Half way through spring break here at shelterwood, im currently on night watch and then will be driving out to Colorado tomorrow night at 11pm with my girlfriend. Then another big brother is flying out the next day to join us for the rest of our time here.

Yesterday we received a donation of ten brand new mountain bikes. Needless to say i am very excited! We have also begun the process of converting part of our 200 acres of property into a bike trail. I have spent about 10 hours surveying the land and marking the beginnings of mountain bike trail. If we are able to actually complete this trail it would be a pretty significant influence to stay another year as an intern. I have been praying that God would open doors to allow me to continue to work with troubled kids but in a more recreational/outdoors setting, and if shelterwood is interested in continuing to develop an outdoor/ recreational program to supplement  its currently very residential facility i could definitely see myself staying another year. I also have 5 months left on my contract and Lord knows a lot can change in 5 months.

Internship- So i have been mentioning this internship in a few of my blogs and i wanted to take a min to go into a little more depth of what it is. After your year contract as a “big brother” is over you have the option of applying to become a intern, which is another year long contract. Interns generally have an area of focus, like for instance our current intern Daniel S has done a lot of work setting up off property activities like getting kids memberships to a local fitness gym, and to a climbing gym, and an indoor pool. This has been great because it gives the kids another thing to be excited about so they stay motivated to keep earning points so they can have privileges to go do the fun things that daniel has set up for them. Interns fill a role between the Bigs and Hall directors and are a huge blessing to both. Because of the work Daniel has done i have gotten to take a group of 4-6 kids rock climbing every saturday for the last month and a half. It has been awesome to see the kids really get into rock climbing. It has provided a healthy outlet for some of the more edgy, adrenaline junky kids. One of the kids said to me “Man, all those years i was stealing things, doing drugs, i should have just been climbing so i wouldn’t get in trouble”. Interns are still on “coverage” 2 days a week which is what i do 5 days a week now as a big, and then i think there is one day were you are “on point” meaning you are given the HD (hall director) phone and are in charge of handling any major crisis that may occur that night. You get two days off and then have two days to work on your area of specialization. If i do decide to stay for another year my dream would be to have a fully completed mountain bike trail, teach kids how to ride and maintain their bikes. I would love to begin the process of building a rock climbing wall, and maybe even clearing/setting up an area for a paintball field. The awesome things is we have 200 acres to work with, and yes its still in missouri and its not the greatest soil, or topography for a mountain bike trail or really anything outdoors but there is still something very alluring about the prospect of being the one who gets to make these things happen. There are few things more rewarding than having a vision, working hard and having it come to fruition. Additionally i could potentially have the ability to take kids on weekend biking / hiking / camping trips which would be fun for me, therapeutic for the kids, and would help coverage at the house. I could potentially even bring kids to MOAB or Colorado every couple of months.

Yes these are still only dreams but even if i could only do half of those things it would still be a very enticing prospect.

Its now 3:20 in the morning (im on night watch) and my brain is no longer functioning, Love you all hope to see some of you soon.

Brian F

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