On Jan. 8th we started a regular hangout with youth at the nZone called…”the hangout”. Yeah, real original, I know. Well, the intention of this hangout is to give students a safe place on a Friday night to hangout with friends, play some games, watch a movie and eat some food. It has been quite successful so far and our intention is to carry this on until students get bored with it.
Last Friday night, I had to leave early from “the hangout”. I talked to all the leaders before I left indicating what had to be done to clean up, etc. I thought things would run smoothly from there as there was only about 45 minutes left and the kids were just playing. However, I found out on Sunday that things didn’t run very smoothly after I left.
Things became disorganized and it kinda fell apart where students became disengaged. As I was talking with a person who was there, it was clear that the main reason why things fell apart was because I didn’t clearly designate a leader for students to follow. I assumed that the leaders would lead a game and capture the interest of students if they saw things fading. However, because I didn’t give clear expectations and point students to a leader or leaders, no one knew what to do or who to follow. And because of that, things fell apart.
So, what did I learn? I learned that I have to be clear with expectations of leaders and appoint clear points of contacts if/when I have to leave again. Even if I am there, I have to make sure that the leaders in charge know exactly what is expected of them. If they don’t know expectations, then they won’t be set up properly to succeed & they may become frustrated very quickly.
What about you? Have you had an experience like this before? If so, what did you learn & what changes did you make because of it?
TAKE A MINUTE and share your thoughts and experiences so all of us can benefit.