So I got back from Schoolies on Saturday. We left last Thursday night and drove 10 hours up to Surfer’s Paradise in Queensland. Schoolies is pretty much like Spring Break in the States, but it’s for kids graduating from high school. They come up to Surfer’s after their final 3-week exams and party 24/7.
We worked with the Red Frogs, a hotel chaplaincy program. Our job was mainly to take care of the Schoolies, which sometimes meant walking a girl back to her hotel if she needed it or calming down the friends of a kid who passed out from drinking too much. One of our first nights we were hanging out at 2am in front of Maccas (McDonald’s) and a girl wearing a giant sombrero who had been staggering around for ten minutes finally passed out, throwing up on her way down. As a Red Frog I leaped into action by grabbing some napkins and wiping her face, pulling vomit out of her hair, and pouring water into her mouth. Our last night I gave one of the schoolies we met some ibuprofen and sympathy because he got his face bashed in by some random guys on the beach.
But mostly the Schoolies would just call us up to their rooms to make them pancakes, which we did. It was so fun and we had so many opportunites to have really great conversations and to show these kids that God is real to us and has shown His love to us in so many ways, and that He loves them that much, too.
Here are some random highlights from Schoolies week:
– My team: Robbie, Jeremiah (JJ), and Becca (Kebab-face)…oh, and I guess David Norris sometimes too. I couldn’t have asked for a better team, and after seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly of my personality they were still there for me! Dancing, talking in funny accents, doing crazy walks…go Team Kebab!
-Making pancakes for Davey and crew in a freaking camper parked on the Esplanade. The most ridiculous thing was that those were the best pancakes of the week, maybe because Nutella was one of the three foods kept in Davey’s van (cereal and beer were the others).
-Watching the sunrise almost every morning at the end of our shift, usually from Nat, Reese, Andy, and Ben’s room.
-How EVERY SINGLE schoolie who met Jeremiah would automatically start singing, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog!” The clever ones changed it to “Jeremiah was a Red Frog!”
-Crazy talks with Becca as we wound down for the night after our shift…usually around 4 or 4:30am. Also, all of our “girl talk” in front of Jeremiah and Robbie.
-Our free Thai chicken meat pies that first night.
-Bugging David Norris (and many, many others) with Becca…it’s only awkward if you make it awkward!
-Dancing on the Red Frog stage in front of hundreds of schoolies on our first night…the second night was cool, too, except dancing for 6 hours straight gets kind of old…But it was pretty sweet when it started pouring rain and all the kids were still totally into it.
-Coke Zero and free Starbucks.
-Schoolies yelling “Red Frogs!” to us as we walked down the street.
-Trying to open a baked beans can with various utensils because the can opener was broken…then eating beans on toast at 2am and having a dance party to Mika “Love Today” immediately afterward!
-Living in an condo/hotel room with only five other girls…with two whole bathrooms to ourselves, AND our own kitchen! It was really tough to go back to Lewis House!
-Kebabs. Especially the free one I got on our last night…I think the guy liked me because I said hommous with an accent.
-Sitting on our balcony every morning, watching the ocean, eating my cereal, reading my Bible and journaling and not having anywhere to be for hours…and enjoying more quiet and solitude than is even possible at Lewis House.
-All the schoolies we met and fell in love with: Steph, Mel and Mel, Maddie, Eve, Elise, Sally, Ritchie, Ben, Reese, Courtney, Laura, Andy, Brody, and especially Nat!
-Macadamia Caramel gelato from Gelatissimo. Yessss….