Yesterday was definitely the most difficult day i have had at Shelterwood. The problem is that we are undergoing a lot of major shifts in the program. We have a new CEO of Shelterwood and she is making a lot of changes. In addition over the summer, specifically summer break which was last week we were desperately understaffed. This meant that the coverage ratio was pretty high so kids got used to not being monitored which meant they got used to getting away with everything. Now we have 8 Bigs back in the house we are cracking down and the resistance is brutal. I think i have heard more swearing in the last week than i would in an entire year back home. Some of the littles are pretty responsive and just need a couple reminders but one kid in particular is really getting to me. Were not allowed to say names or anything like that but i will just call him “Ben”. In One day he earned 6 hours of work for being disobedient on several different occasions. The problem is he just doesn’t care, he is already close to having 100 work hours and in the past he has had up to 300 work hours. Me and the other bigs are trying to problem solve and do some paradigm shifts in how we give him consequences, because he doesn’t care about getting hours.

Second, a little got punched in the face yesterday. This was hard because i had spend most of the day with the two kids involved. “Tom” the kid who got punched worked off two hours with me so we had a long time to talk. during our time he told me how the other littles would pick on him and try to get him to fight them. He unfortunately would call them names back and this is apparently what lead to the fight. Right before lunch me and tom and working and he was asking me how he could do things differently and i told him, don’t give them a reaction and just walk away. After dinner i took a bunch of kids to the pool on the property and then 40 mins later two kids walked out and said Tom got beat up. My heart sank. I felt so bad for him. I felt like i failed him, and that i should have been there to protect him because i knew that this was coming. I told him things would get better if he didn’t give them a reaction and then he still got beat up. I watched the video footage of it and it made me feel better because i saw that he had indeed walked away when initially provoked.

Third, im sick. have been since monday and its really getting to me now.

Finally, one of the Bigs just anounced this morning that he is leaving today. He is burned out and can’t do the job anymore. This is bad because we are not down to 7 guy bigs. And when you consider night watch, and kitchen duty, 1 person having a day off and one person managing work hours that leaves 3 “Bigs” to do coverage for up to 17 Littles who are now fighting each other. Not good odds.

Please pray for “Tom” that he would feel comforted and safe at Shelterwood. For the Bigs that we could remain rooted and established and sane.

God bless

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