So, last month, I signed up to be a nursery volunteer at church. I have been wanting to start volunteering more, but I picked working in the church nursery first because I want to be able to stay in the nursery with Andy to help him get used to being in there. His separation anxiety is really bad right now, and I would like to get to the point where Matt and I can sit through church service and know that Andy isn't screaming his head off in the nursery. (As long as I don't leave him anywhere with people he doesn't know... he is a GREAT kid! No complaints!)
So, a few weeks ago, I went and shadowed (without Andy) during the 9:00 a.m. service. I actually had a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to working in there. Apparently I will be the only volunteer right now. The Church actually has paid staff in the nursery during the Sunday services. I have volunteered to work if they need me to fill in for any of the paid staff, or if they have the nursery open on a week night for a special service. Otherwise, I'll just be in there during the 9:00 a.m. service on Sundays... for now... until Andy decides that having Mom around is overrated and I can go sit with Matt inside the church!
Anyway, in order to work in the nursery, I had to take some online training classes on abuse prevention. This took waaaaaaay longer than I thought! It took me two hours this afternoon to get through all 4 classes (complete with quizzes). And I have to say... although necessary... they weren't very enjoyable. They were actually pretty disturbing. Listening to a convicted child molester tell his story is uncomfortable. Listening to children who were abused tell their stories was heart breaking. But maybe the most disturbing thing I learned was that only 3% of child abusers are ever caught and convicted. THREE PERCENT??!!! That statistic was just insane to me. So, although a lot of the training seemed like common sense stuff, there was a lot of good (although scary) information to learn.
The last time I had to go through any kind of volunteer training was ten years ago when I was still a senior in college. Before I got my first post grad job at the South Carolina Aquarium, I was an animal husbandry volunteer. THAT volunteer training (although super long) was a lot of fun! Especially since I was doing it with a bunch of my friends from my marine biology classes! Good times. Today, my training took place on my couch while fighting to keep from drifting off into a nice little nap. Sigh.... my life sure has changed in ten years!