas, and logistics. Then we started on workshops on systems of oppression and white supremacy, which is pretty heavy stuff.
Over the course of the weekend, we learned a lot about the history of CAAAV, the history of Asian Americans in the U.S., how and why youth should organize, and the gender and sexuality workshop I worked on.
The staff worked really hard on making delicious meals to feed all of us, and it definitely paid off! The youth loved the food and were so excited for all the meals. In between all the workshops, we had breaks, energizer games, icebreaker games, and just fun times hanging out with each other. At night, the youth loved playing this version of mafia called Panther, which is Mafia but the events and characters are based on the Black Panthers and the civil rights movement. The first night alone, they played probably three rounds of it! On the second night, we were supposed to have a fun bonfire and make s'mores and tell scary stories. But because the grass and the wood were so damp, we couldn't get a fire going at all. Oh well, so we made s'mores indoors and mainly just played this murder mystery puzzle game where we know some details of a murder scene and we must ask yes/no questions to find out what happened! The scavenger hunt worked out well, even though it was a little easy for the youth to find the different items Ruben and I hid. Good thing I added riddles and funny tasks that the youth teams have to do to get points.
Even though sometimes the workshops felt a little bit dull and dragging along, I think we all learned a lot! People got to work with pretty much every one since we did group work and pair/share work all the time. There were a lot of chart papers used, skits performed, drawings made, and snacks, can't forget the snacks! We had snacks to keep us happy and engaged. All in all, we spent some time outdoors with nature and grass and bugs and also time indoors with each other and hanging out. Now its back to the grind of more workshops and fun in NYC!