On Saturday, August 19th parents dropped off their children at 5pm with their sleeping bags, clothes, and tooth brushes for the night. For some kids it was their first sleepover, and most didn't know what to expect, but this morning every single one of them woke up with a big smile.
We had a guest named Madeline Hernandes Rodriguez who volunteered her time to come lead a workshop called El Camino del Heroe (A Hero's Journey) based on a book called "El Heroe de las Mil Caras" by Joseph Cambel. Through fun activities they learned about the stages a hero must go through before they become a hero. They learned about characteristics of hero, their strengths, obstacles they must face, how family and friends are important and how to overcome fear.
In one of the exercises they were put into groups and asked to choose one member for the group to dress up as a superhero; they were given paper, tape, markers and string. They then had to explain their hero to the group and what his/hers strengths are. It was very impressive to see their creativity shine through. Some were given the power of honesty, others of being strong enough to save people, others were fearless, and one even had the power to make friends quickly.
After pizza and fruit for dinner, we prepared them for a very fun night walk. They were taught that every hero has a "guide," someone who teaches them, or advises them, and someone they can trust. They also learned that all heroes need, aside from family, friends to support them and help them to be who they are. For the night walk, the adults were the guides and they blindfolded their groups of three and they took them on a walk with obstacles, places with different scents, and noises. Although some were scared at first, they had to trust their guide and group to get to the end. The workshop ended with the adults leading them to a dark room where they all sat, still blind folded and were told a story. Toward the end of the story, Madeleine quoted "Somos una semilla y nos convertiremos en un árbol, al abrir los ojos, todos descubriremos nuestra luz interior" (we are all seeds and we grow into trees, when you open your eyes, you will discover your inner light), and while she spoke, the adults sprinkled glow sticks all over kids and when they opened their eyes they were all mesmerized. It felt like they were in space covered in stars. Thank you Madeline for teaching our children valuable lessons.
To end the night, the kids changed into their pjs and settled in with their popcorn and pillows and watched The Never Ending Story. On Sunday morning they had a classic pillow fight, and a very fun lightsaber battle. After a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes, fruit and milk, the kids were picked up at 10am.
We had an amazing time and cannot wait to have many more sleepovers in the future. This was the beginning of a fun and beautiful tradition. Thank you to the children that were engaged and assisted, and thank you to the parents for trusting us with them for the night they did great.