I stole this photo from the CYC website and I don’t care who knows it!
For the past several weeks I’ve carried around a tiny notebook with the cover reading ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost.’ In this little book I’ve kept track of notes and little drawings mostly of ideas I have not worth putting into digital form quite yet – sometimes a good ol’ pen and paper help capture thoughts best. But forget about what’s inside the notebook for a bit, actually forget about it altogether because those are my private thoughts! What’s more important is where the notebook came from.
I first became involved with the Creative Youth Center (CYC for short) his past January after receiving an urgent notice from a Captain H. Tanney. Little did I know he had requested the presence of Grand Rapids ‘creative thinkers’ to help conceptualize his new home, aka Adventure Store, aka the new space of the CYC. The space, formally known as the Wealthy Street Bookstore which closed last May, was decked out in what I can only describe as a scene from the 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom. There were treats and drinks and an excellent presentation on what the CYC and their new space is all about.
I’ll tell you a secret, Capt. Tanney isn’t real… except for in our stories of course.
The CYC believes that through one-on-one interaction and project based learning kids can develop essential and life long writing skills. And now with the help of Capt. Tanney they are turning the old bookstore on Wealthy into the CYCs fulltime home, complete with a store front retailing everything adventurous – something so completely awesome that I couldn’t say no.
And so… also at this party there were lots of paper and pens that attendees used to write down ideas for the new space as well as sign up to volunteer. Last weekend was my first gig and I brought Mr. Kladder along.
This one too.
Again, obviously didn’t take this pic, I’m in it.
Saturday we volunteered as chaperons for the Kids Zone Laughfest Event at Grand Rapids Community College… and we weren’t there more than 30 minutes before we lost one.
“Jeff, where’d (we’ll call her Sally) go?”
“I thought she was with you,” he responded.
“She’s wearing a tutu and has a blue and pink weave… how’d we loose her!”
Kladder countered, “The important thing is not to panic,” all the while smirking because in this particular situation my commonly and overly used ‘panic’ phrase actually applied and he knew it. Little did we know Sally was an extra sneaky little girl who somehow got away with approximately 8 consecutive turns inside the blow up dragon. Sneaky Sally.
CYC group from Saturday.
And this my friends is how you exit a blow up dragon.
All in all… not bad for our first time volunteering for the CYC. Ah yes… you might be wondering what a field trip to a Laughfest event has to do with writing. This particular group of kids are part of the Press Club. They visit places and events in Grand Rapids then write about them. I’m interested to see how their articles reflect being pooped out by a dragon – gosh who am I kidding… my humor is just about as mature as the kids we chaperoned.