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JUGHEADS began way back in Ninety-Four;
Ten kids, one club and a Coach—nothing more.
By spring, we multiplied to twenty-two, 
So Captains were chosen to help the milieu.
We next grew to thirty-nine, then fifty-three,
So Wise Guys staff joined us as Coaches with me.
As newly named “JUGHEADS” by century’s turn,
Assistants were added to teach and to learn.
The Specialist role goes back to Year Three
With juggling and dancing moves far beyond me!

As we came of age, our structure matured:
Officers, Interns, and staffing assured.
By Two Thousand Nine we had full staff and more
And peaked with a full gross of kids (minus four)!

As rosters diminished and Coaches resigned,
This Founder attempted to coach self-assigned.
That lasted a while, but in Juggle Jam Twenty
I reached my own peak and then burned out a-plenty! :-/
It’s not that I gave up on youth; au contraire
But “doing it all” I must no longer dare.
I feed on connections, like so much farm silage
But realized, “It’s not the years; it’s the mileage.”

Our three current Coaches all double as grads
With wide-ranging talents and skill-sets in scads!
Erica’s now coaching all three top groups
And driving the SLT through training hoops.
Josh and Christine coach our younger-side youth
Keeping things lively and fun—that’s the truth!
Our Specialist, Joyce, has no such alum ties,
But served our first jugglers way back in Wise Guys!

This year’s SLT is a full baker’s dozen
Working together like unified cousins.
Assistants and Volunteers work after school
From menial jobs to ideas they pool.
Captains and Officers serve both our nights
Helping their peer-members strive for new heights.
Although we are staffed for a hundred or more,
Each leader is never expected to bore!

My struggle with burnout and career discontent
Once made me fear that this comp’ny was spent.
But two years ago, renewed revelation
Confirmed that there’s newfound strength in delegation!

I now rotate one club-day home every week; 
For supplementary work, God’s face I seek.
It’s true, I’m now part-time, in mid-career tweak, 
With grand hopes of writing and maybe to speak.
It could be that Wendy & I will just eke
Our living out through varied jobs (past our peak?).
Though tempted to coast and be unduly meek
We trust the Lord’s promises to help the weak.

This company endures through much tribulation;
It thrives from persistent grassroots dedication.
Our team far surpasses the sum of its parts;
Our mission: to bless individual hearts.
Each member, each leader, each staff has a place
In making this program a dear, precious space.
The future’s unknown; it’s hard to now dream.
But solace we find in our strong leader-team.

“Paul’s Poetic Platform” Series Note

This 10-part poetic series covers a wide variety of general and personal topics in an attempt to offer insights, blessings, and inspiration as I model trying new things in this era of widespread societal and personal changes. I may employ different styles, with the cohesion of acrostic, one-word rhyming titles from A through J.

This month, I mix light-hearted levity with the life-enriching phenomenon of sharing a home with a beloved household pet. Even amidst the dangers, toils and snares of 2020, something as simple as a pet can add to human flourishing, and this poem celebrates a super special furry feline. —PRA