We finished November and started December with a second "Speak Out for Military Kids" media project. We had 8 boys participate in the project--6 were military and 2 were local. We began by playing games together and learning a little bit more about each other before we dove into the deep end discussing deployment. Through playing a game called "Truths," the boys were able to learn that military kids and local kids aren't all that different. For example, we found out that even the local kids weren't born in Hawaii, that most of them liked roller coasters, and they were all hesitant to admit to being afraid of the dark. The next game we played was a life-size board game (or rather room game!) called the Deployment Game. The boys took turns moving along the spaces, reading aloud different situations like "You get a surprise phone call from a loved one--move forward 2 spaces" or "You fail a math test due to stress--move back 1 space." Through the activities, they were able to feel a little more comfortable with each other and get ready for the tough part of talking about deployment the next day.
To make the task a little less nerve-wracking and more fun and interesting, we conducted the interviews and media portion of the project aboard the U.S.S. Missouri Battleship at Pearl Harbor. Thanks to the help of Chief Thompson, and education coordinators Dan and Neil, the boys were able to get some great interviews on the bow of the ship, and look around the ship for some "B-roll" (other clips to use for the movie). The boys asked each other questions like "What is deployment?," "How do you act different when your parent is deployed?," and "When going through tough times, what would make you feel supported by those around you?" Although some of the boys were camera-shy, they all warmed up and were able to talk about deployment in an honest and open way. It was a struggle at time to talk about the harder parts of deployment, but they were encouraged to be real because they knew that it would help other military kids feel less alone, and like the feelings they were experiencing were normal.
All in all, the youth had a great time putting together the project. Now comes the waiting part...editing always takes a lot longer than filming, so it'll take a little while to get the film finished and ready to watch. Of course, we'll post it up when it's finished! In the meantime, check out all the pics from the day in our Picasa album!