Robin Hoke has been a single teaching mom at BGC for eight months. She parents 16 junior high and high school girls in the Watford Cottage and Cottage 2. She is a senior at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, taking online classes. Robin shares about her experience at Boys and Girls Country below.
When I accepted the job as single teaching parent, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God called me here. I also knew it would be hard, but it’s been hard in different ways than I could have known. I came here grieving over leaving a sweet family I had nannied with for three years who moved out of state. God has used BGC to heal that grief and has given me 16 girls to love! I am growing every day and learning about balance, forgiveness, grace, and community.
From the beginning, it was challenging to work with two different sets of girls. Even though it started out difficult to ‘toggle’ between two cottages, I love that I get to teach and love on 16 girls instead of just eight. Another challenge has been co-parenting. Being assigned to a cottage and a partner can be daunting because you really have no idea who your partner will be and if you have compatible parenting styles. I am so happy and incredibly blessed that I have the most amazing partners and teams in both my cottages.
When these girls became “my girls” and every coworker here became “family” I knew I was right where I am supposed to be. I just want the world to know how amazing my girls are. I am grateful for the love and support of those around me and for being able to see God transform the hearts of the kids here.
Among my favorite memories was our cottage vacation this summer. Routines were set aside and to do lists didn’t exist. There was loud obnoxious singing on the way to San Antonio. There was rolling laughter and shenanigans during downtime. The girls exercised great teamwork while trying to escape the zombie room. There were screams and funny pictures as they braved roller coasters at Fiesta, Texas. I saw girls conquer their fears on the rope swing, high slide, and in the cold deep waters at Landa Park. They told stories as they relaxed before bedtime. I loved seeing them let their guards down and have the time of their life!
The hardest moments are when my girls are struggling. These precious ones have been through so much and sometimes, even when you want to, you can’t rescue them – not from themselves, not from their fears, not from their lot in life. When I watch them take disappointment so hard or when they make the same mistakes over and over again, all I can do is pray and keep on loving them. Personally, I am not able to see my friends and family as much as I would like, but they are very understanding. God is definitely teaching me that my strength comes from Him. He will help me do well in my classes this semester, balance self-care and spending quality time with my family and be the best teaching parent I can be to my sweet girls at BGC.
What I want everyone to know about Boys and Girls Country is that this place is amazing. These kids are precious. They have gone through so much but oh, are they resilient and special! God has such incredible plans for each one. If I could have my way, everyone I know would be involved here. There is so much that donors can do to invest in the lives of these kids. And each volunteer is SO blessed by taking part in these kids’ lives!