This month’s “Wednesday Words” contributor  is the ubiquitous Mrs. Bella Philmore. 
     For those of you not “in the know” a short explanation may be necessary!
    Mrs. Philmore has long been an “unseen” presence in the world of Day Camps and is most omnipresent during the week of our Training Retreat.
    In fact, Mrs. Philmore is a figment of my imagination, a sort of alter-ego character whose particular contribution to the training of Day Camp Teams lies in her persnicketty obsession with all matters of etiquette.
    It is amusing to see how the new crop of Team Members is always strung along by the returnees, who frequently ask about Mrs. Philmore and who tell the newbies that she will be visiting throughout the Retreat Week.
    All of which illusion seems to go a long way to hammer home some lessons in good manners and etiquette in a more palatable way than through “straight up” criticism!
    Today, Mrs. Philmore shares with us some reflections on the Retreat, with a special focus on the Thank You Notes which several thoughtful Team members penned to her alter-ago, aka-me!



       Greetings Dear Readers, Bella Philmore here.

        I’m still not sure I quite understand this whole “Blog” thing but I have been assured that if I send along my little message penned on fulscap, someone will enter it on the computer.
      I have been ask to offer a few reflections on the recent Training Retreat…

     We had a very nice crop of young people this year.
     I was very pleased to see that, right from the start, they left there street shoes tidily by the front door and did not stomp around the building leaving muddy footprints.
     We enjoyed some spirited meal time talk and I seldom had to ask them to moderate their voices to a  level more suitable for the dinner table. I also offered suggestions on appropriate topics of conversation such as:- “the weather”.
     As usual it was necessary to remind the dears to unfold and place their table napkins on their laps at the beginning of our meals but I found that a refined “ahem” or a clearing of the throat  worked wonders in getting them to comply with alacrity.
    
It was also gratifying to see them willing to try new foods from 
variety of cultures and I provided them with a number of  phrases
which they might put to good use at the dinner table when asking the
chef the name of the dish being offered; remarks such as “What’s this?”
not being too favourably received by most chefs.

 At the end of our week together three lovely Thank you notes were given to us which warmed my heart and gave  hope that similar epistles  will be left on the pillows of Team Members as they depart from the homes of their billets throughout the coming Weeks.
I was particularly touched by one or two comments such  as:-

 “Thank you so much for all the planning you do, cooking for around 20 people at each meal and being strict with us” 
    There, isn’t that lovely? young people do actually appreciate rules!!

 

 And:-
  “Thank you so much for the Retreat Week, it was very Educational”
 

 Since I notoriously frown on “FUN” it is excellent to see that one young person enjoyed the educational aspects of the Week!

    All in all I think this group of young ones will be a credit to Crosstalk Ministries and good ambassadors for the Lord. I firmly hope that my little reminders and suggestions will help to smooth their paths particularly in the homes of their billets and also in the future. After all, good manners go a long way!
                                                                                            Respectfully,  Bella Philmore