We were excited to have the ﬁrst ever Manchester CLC overnight at the Salvation Army. It was a great way to show our members how we can have as much fun indoors as we can have outdoors. Our members showed up to the Salvation Army with their sleeping bags, pillows, PJ’s, and toothbrushes. They were ready to see what the CLC leaders had in store for them. It was going to be an interesting event, since the SCA is traditionally known for hosting in the great outdoors. We joked that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about bears raiding our tents at night.
A great part of this event happened to be the connections and bonding experiences that the members had with each other. For part of the night we decided to see if the members could map out certain sections of the Salvation Army, then we asked them to hide an item and make a rebus to help another group ﬁnd that hidden item. The activity challenged the members to work together and solve complex puzzles. The members took a lot of time to help each other out, and would really motivate their partners to ﬁgure out the puzzle. After the puzzle and map activity we decided to go into the gymnasium and play some more games. We really took advantage of our space and played games like Knockout, Human Knot, Ninja, and even Four Square.
After playing games for a few hours we ﬁnally decided that it was time to eat. The members were excited to hear that they would be making their own pizzas! They really loved being inside the kitchen and weren’t afraid to overload their pizzas with tons of toppings. After dinner, we cleaned up and allowed the members to have some free time. It wasn’t long after their free time that the leaders felt that it was time to get some sleep. The leaders were exhausted by the end of the night, but I honestly believe that the members could have gone for another 24hrs.
We awoke to the sun shining through the gymnasium’s windows in the Salvation Army and got ready for breakfast. We rolled up our tents and set the table for a nice breakfast of eggs and toast. The members had control of most of the kitchen, and I must say that I was surprised that they made such a fantastic meal. After breakfast we did a few morning stretches and then participated in a small activity about diversity. It was interesting to see how much the members really enjoyed this activity. We were happy to know that they really got a lot from learning about people’s differences and their priorities. We ended the day with one last game of Electric Fence. Electric Fence proved to be a really challenging game, but we all were able to get through it. After the game we gathered up for Rose, Bud, Thorn, and said our goodbyes. Even though this event was indoors we really embraced our surrounding and were able to really enjoy the resources that were around us. The members really showed great ﬂexibility, and really proved to us that they can be great leaders, indoors or out.
Thank you to the Salvation Army Manchester for allowing us to use their facilities for this event. We really appreciate the generosity that has been given to us. SHOUT OUT TO BOB CHAMPAGNE!