Saturday, June 23, 2012

Week One of FoodWhat?! Summer 2012

FoodWhat kicks off the first week of our Summer Job Training Program! The heat of the summer sun marks a significant milestone for twenty awesome and deserving youth as they advance from being Spring Interns to becoming fully hired FoodWhat Crew. Congratulations! With the largest hired crew in FoodWhat history including 20 on the crew, 3 Junior Staff and 2 College Interns, a game of citrus toss was in order to help everyone learn each others' names and get acquainted with one another.

After the energetic memory game, the crew took a few moments to relax as Abby passed around Sunflower seeds. Each crew member thought about a personal goal to accomplish over the summer and planted a seed to solidify and ground each individual goal. As the summer progresses, the flourishing seeds will represent individual growth and progress.

Once the seeds were planted, the crew brainstormed community goals to achieve throughout the summer. Doron led a discussion about the positive impact accomplishing goals can have on the crew as a whole, as well as each individual's feelings of success.  This was then contrasted with the negative consequences that often follow not meeting the goals of each member of the team.

After a lot of contemplation, it was time to loosen up and wake up our bodies with a game of blob tag. The goal of this game was to stay connected to your blob while absorbing stragglers to expand!  Great game to start working as a team right off the bat.

Then the crew sat down one more time to discuss a new element of FoodWhat as it becomes a job rather than an internship: time sheets. Doron explained the importance of properly filling out time sheets at any job. Furthermore, he discussed punctuality as a crucial element of demonstrating professionalism.

We ended the discussion with a game of "I have Common Ground" to get to know each other better. This game gave the crew a chance to teach each other about family backgrounds, favorite colors, preferred foods, and hobbies of all kinds. More importantly, it gave the crew members a chance to recognize others they shared interests with.

With the serious business aside and new friendships already forming, it was time to get our hands dirty! The crew broke off into groups to accomplish a variety of tasks. Doron's group trimmed back blackberry bushes and cleared brush to make space for new flower beds.
 The group successfully cleared the area in its entirety! Before the end of the day, Sunflowers and Snapdragons were planted to flourish in a space where weeds and brush had previously dominated.

Working with Abby, other members of the crew prepared beds by flipping the soil, adding compost, and raking the bed flat.
  After thoroughly preparing the beds, the group planted kohlrabi and beans, weeded the beds, and harvested wheat.

Working in the flower beds with Nellie (one of the summer interns) and Kayla (one of our Junior staff), the crew forked three flower beds, removed any bulbs they found to be planted later on, added compost, and raked the beds out evenly.   

 After a long day of work, lessons on professionalism, and positive thinking for the rest of the summer, the crew ended the day with laughter and relaxation as they stretched and practiced strength exercises with Fa Jun, our guest instructor. These practices left the crew with knowledge about mental and physical health as well as some secrets of the moves of Bruce Lee to enjoy for the rest of the day.

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