I believe our youth group would enjoy your company. Would you ever consider chaperoning with our youth leaders? This year we’re taking our kids to day-hike parts of the Appalachian Trail. Any interest?
Years ago, my minister friend, Bill, and I chaperoned the First Baptist youth group to Dollywood.
Chaperoning, I discovered, is brutal work. We spent nearly nine hours in a church van, driving Interstate 65. There were eighteen boys, ten girls, and three adults.
The ride basically went like this:
Boys took turns making aromas that were strong enough to stop a grown man’s heart—then rated their accomplishments on scales of one-to-ten.
The girls all huddled and sang songs which all contained pretty much the same lyrics:
“Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby…”
Bill was our driver, Miss Sandra was our acting warden. My job was to make idle threats and prevent unnecessary sinning.
I was good at my job I would threaten with things like:
“Quit touching him!”
seats with Allen!”
Or: “Roll down the windows before we all gag!”
Miss Sandra engaged kids in “constructive activities.” Drawing upon her training as an English major, she explained the finer points of poetry, meter, and literary symbolism to the kids. Then, we passed around notepads.
When the kids finished writing their own poems they recited them.
Miller Watkins recited:
“Roses are red,
Violets for the masses,
These youth chaperones,
Don’t know their heads from their…”
Thomas “Taterlog” Matthews also read his poem:
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I am his sheep,
Now pull this van over,
I have to take a major pee.”
When we arrived in Pigeon Forge, we stayed at a rundown motel that appeared to have been built during the late 1970’s.
I went into…