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Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
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I'm not sure how "quietly" I will go insane... just ask hubby... couldn't sleep last night, so I started yelling at him in bed at 2 am..... Smart man as he just lay there and let me get it all of my chest... He has yet to say anything to me this morning.... which, is a good thing since I don't like to communicate while waking up....
We are starting a non-profit in Southeastern rural Oklahoma... The county where we bought the land is typically the poorest county... Minimum wage is $7.25/hr.... Oklahoma just voted down a teacher pay raise ... this is on top of the fact that Okla. doesn't have enough money to keep schools open 5 days a week (4 day school week)... There are a couple of state parks around us that used to be free that are now $5.00/day to get in... That's just great, so the ONE thing they could do for free was to swim in a roped off area of the lake and now they can't even do that.... The city is only 800 people, there are very few jobs, no fast food places, no movie theater (and how often could they afford to go anyway?).... There are several Church camps but they are at least $100/kid and only for a week.... $100/wk is actually cheap but, that's relative if you only make $15,000/yr....
We have 34 acres up the side of one of the Kiamichi (I always spell that wrong) foothills.... We made about 4 acres of it to where it can be mowed and even turned one of the sheds into a guest house... (which you can see using this link: https://evolvevacationrental.com/368135.... NOT advertising the cabin... just giving you an idea of the land)..... To the right of the buffalo, is the 30 or so acres we want to develop into a challenge course/educational area.... The "plan" is to do this in phases starting with low elements for Grades 3 through 7..... In Okla, you don't have to wear a helmet for elements less than 10 ft. off the ground... but, considering the ground is nothing but ROCKS, there is no way in Hell I'm letting a 7 year old get up on an element 10 ft off the ground without a helmet or safety harness.... and considering each helmet is $65, we are planning on keeping the elements no higher than 3 ft off the ground...
I am overwhelmed by all the information on non-profits and was looking for a place to chat with someone else going through all these early growing pains.... I have found blogs, but they are all posts from people who have their non-profits up and running... From what I understand, it takes about a year to get your non-profit status so, we don't even plan to open till April 2019....
We've talked to several people from all walks of life... we already had a relationship with the head woman on the Tourism board for Okla who got us in touch with a great lawyer who only does non-profits.... The Superintendent of the School District is on our Board, as is the Police Chief who has been bugging us for the past couple of years that these kids need SOMEthing while looking at our untouched land (hint, hint)... We are meeting with a large group of organized kids from the Choctaw nation next month.... Meeting with a guy from Challenge Quest in Tulsa next month to go over my sketches of what types of elements I want to start with.... Also meeting with all the teachers at the end of next month to get their thoughts on my idea to combine their curriculum with our elements and activities for a volunteer school day on Fridays....
The Police Chief rounded up over 30 people about a year ago that were either making meth or distributing it... JUST in that area... There are over 200 kids in foster care, who I imagine their parents are either in rehab or jail related to meth.... The surrounding counties are in the same boat... Poverty level off the charts, meth is a HUGE problem, schools are underfunded... so much feels like an uphill battle .... which... as long as my head was in the sand, I was blissfully unaware of just how dire the situation was for over half the kids in that county and surrounding counties....
Hubby is 1,000% behind this project, eating and sleeping it 24/7... while I have my highs and lows. last night being one of my lows thinking we are just in WAY over our heads on this... The problems these kids face are just too much to deal with.... I read just about every research article out there on the effectiveness of challenge courses on long-term behavioral changes in youth....needs to be a combination of (1) high and low elements, (2) involve problem solving/critical thinking skills (it can't just be as simple as going from point A to point B - you need to engage the brain - how AM I going to get from point A to point B?).. (3) group participation and (4) involve risk taking.... Even though I'm armed with knowledge and can "see" how it could all be pulled together to offer kids a free positive experience that has the potential for changing lives....I also see so many obstacles... For example: you have welfare mothers who I have been told by other parents, WILLFULLY and DELIBERATELY wanting their kids to FAIL in school so they can go on subsidies... Which makes me wonder, if the kids who need it the most are discouraged by their parents in participating, just how helpful will it be?
My parents wanted me to succeed, I don't have any experience with parents who want their children to fail.... I can't wrap my head around that "logic"... Every one we've talked to, has the same mind set as we do and are thrilled about the project... but, their kids are not the ones who are at risk... The at risk kids are the ones whose parents may fight us tooth and nail... and being a SMALL small town, it comes with all the issues of a small town, namely gossip... Who in their right mind thinks their kid has done "nothing wrong" when they are selling a "little" meth?? WHAT THE ???...
And now, you are sorry you asked.... HAHAHAHAHA...... no, I just needed a sounding board and the woman on our Board I was commiserating with, had a bona fide nervous breakdown last week soooooo, I don't want to add to her plate... she was the only one I felt I could express my concerns to without someone thinking, I'm giving up... which I'm not... I'm just..... STREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSED..... and when I'm not stressed, I'm FREAKING OUT.... not eating right, not sleeping right....I was perfectly content to have my head in the sand till that Florida shooting... for whatever reason, that was the turning point for me... I realized I was just as disengaged from our youth (since my kids are in their 30's) as anyone else who'd raised their kids and just wanted to retire to a QUIET, UNEVENTFUL life... how are these at risk kids my problem?.... well, isn't it?.... isn't it the kids who are left behind the ones who are at the most risk of "acting out"?.... Doesn't it take a village to raise healthy, productive kids?... If we have resources, motivation, and a vision, shouldn't we act on it? .... I just wish I was as blissfully p
Okay, I'll sort this out and start a thread devoted to it.
Now breathe... and possibly invest in a punching bag.
"Money talks, but all it says around me is 'Goodbye.'"
Mine just says "Wine again? Really?"