During my second volunteer year at StarShine, our high school girls’ Fashion and Etiquette Club was up and running. We had about eight girls who regularly attended the after school class. I was approached by several high school boys who wanted a similar club. I thought this was a great idea and decided that we would need a male volunteer to offer the program.
As always, a member of my church, St. Barnabas, agreed to give it a try. Tom had some ideas about what he would teach and they all sounded great. Like my girls’ club it was an after school program. Tom’s enthusiasm and the boy’s desire to learn things, that were not a part of their environment, got the class off to an exciting start.
One fun thing they learned was how to tie a necktie. Tom brought his own ties and each boy had a tie to experiment on. He ran a contest to see who could correctly put on the tie the fastest. The boys were meeting in the cafeteria and the girls were in the library at the same time and we could hear lots of laughter and good natured kidding.
After a few etiquette classes, Tom’s boys invited the girls to a pizza party in the cafeteria. Each boy came into the library and escorted a girl to the party and then served them. There was a lot of laughter and fun, but the most fun came when Tom and I tried to teach these mostly Latino high school kids how to dance the Jitterbug – now called Swing. Obviously, Tom and I had never danced together before, so I’m not sure who was doing the teaching.
The club was popular for a few months and then basketball season came upon us and most of the boys chose basketball over etiquette. It was disappointing to both Tom and I to have to disband the club.
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you would like them to. The girl’s club continued on for five years and I think at first they missed hearing the boys’ laughter in the next room. I’m still looking for a volunteer to take on this activity.
By Lois Jamieson
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