by Makayla (Mei-mei) Draper (Virginia)
Small group meets once a week and goes for about two hours.
My small group leader, Cheryl Kaye, started our time together by creating a bucket list. We threw several ideas around, bouncing them off each other before coming up with a solid list of ten things we wanted to achieve while at Semester. Some of the things we came up with include: making friendship bracelets, creating a secret handshake, going thrift shopping, and camping, but most importantly becoming the “allumette skater bois”.
A typical small group meeting for us begins with the routine three questions of “snappies,” “clappies,” and “crappies,” where we talk about our week and what we are looking forward to.
Snappies and crappies are the highs and lows of the week, whereas “clappies” are the things we look forward to most. We then move on to drawing questions from a hat. These questions ranged from being ether super crazy to thought-provoking questions that make you think hard about your life. Questions ranged from: “do you fold or wad up your toilet paper?” to “if you could go back in time and remember one thing from your past what would it be?” After getting to know each other through the hat questions, we move on to the assigned article. Each article has had a topic specifically chosen for that week. Whether piggybacking off class or simply speaking to the community needs at that moment, they were oftentimes applicable to us as a group and as individuals. The one that I remember best was by C. S. Lewis titled “The Inner Ring.” In it, Lewis voiced his opinion on cliques and the effects they have on our lives. This spoke to each of us, as we examined our own lives and the sense of not being “in” that everyone experiences at some point. The article brought peace, as it laid out the true nature of “cliques,” and insight as it explained why we gravitate towards them.
As a community, we were able to put the lessons into effect by being conscious of the issue, and intentional in avoiding it.
Small group is a time for community and place of growth. Being small and intimate, it provides a space to be real. And yet in the rawness and messiness, small groups call us up and counsel us through hard times. As we live life in the Semester community, small groups provide a way to develop the deep relationships key to growth. In a way, small groups are a sub-community that provides the foundation for the larger Summit Semester family.