For the last few years, Caitlin, a student at Mohawk Elementary in Richardson, Texas, had seen kids attending KiDs Beach Club® every Friday afternoon each spring semester at her elementary school. Because she was not yet in third grade, she was upset she could not take part, and counted down the days until she was old enough to attend Beach Club herself.
Fast forward to this year. Caitlin came home from school elated that she was finally old enough to attend KiDs Beach Club®. With a permission slip in hand, Caitlin asked her mom if she could sign up. Her mother Katherine Criswell immediately agreed and Caitlin was set to participate.
About an hour later, Caitlin came back to her mother with a question. “You know what mom?” she asked. “Could you come with me?”
Her mother Katherine wanted clarification, “Just like, for the first time?”
“No, it would be really neat if you were there, experiencing club like I’m experiencing it,” Criswell remembers Caitlin saying.
Criswell decided to look into what was involved with volunteering at Beach Club and what the commitment entailed. She quickly decided it was an awesome opportunity to be at the school teaching kids the Bible. But, she wanted to make sure her daughter really wanted her to be there. Caitlin insisted her mother come to Beach Club to have that same experience as her, just not too close in her same small group.
When Criswell got to Beach Club for the first time, she was assigned to be the Surf Team leader for third grade boys. A mom of two girls, at first she was at a loss about how to connect and understand these boys.
“God uses me best when I’m not in control,” Criswell emphasized.
It has been a great experience for her to be open and humble, letting God lead their time together. She considers it a joy for her to see these relationships grow and continue to develop. Criswell described the boys in her Surf Team as having diverse backgrounds. Some boys have great biblical knowledge while others do not know what a Bible is or what verses are.
It has been great for Criswell to invest in what she jokingly refers to as “future dating material” for her daughters. If she can encourage these boys to find a foundation in Jesus at an early age, then hopefully they will become great young men.
“What a great opportunity to build into these boys to be lights for Christ,” she said.
Criswell encourages others to volunteer in KiDs Beach Club® because, “If you’re given an opportunity to lead and teach and love on kids, especially in elementary school where they are just developing and figuring out who they are initially, this is the best time to get in and build those relationships now.
“All you have to do is have a willing heart, an excitement to build into kids that are in elementary school and just show up. You can just show up and impact these kids and the future of these kids’ lives.”
Published on Mar 29 @ 2:43 PM CDT