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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

the capitol: school edition (again)

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Austin, TX

this was not my first time at this event, having been here almost exactly a year ago, i had an idea of what to expect. we had a bigger team this time, but it was entirely my team. we had a different host this year, && a new group of mothers helped set up. what a gift it is to have people come alongside you to help set up && have them so eager to ask questions about every part of the process of your job.

we had a fun team dinner at a restaurant that definitely looked like it used to be a Phillips 66 gas station, huge back patio with string lights and photo booth. it was a dinner filled with laughter and good food and bonding with a group of people that has become so sweet && special to me. there was no free concert like last year, but i think our new team members made up for that entertainment factor.

the next day, it was still as crazy as it was the year before. last year, they split up the sessions by age group. but this year, wow it was so much better. they mixed the ages, so that the older kids could help the younger ones. all of the preschoolers were our labelers, each paired with a middle-schooler. it was sweet to see the community in that way, coming together across age groups to better understand global service. the event was still pure chaos: loud, messy, funny, && energetic.

it was an event full of uno and candyland in the lobby, of shared Spotify sessions in the car && people messing up the cue. it was bromances being born, vertical IDs, && Costco pizza. full of “prolly megan”s, REO Speedwagon, baby rejection, && teaching kids by starting a wave of generosity.

what i learned

  1. having new team members brings such a good energy to an event

  2. 4 year old cheerleaders are the cutest && best thing

  3. the team will buy pie if given the opportunity

how i grew

i am continuing to realize how much i enjoy training people, sometimes i forget that i spent four years of my life getting a degree in education. i am learning about pacing myself and how to say no in order to prioritize rest over fun even if its a hard choice.

favorite parts

little pink shirt man

the gates closing at dusk

Rafael coming out of his shell

"i hope the kids take something they learned with them, whether they pull it out in 20 years, or the sand turns into a pearl now"

“take your treasures and flee back to the forest”

“i hopped the fence when i could’ve gone through the gate"

to hyde park high school:

you brought the energy. every session, you filled that cafeteria with your joy && laughter && competitive nature. you shared your school with us, gave us your space and time to us for an entire day. you participated with servant hearts and a bold eagerness. thankful for how you invited us in and how you served alongside us!

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