Rolling with the Punches

I think that those of us who work with kids can agree that flexibility is key.  The more we roll with the punches and adapt to changes, glitches and disasters big and small, the more fun we and the kids can have.

Although unexpected mini-disasters happen no matter how much we plan, the one that sticks in my mind happened a few years ago.  At a former job, we worked closely with our Parks and Rec Dept to schedule and host a series of performers at one of the park shelters.  On the day that one of these performances coincided with the big city-wide "Kiddie Karnival" parks celebration, a sharp-eyed staffer was double-checking the Parks schedule. To her horror, she noticed the Karnival was actually scheduled for the following week.

There was much hasty calling our park buddies (oops, they changed the date in spring and forgot to tell us and the shelter stage was booked by another group); recommending affordable performers for them to book for the Karnival next week; arrangements and explanations for the public who were expecting a concert and Karnival; strategizing where to have our singer within the park.  And while all this was happening thunderstorms were predicted for that night.

In the end, the concert went off without a hitch.  Our singer graciously set up outdoors. The rain held off to only a few drops.  The lack of a karnival was taken in stride (after all, it was something to look forward to the following week) and the families easily adapted to no park benches to sit on - hatching lawn chairs and blankets from their vehicles when we explained the glitch.  Everyone laughed, danced, sang and enjoyed a great event.

Because we didn't sweat the small stuff ("Who's to blame for this?", "Oh no, this isn't what we planned!"), the whole process was just another "day in the life" for the Children's staffers...and our public just thought, "Hey, another home run by that library!"

Image: 'Making a snowman'   http://www.flickr.com/photos/45940879@N04/5509506804

No comments:

Post a Comment