Support Staff Appreciation Day

A highlight for me this year has been acting as the supervisor for a student council committee.  The Student Council here is pretty impressively organized, with a four person executive board that oversees about 10 committees.  The group that I am working with is the Social Outreach Committee, which is committed to giving students the opportunity to be involved in and give back to their community.

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 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

Today we held our first major event, Support Staff Appreciation Day, which is an annual event that recognizes the guards, office boys, and maintenance crew at our school.  These guys are the best, and they care for us and for the building so well!

It’s interesting, here, the way that students grow up with people in positions such as these surrounding them.  Most of my kids have personal drivers, nannies, helpers, gardeners, cooks, etc.  While for me personally, having someone helping me is a new and exciting idea (Like the surprise homemade garlic bread I came home to last Tuesday!?  My helper is the best ever!), these students are used to it.  For this reason, it’s especially beneficial to have a time to intentionally recognize those who serve us so well every day.

It makes me think, too – What blessings are there in my life to which I have grown accustomed? Where do I need to stop and reevaluate and intentionally be grateful?  These are valid questions!

Anyway, we had a wonderful afternoon!  We had ten groups, each made up of about 5 students and 5 support staff members.  The groups ate lunch together, and, to be honest, most were pretty awkward.  Students tended to talk amongst themselves and staff mostly kept to their friends.

It’s amazing what a bit of competition can do through teamwork and bonding, though 🙂  By the end of our time, there was so much laughter and friendship.  One of my favorite parts was watching the kids get excited for “their guys” at the end when they were called up, clapping and appreciating them.  The difference was night and day.

The SOC team set up five different stations where two teams competed against each other for points that would be added up to determine the winners.  I need to stop and brag on this committee for a moment: they’re incredible!  They are such a neat group of students with a heart for what we’re doing, and they work so hard to provide some great ideas and events.  The games that they came up with were hilarious, and had us (literally) rolling on the ground with laughter.

I would highly recommend any and all of these games if you are looking for an ice breaker, games for an event, or just some laughter! 🙂

Game #1: K-Pop Dance-A-LongImage

 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

At this station, the group watched part of a K-Pop (Korean music/dancing) song, then had to imitate the moves.  Gangam Style was, of course, performed, but I learned that many other Korean songs are pretty fantastic as well!


Game #2: Tug-of-WarImage

Due to all of the craziness (and the awful lighting in the gym), I unfortunately don’t have a better picture to offer you.  However, this is a pretty accurate depiction of the hysteria taking place at this station!  It’s an old one but a good one, and it was funny to watch teams go all out.

Game #3: Balloon PopImage

Participants in this game each blew up a balloon and tied it to their ankle.  The teams then competed to pop each others balloons before having their own stomped on.  One special part about this particular event was watching teammates cheer on the other members (quite passionately!) after they got out.  Also a highlight:  watching all of the hopping-on-one-foot action that was going on.

Game #4: CinetronImage

Indonesian soap operas (Cinetron) are one of the more ridiculous things that I have ever seen.  I’m not sure whether the actors (if you’d like to award them with that title) in the show are better, or if the students and staff were more effective 🙂  To win points in this event, teams had to watch a clip, then invent and act out the ‘next scene’.

Game #5: Newspaper Dress UpImage

 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

We tend to be pretty innovative with our newspaper here!  To win this event, groups had to make a newspaper costume for one of their members.  There was a lot of excitement at this station, as groups worked to create something together.  One of the biggest laughs of the day originated here, too, when a group turned a maintenance worker into a mermaid!

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After we finished the games, we took time to say thank you to the staff and hand out sembako, a traditional gift that includes basic life necessities (in this case, oil, sugar, and rice).

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 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

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 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

Finally, we announced the winners.  Groups had come up with names in the beginning, and Group Gangnam (you just can’t get away from it!) won first place.  Celebratory dancing ensued.

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 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

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 Photo credit: Josephine and Sharlene

It was a great afternoon, celebrating our whole community here at SPH!

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