Sometimes the meaning of the words Project Transformation get lost. Those two words get shortened to PT and become a synonym for “day camp” or “church camp.” They are associated with green polos, going to site, team bonding, or Friday Experiences, but what do the words Project Transformation really mean?
Project means an undertaking requiring concerted effort. Transformation means a radical change or alteration, usually for the better. Project Transformation’s literal meaning is our number one goal. We have come together to radically change kids’ lives for the better. This undertaking is huge, because it means breaking a cycle that may have gone on for generations. It is radical because college students, often with little to no experience, are entrusted to plan, set up, and execute a camp for underserved kids for eight weeks.
Despite the hugeness of this radical project, it is all of the little things that make it shine. At site, one of the most awesome things we do is read with the kids. Spending time with one or two kids at a time as they learn to read, speed through a chapter book, or make discoveries about spiders and comets is one of my favorite parts of the day. Another thing I absolutely love at site is when the kids take care of each other. It is beautiful to see siblings and friends sharing their lunches to make sure everyone has something they like to eat. In addition, it is very moving to me when some of the 5th and 6th grade boys act up because they need to talk to an intern about what is going on in their lives.
Sometimes, being away from site is just as rewarding and amazing as being with the kids. At Friday Experiences, it is humbling to see people working in non-profits because their goal in life is to help others by giving of themselves. To see God in so many diverse workplaces is such a blessing! Every night when people bring us dinner, I am so grateful for their generosity. It is a beautiful picture of God’s love when people come together to prepare a meal for ten other people. I love to sit down with them, hear their stories, and share my own.
Finally, what makes Project Transformation work so well, is the amazing team that staff put together for PT Trinity. Whether it’s tallying our Harry Potter house points for doing good deeds (we have four Gryffindors and three Slytherins that have been competing for several weeks now), playing Imaginiff, or doing our Sic’em Trinity chant, we are always having a great time. I have enjoyed going on “prayer dates” with most of my teammates, and I have learned so much from them. They have inspired me to discover who I am. We laugh together, clean together, sing and dance together, and squish five people together in tiny cars when we go to Dallas. I have only known my team for six weeks, but they have become some of my closest friends.
So, how does a team of ten college students come together to radically change the lives of kids? Well, through trial and error, prayer, and collaboration we manage to pull off a pretty great day camp. However, that’s not the only transforming that’s been going on. The kids have changed our lives. The volunteers have changed our lives. The Friday Experiences have changed our lives. We have changed each other’s lives. We are near the end of Project Transformation, and it is happening. Lives are being transformed for the better.
Intern at Trinity UMC