Kids Work Together on Take Your Child to Work Day

Posted on Jul 3rd 2019 by Marilyn Young

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Children brighten up any room. Imagine the effect about 250 can have. That’s how many were signed up for Tuesday’s Take Your Child to Work Day events at Florida Blue’s Deerwood Creek Campus. The day started with breakfast where Chief Human Resources Officer Amy Ruth, armed with a microphone, went to several tables, answering questions from the kids. How do you get so precise with your numbers? I’m that good, she joked.

How long has Sunny (Florida Blue’s mascot) been here? Since 2013.

Ruth asked some questions, too, including to the child of a woman who works here.

“Does she like her job?” Ruth asked.

No answer from the child.

“We have a future politician here,” Ruth joked.

Children then went with their parents to learn about what they do, before participating in their group activities. Florida Blue is among the countless companies nationwide who take part in the annual Take Your Child to Work Day, giving children the chance to learn about what their parents do for a living.

First up for one group of children was a serious decision: What to have for lunch.

When a father suggested rutabagas, his young daughter was having none of that. She playfully covered his mouth and said, “You can’t speak.”

Ultimately, Chick-fil-A beat out pizza in a close vote.

Lunch was still a couple of hours away, time that would be filled with an activity that showcased their creativity, teamwork and ingenuity. The mission was clear: “Design the best, coolest golf course … interesting enough for people to play it.”

Each team followed that to the letter. The lone caveat was they could only use the materials in the boxes given to them, which were identical for each team. That quickly went out the window, as the kids began scouring a recently vacated for supplies to make their golf holes even more interesting for people to play.

A plastic chair runner became a burrito hole. Pieces of disassembled cubicles were used as ramps and runways.

A garbage can was transformed into what 9-year-old William described as a “half unicorn, half monster, half trash can.”

But, wait. That’s three halves, William was told.

“Exactly,” his teammate Aaron, 13, joked. “That’s math.”

One overachieving team decided to create three holes. Or as 7-year-old Victoria explained, “When you come to our place that we builded, you have to play one practice round and two rounds.”

At the end of the practice round was the robot that Justin, 9, masterfully created from a small trophy, two forks, a paper cup and a red gift bow.

“The one rule of the game is you can’t knock down the robot,” he announced.

As Makena’s team was working on its golf hole, she suddenly realized something was missing. “OK, we need a falling snake,” she said, then proceeded to make one.

Makena, 9, also made signs on masking tape to let people know the name of their hole (Falling Hazard! Danger) and to warn them to be careful around the team’s haphazard structure of long metal cubicle pieces propped on a chair against the wall.

As they were building that part of the course, Nick, 15. told his teammates to put the chair into the “timeout position.” For some reason, they instinctively knew that meant facing toward the wall.

Each team then did a walking tour of their creations, including explaining the hazards they had installed – water holes, sand traps and, of course, a falling snake. Then they got to try out the holes built by the other teams. There were plenty of fans for the burrito hole, which several of the smaller children enjoyed crawling through more than using it to play golf.

However, Makena celebrated when she successfully hit the golf ball into the burrito hole after a few. “Yes! Success finally into the hole,” she said.

Many thought the course with three holes was the best because it was the most playable.

“Most were well-oiled machines,” Nick said. “But ours was just put together.”

As the crew was waiting for lunch in a conference room, Nick easily figured out how to work the video equipment and project scenes from around the room on the screen. Once others saw what was happening, they waved, made faces and pointed at each other.

As the children talked about building their golf holes, Victoria said she was happy they “got to use our engineer skills to build our amazing works of art.”

Antoine said if he had stayed home, he would have been playing video games. Building the golf course was probably better for him, Antoine said, because “it didn’t kill my brain cells.”

Even the older children had fun.

As Kennedy, 12, walked to lunch after the team activity, she said, “I had so much fun. I’m actually kind of glad I came.”


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Marilyn Young

Marilyn Young spent more than 30 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining Florida Blue.

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