So the past couple weeks have been insanely busy. First the girls both had theater camp. It's just a program through our park district run by the wonderful lady. The purpose of the program is to give everyone a chance to be on stage. Curly has been doing programs with her for several years, but it was Bear's first time. They both did well and had a great time although I think Curly has outgrown the program to some extent.
This past week Curly has another theater camp. The camp was a 45 minute drive from our house which presented a challenge just in getting her there. Bear still had physical therapy and gymnastics, and so, even with my Mom's help, I spent the week feeling like a taxi driver. I put over 600 miles on my car in one week. That is CRAZY.
As for the camp... It was put on by Christian Youth Theater. Yeah, I know that doesn't sound like us. I was a bit wary, and John didn't like the idea at all. However, CYT puts on some of the best children's productions. Curly is interested in doing more theater, ang so I figured this would be a good litmus test without a long commitment. As it turns out I am glad we went that route. Before the first day I talked to Curly about what to do when the "religious stuff" went on. I likened it to going to dinner at someone's house. When they serve you a meal that seems "weird"; you are polite and respectful. Likewise when the group starts to pray you bow your head and keep quiet. I told her that they may even have church services. I really thought I had my bases covered...
The first day when I picked her up Curly was really upset. Apparently what was listed as "team time" on the brochure was actually a brainwashing session. Now I have no problem with my kids learning about all kinds of belief systems. How else will they develop their own beliefs. The problem was that the conversation revolved around convincing non-believers to become Christians, and equating paganism to satanism. The huge quantity of misinformation given in one short hour was staggering.
So I spent the rest of Monday trying to explain away the damage without condeming Christianity. See that's the problem I always have. Even though I am not a Christian, I think everyone should be able to come to their own conclusion. I don't think there is a right and wrong way to believe. I think people who feel better with God in their life should have him there. Unfortunately many other people on every side of the religion issue don't agree with me. They spend their time calling each other names and judging each other. The discussion on Monday was a very personal example for Curly, and I had to make sure that it wasn't typical of all Christians. In the end we ended up discussing things that wouldn't have come up in any other way. So I guess it was a good thing.
Also, as it turns out the leader of "team talk" on Monday was just an overzealous teenager. The talks for the rest of the week were more respectful and tolerant. There was still a lot of praying and pointing to the sky. They still told the kids to practice their lines every night because Jesus wants them to, and I overheard a mother tell her son to not stand on the couch in the waiting room because God picked it out himself. But overall, it was an ok experience. We have no plans to send Curly to anything else run by CYT, but we did survive this one.