Or AWANA as it is officially known, is a weekly event in our household. AWANA stands for, Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, and it is not AWANAS, just AWANA. To break it down, almost every Wednesday night we load up the van and head er north to the church with a pit stop at the coffee shop along the. You see the coffee shop is a must for I am a game guy at AWANA. A game guy’s main responsibility is to run the snot out of the kids with minimal injury and maximum fun. Therefore a game guy must bring energy every week into the game time, whether it be God given or artificially injected into the system.
By the time I finish the 16 ounces of hot liquid adrenaline, I am ready to go. The little kids like Jake get to do crafts and games downstairs. I have not had the pleasure of watching this but I take it 15-20 3-5 year olds leave their mark in an hour and 1/2. For every time I wander downstairs to pick up Jake, I see the tussled hair tear stained cheeks of the volunteer teachers. Sometimes they have a vain pulsing in the side of their neck and they are always extremely grateful to see me and watch the herd of toddlers disappear. Yet they continue to show up week after week.
After the introduction, song, rules, and prayers, the kids head off to do Bible verses and study. They have listeners in each room corralling them and focusing them for an hour each until they are let out of their corral into the bull ring, where I work.
My job is not nearly as difficult as the listeners or the toddler teachers. There is usually 3 or 4 of us to run games. We try to come up with unique style themed games for every week; Games that are not too complicated but not too easy. Games that wear the kids out but keep them focused on the prize. As game guys one of our favorites is dodgeball. You see our version of dodgeball is to line all the kids up against the wall while we hurl plastic balls at them picking them off one by one. The last 3 standing get points for their team. Funny thing, the kids seem to love the game too.
Sometimes we have overall themes, like this week was inside out and backwards week, and Mr. Kelly went all out, literally down to his underwear. It seemed to add and extra dose of energy to the kids, something I really did not care nor was I prepared for.
AWANA needs millions and millions of volunteers each week, well at least 20, and we seem to have them. It can definitely be trying some weeks, like this one. I often wonder if the kids are not stopping at the same coffee shop on the way north? Perhaps they get the 24 ounce. I may have to step up my game.