"Love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 22:39

"Love your neighbor as yourself" Matthew 22:39

Express Yourself Camps

Express Yourself Camps
During the year the LYN House will be offering camps designed for youth to gain new skills in a specialty area while simultaneously learning more about him or herself, gaining confidence and finding a new way to express oneself. Please email lynhouseinc@gmail.com for more information regarding these camps and volunteer opportunities.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Since our kids have two weeks off for spring break, we decided to have a photography II camp during the second week of spring break to give them something to do. This camp was offered to those who have already gone through our photography I, View Finder Project, class. This past week during camp we did four different lessons. The first lesson was Letters. We took the kids down to Mass Ave. to shoot. The object of the lesson was to spell out the LYN House, one letter in each photo. The catch was they could not use letters from signs, they had to create the letters from what they saw, so buildings, trees, bikes, man holes, etc. 

The second day we did shadows and reflections. They kids had to find interesting shadows, objects with shadows, and reflections, or things that reflected light, whether it be a full reflection(mirror like) or a partial in which light was just reflected back and made the object look shiny. 
The third day we a scavenger hunt at Crown Hill Cemetery. The kids had to use a map to find some items like where vice presidents were buried, use their deductive reasoning skills to find the highest point in the cemetery, and just keep their eyes peeled to find certain items like angel statues. After they found the items they were to experiment and take multiple photos of each item. 

The last day we did a macro lesson. Macro photography is essentially shooting a small part of something very close up, emphasizing detail, pattern, and texture. This lesson is very different than all the other lessons where they are looking at the whole, in this lesson they are taught to pick out one small spot of something, the small intricate details. This lesson forces kids to look at things a different way then they are used to, to take a different perspective.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Community Breakfast and Work Day

On Saturday, March 9th we had a community breakfast and work day. This is a start of a monthly community breakfast and work day we plan to do, to build community relationships and engage the neighborhood to be proactive in their community. We were blessed to have a service team visiting with us this weekend as well. The team helped prepare breakfast and interacted with the people of the neighborhood who came to participate with us. There was a good turnout for the breakfast and everyone enjoyed the egg casseroles, muffin bread, and bacon.

After the breakfast the service team worked along side the people of the community to help build the community garden, that will be used this coming year, along with clean up the street and work on First Free Methodist Church.  The garden will be open to all and will produce fresh fruits and vegetables. To prepare the garden space everyone had to pull weeds, dig trenches, even the ground, and lay cement blocks. Apart of all that hard labor some even had to mix manure and dirt together. STINKY! A lot of hard work was put in and the garden is almost ready to begin. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cooking Camp

The Christmas break can be long and boring for our kids so over the week of December 31st through January 3rd, LYN House held a cooking camp. This week was all about different types of comfort food.

On Day 1 a guest, Debbie Stephens, was brought in to help teach really easy ways of making different types of candy. The group was divided as they rotated around to each of the 4 stations that were set up. The first station was Peanut Butter Balls. The students got to mix ingredients together then roller the mixture into balls with their hands. They then proceeded to dip the balls into chocolate to coat them, making something similar to a Reese's. The second station was a gummy station. The kids got to mix ingredients together and then pour their mixture into molds with different shapes. After this candy was refrigerated you could take it out of the mold and it would be a candy much like gummy bears. We however but a little zing in our recipe to almost make sour gummies. Some were tended to be more tangy than others and many different faces were made when the kids tried the different flavors. Even director Heidi's face scrunched up when she tried the sour lemon lime gummies. The other two stations dealt with using melted chocolate. The kids made chocolate covered pretzels and made candy using fun shaped molds and colored chocolates to decorate. 

On Day 2 we had a healthy comfort food day as we made smoothies. There was discussion about the different ingredients and additives that can make smoothies healthy. The kids then were broken up into groups of 2 and were given a basic recipe for a smoothie and a list of items they could put in it. Each pair then created their own smoothie. Some had multiple fruits in their smoothie where others had chocolate and peanut butter. Everyone blended their smoothie and then got to try everyone else's concoction.

On Day 3 another guest was brought in to help. Joy Myers talked to the kids about making gourmet cupcakes as that is current trend right now. Joy passed around a booklet that had a bunch of different cupcakes in it which is where she has gotten some of her inspiration. The kids were then intrigued when they got to start making their cupcakes. They got to make s'mores cupcakes which had a piece of chocolate in the batter and had a marshmallow frosting and graham cracker crumbs on top. The second type was an applesauce cupcake in which they decorated with red frosting and stuck a piece of a pretzel in the top for a stem and hung a gummy worm out of the top to make it look like an apple. The s'mores cupcakes were decorated using a decorating bag and tips in which every child got to decorate the cupcakes using the bag. 

On Day 4 of camp pancakes were done, but not just any ordinary pancakes. The kids were broken into two groups and each group made 2 different types of pancakes. The kids were then blindfolded and Miss Hiedi and Miss Nicole brought around a piece of pancake to ever child to try. They then had to write in their journal about what they thought it was and rank them from 1-5. They got to try all 4 types: Banana, Pumpkin, Apple Cinnamon, and Veggie. YES a veggie pancake and surprisingly it was not the least liked. In making the pumpkin there was a measuring error made so the pumpkin was a little bitter. Oops! The kids learned a lesson in double checking and making the right measurements or your going to get something that's not quite so tasty.  

LYN House tries to incorporate multiple aspects to their camps and foster growth in numerous areas, so every day at some point in the day the children had to journal and/or draw about their thoughts, and use their creativity and imagination. There was also a lesson done each day in which Kwanza was introduced. The holiday its self was not what was highlighted but the principles that Kwanza revolves around. Th principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, co-operative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jobs for Life = Successful

Isaac Shaw with his graduation certificate 
Over the past four weeks we have done our Jobs for Life. We started with a few but only one continued  and finished the entire program. After Isaac Shaw (Pictured Right) finished the program he had a significant increase in self esteem, had more of an awareness of how to act and what to do with himself for interviews, and most of all the heightened sense of the responsibility he has to himself, his family, and to God.
"This course helped me get a job and taught me how to talk to other people so they understand what I'm saying."
 After 3 weeks of the Jobs for Life Class Isaac got an interview with a cleaning company, he loves to clean. He performed so well at his interview that the company hired him during the interview. Wow, Good Job Isaac!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

 During our LYN House's tutoring sessions we try to every once in a while have a day that the kids don't have to do anything academic and just relax and have a good time with their tutor and the other participants. We encourage activities such as this to create a bond between the kids and their tutors. On Halloween the tutoring program engaged in a fun activity day. On this day all the kids paired up with another student and their tutor to carve pumpkins. They had to use team work to empty the goo and seeds out of the pumpkins, design the type of face the pumpkin would have, and carve out  the face. After the pumpkins were finished they were put to good use for a booth at the 10th Street Halloween fest where trick or treaters got to see them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Fotography- Day 4

Photo by Andreis
Today during the View Finder Project we did a lesson on buildings. For this shoot we decided to take the kids downtown where there was a plethera of buildings all different shapes and sizes. We let them choose what they wanted to take pictures of having them keep in mind all of the principles and lessons that they had learned in previous days.

Photo by Sarah

After we got back from downtown the kids got to review their pictures. They then got to look at all of their pictures from all week and they got to pick out their favorites. Of these favorites they got to edit their photos, cropping, or increasing the saturation to enhance what they took.

Fall Fotography- Day 3

Photo by Isaac
The next lesson that the kids learned in View Finder Project was about shapes and patterns. We took the kids outside the neighborhood to a close by neighborhood that was a little older and nicer. They then had their eye out for shapes and patterns that they saw on the houses and on objects in the area. They were encouraged to look for shapes other than the obvious like square windows and doors. 

Photo by Sarah
After the kids spent time looking for interesting shapes and patterns they came back and discussed what types of things that shape them and what types of patterns or routines they have. They learned that they could modify their patterns and behaviors by controlling what types of things or who shapes and influences them. Proceeding they did an activity where they listed the kinds of things that they were good at and what they could do do make their neighborhood better. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Fotography- Day 2

Photo by Frankie
Today in the View Finder Project we finished talking about the "ugly" pictures they took and went on to talk about what is beautiful. A discussion was held  about how they view their world is all about their perception and they can choose whether they want to look at things in a negative or a positive way. The kids then proceeded to go out and take pictures of things in their neighborhood that they perceived to be beautiful. Many of the girls took pictures of things such as flowers and fall leaves, where they boys took pictures of things they thought were "COOL"  like spiders and fun graffiti.

Photo by Andreis
After reviewing their pictures and discussing their favorites, the fact that the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" was reemphasized. The kids did an activity where they drew a picture or wrote words to express what they liked about their neighborhood. Proceeding they wrote on sticky notes what they did not like and stuck them on the wall. It was discussed that the things they did not like were on sticky notes because they could be changed and were not permanent. The kids then threw out some ideas as to how they could fix some of the things they did not like in their neighborhood, like picking up trash.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Fotography

Photo by Andreis
Once again LYN House has began another View Finder Project during Fall Break.  Yesterday the kids kicked off the program with learning how to use their camera and learning some basics of how to take a good photograph. They all went out and practiced the basics that they learned in class.  The students were allowed to go out and take pictures of whatever they wanted as long as they practiced the basic principles such as filling the frame, taking multiple angles, and the rule of thirds.

Photo by Rashaun

After they practiced using their cameras they discussed the things in their neighborhood that they thought were ugly. They then proceeded to go out and photograph those things that they perceived to be "ugly" in their neighborhood. After reviewing their pictures on the computer a short devotional was done about the 10 leapers. The kids then listened to a song called You See by Johnathan David Hessler that talks about the difference between the way we see things and the way God sees things. While they listened to the song all the kids drew a picture about anything they were inspired to draw after learning the lesson and listening to the song.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Celebrating the Summer and Looking Forward to the Future

The end of July marked the end of our "express yourself" camps.  On August 3rd, we gathered at the Made for Each Other Art Gallery on the near Eastside to celebrate another year of successful summer camps.  If you did not get to make it the display will be up until the end of the month.

First of all as I Director I want to thank all of you who made it possible for us to have a successful summer.  We were able to raise all the funds possible to conduct six different camp experiences.  We had over 60 children attend our camps and 13 of those students were new to the LYN House.  All of the students would tell you that they had a blast!

Now that the summer has come to an end we are ready to start a new year of tutoring. This year of tutoring is going to be extra special!  Starting September 13th we will be welcoming Nicole Stephens as our new employee.  Nicole is a Public Ally with Americorp and will spend 10 months with us as Program Coordinator.  With the help of Nicole we will be able to offer our "express yourself" camps during fall and spring break and more enrichment experiences for teens.  Nicole will also help us improve our adult programming.

We look forward to the start of a new season at LYN House.  Please continue to follow this blog as we update it with events, stories, and all that is going on at LYN House.  God Bless!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Creative Writing Camp- Day 2

Day 2 of Creative Writing camp was all about inspiration. Mr. Maurice began our day with another fun activity. Everyone got a piece of paper and wrote a sentence down. Once they were done they passed the paper to their right and the next person would add a sentence to create a story. At the end we shared our silly creations. This exercise taught the kids to be creative, to write with no boundaries, and to think outside the box.

Next, each student got a camera and was put into a group. Their goal was to go outside in the neighborhood and take pictures of anything that caught their eye. And then they were to come back and write a short story about one of the pictures that inspired them. The kids did just that. At the LYN House they chose one picture and began writing. Everyone’s story was different, unique, and exciting.

To end the day students got back in their story groups to continue what they started the day before. They all worked hard on making their story more detailed. The kids worked with a lot of enthusiasm on this second day of writing camp. They learned how to be inspired by the environment around them and realized that a simple picture can turn into an enthralling story.  

Taking some photos!

Andreis' photo

Writing away

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creative Writing Camp- Day 1

Tuesday was our first day of creative writing camp. Our special guest for the week is Maurice Broaddus who has written several books. Mr. Maurice explained to the kids that this week they would learn how to create a character, learn what a plot is, and discover what it takes to write a successful story. To get our imaginations ready Mr. Maurice gave us a silly activity. We each drew the head of whatever we wanted on a piece of paper and folded it over; the person to our left drew a body and folded it over; the next person drew legs and feet. We then unfolded the paper to see our crazy creations!

After the exercise it was time to create a character for a story. Before the kids started writing down their ideas they shared what they thought were important characteristics for a main character to have. With that in mind the young writers began to create a character. Each character needed a detailed recording of who they are, what they look like, what they wear, who they live with, their motives, and much more. The kids did a great job being detailed with their descriptions of their character, and some even began to draw a picture of what this person would look like.

The students were then divided into groups to work on a collaborative story. Some of them used one of their own characters, and others combined their characters’ traits to make a new one. At the end of the day everyone got back together to share their newly written stories. The kids did a great job for their first day of Creative Writing camp. They used their imaginations, worked with others, and really used their minds to create something they have never done before.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kid's Kitchen Africa!

Yesterday was our last Kid’s Kitchen. We ended the summer- long experience with a day devoted to Africa. Pastor Martha was our special guest. It seemed only right to have her come share her stories about Africa because she and her husband lived there for 40 years! Before Pastor Martha took the floor we had a devotion. We talked about the Great Commission and what Jesus told us to do. Children learned that it is our duty as followers of God to go out into the world and teach people about God’s love. Matthew 28: 19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We then took the time to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in other countries all around the world. Pastor Martha then began to tell us about her ministries in Africa. She shared a lot about the children in Africa and how their lives differ from our lives in America. She explained that kids in Africa don’t get three meals a day, and if they are lucky they get one meal right before bed. The kids also learned that students have to walk miles and miles just to get to school, and they rarely complain about it. The kids were shocked to hear that!

It was time to begin our cooking. Pastor Martha told us that we were going to make peanut butter soup! The kids chopped up the vegetables and we headed to the kitchen. The vegetables and water were added to a hot pot. While the food was cooking Pastor Martha shared her photos from Africa. The kids had a wonderful time getting to see a glance of life in Africa. After the vegetables were ready we added a jar of peanut butter and some rice. Time to eat! The kids set the table and waited to be served. Everyone tried the soup and surprisingly most kids liked it! We ended the day writing in our journals, and each cook got to make a special scrapbook page to take home with them.

This last Kid’s Kitchen was a great one. The kids learned to pray for others around the world, experienced what life in Africa is like, and tried something new to eat! Kid’s Kitchen has been a fun experience this summer, and we want to thank all who came out and helped our little chefs!

Pastor Martha sharing her photos from Africa

Mixing in the peanut butter

Trying the soup

Yummy peanut butter soup!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mural Art Camp - Last Day & Reveal Party

Friday, July 13, was the perfect last day for our Art Camp.  After sharing a snack together, we learned about the fourth theme to our mural.  The themes for the first three sections were:
           1)      “Build houses and settle down;”  Jeremiah 29:5a
           2)      “Plant gardens and eat what they produce.”  Jeremiah 29:5b
           3)       “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you”  Jeremiah 29:7
And our fourth theme….
           4)      “I will gather you from all nations and places…” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I carried you.”
All of these themes are from the Bible on building community.  The fourth theme, the students learned, is all about God calling all peoples, from all backgrounds, to build community together wherever they are.  Mr. Andrew and Amir would be working all that day to put final touches on the mural, so we all made some fun art projects inside.  One of our special crafts for the day was making people from all nations and places out of paper dolls, crayons, fabric, felt, and yarn.  Each child made two people – one to take home with them, and one to place on the LYN House wall to be a part of a ‘community.’  The kids also had fun creating a scrapbook page as a memento of their week at Art Camp. 
The rest of the day was used to prepare for our Mural Reveal Party!  Parents, family, and friends all turned out to celebrate the unveiling of the mural our kids had worked so hard to complete that week.  Cake, popcorn, and lemonade was served to welcome everyone; then we all made our way to the community garden to see the wall.  Four of the students were chosen to each read the verse/theme for each section of the wall as it was unveiled.  The kids all took great pride in what they had accomplished, and the mural looks beautiful!!    

 The unveiling...
“Build houses and settle down;”  Jeremiah 29:5a
 “Plant gardens and eat what they produce.”  Jeremiah 29:5b
 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you”  Jeremiah 29:7
  “I will gather you from all nations and places…” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from which I carried you.”
 The artists of the week!!!

Kid's Kitchen Herbal Walk and Tea!

Yesterday, 10 Kids Kitchen participants learned all about herbs! Our special guest was Mr. Greg, who works at Pogue’s Run. Mr. Greg is also an herbalist and he grows his very own plants and herbs. He came to the LYN House to teach us about herbs and to take us on a walk to show what kind of plants we can eat and use to cook with that are in our own community. Before we began the herbal experience we discussed as a group what kind of abilities herbs have and had a devotion. Kids shared how some plants can heal cuts, some herbs can be made into teas, and some help with our sunburns. This led us into our devotion about how Jesus is a healer. Kids listened to a few stories from Matthew 8 about how Jesus healed a leper and Peter’s mother-in-law from a terrible fever. Herbs and teas may help us feel better, but Jesus is the true healer. He can perform miracles, he makes us feel better when we are ill, and we makes us feel very special.

                Next, it was time for the herbal walk! Mr. Greg took us to our own community garden. He pointed our numerous herbs that were growing wild in and around our garden. He also explained how each herb can help us. Some of them could be used as lotion, another herb is eaten because it helps the brain, and others are good for keeping our bodies healthy. During our walk kids recorded the different types of herbs and drew what they looked like in their journals. After we made our way through the garden it was time to head back inside and make some tea. Mr. Greg took some herbs that he found outside in our community and also from his herbal farm. He chopped the herbs, placed them in hot water, let them soak, and then poured the tea over ice to make cold tea. Everyone got to try the cold tea. While we drank the tea we enjoyed some tasty English biscuits and the kids recorded their thoughts and ideas in their journals.

Today the kids learned that herbs may have the ability to make us feel better and enhance our health, but that Jesus is the one and only healer who loves us, performs miracles, and saves us from our sins.