As promised, a posting about the girls' cheerleading:
My oldest has been asking to "take cheerleading" for quite sometime. I have sort of ignored her request because I didn't know WHERE to have her "take cheerleading" and I wasn't sure that I wanted to encourage the fake smiles and the emphasis on being cute, etc.
But then I stumbled upon a cheerleading program run by a local church. It's called Upward Bound. The great thing about it is that it is run as part of the church's ministry so it focuses on spiritual development, self-esteem and character development.
The girls have practice one night a week; they learn new cheers and also have a small group discussion and learn a bible memory verse. Then each girl cheers at a game on Saturday. So far they LOVE it! They have cute uniforms (they were most excited about the hair-bows) and pom pons so it is the "real deal" as far as cheering goes. Each week after the games, each cheerleader is awarded a "star" to put on her megaphone. The stars represent different characteristics exhibited by the cheerleader. My youngest daughter seems to keep getting stars for the Most Spirited, i.e., LOUDEST cheerleader on her squad. I kid you not, I can hear that kid's voice more than I can hear anything else in the gym! The gym is full of parents, kids, coaches, etc. as there are 2 games being played simultaneously. And my daughter can yell above ALL THAT NOISE. I think she has found her niche. (And boy is she tired-out on game days!)
(Pictures will be coming in another posting.)