The Legendary Special Sauce

Legendary Special Sauce

The Legendary Special Sauce

There’s a legendary special sauce that makes Transit Lounge stand out. It’s our MK staff. We might design and lead the programs with care, enthusiasm, and heart, but they make everything more. More intense. More heartfelt. More relatable. More better.

Volunteer MK Staff are Transit Lounge’s “special sauce.” These young professionals take a week off of work and travel at their own expense to give back to their TCK community. They lead small groups, share their experiences, and bring the fun. Without them, we’re at a loss.

More about the Legendary Special Sauce

These legends also teach during our week of Transit Lounge. Some teach large group sessions and workshops around their areas of expertise. All of them teach the TCKs in their small groups in an informal, personal way. During one-on-one times with each member of their small groups, the MK staff has the opportunity to share their own hard won knowledge–especially as it relates to transitioning into American life.

Ken Spenser Small Group 23

The small group that Ken and Spenser led in the summer of ’23.

Ken, an MK staff member raised in Ghana, explained, “As a TCK who didn’t have a Transit Lounge experience, I was poorly equipped and really struggled with my adult life in the US. I volunteer each summer to help the TCKs who are going through those same struggles.”

Another MK staff member, and also part of Interaction’s regular staff, Spenser said, “When I tell people that volunteering at Transit Lounge feels like a vacation, they always give me a weird look. Not sure why. This is an excellent opportunity to give back and pass forward the things that were shared with me at some point. In addition, listening to the TCKs in my group share their stories, showing them they are important, and being interested in them is my way of loving on them, and I believe the Holy Spirit works through that.”

When asked what he has learned in his years of volunteering at Transit Lounge, Spenser replied, “It doesn’t matter how many times you hear about something if you’re not listening.” How true! Exposure to a concept rarely means it is internalized.  One of the important things that makes our MK staff the legendary special sauce, is that they review the concepts presented throughout the week with their small groups. This allows them to learn what has been heard and to either correct or encourage the internalization of the information.

Importance of Small Group Leaders

One of the primary responsibilities of the MK staff is to lead small groups. These groups meet daily–if not more often. Within the confines of the small group, each member–including the MK staff leader–shares their story. This is one of the few places a TCK can tell their life story to others and have an audience that relates to it.  What a gift to be seen and known!

Some small groups disband with little contact at the end of the week. Others form groups on Whats App and check in with each other regularly. Once, there was a small group that planned their own mini-retreat over a weekend a few months after the end of camp. They insisted their staff leader needed to be present in order to make the weekend complete. Right there! That’s the stuff of legendary special sauce!

Summer '23 Collage

Small groups and the Legendary Special Sauce small group leaders from the summer of ’23.

Ongoing Influence

Recently, I received a text from a TCK who was in my small group a few years ago.  We had not had much contact since we said good-bye at the end of camp. We follow each other on some social media platforms, but neither one of us posts much. However, as I followed my pup around the dog park, my phone buzzed with an incoming message.  The TCK wanted to know if I remembered her–of course I did! Then she caught me up a little on her life, and asked if I would pray for her. Again–of course!

I know I’m not the only one to receive messages like this. Some of our MK staff don’t see their influence beyond the week their together with the Transit Lounge participants. Some are able to maintain hear from parents about the impact they made on a TCK. And a few are able to maintain contact for years.

What a privilege it is to build lasting relationship with TCKs as they begin the arduous business of adulting in America.  Even if it’s only for a few days, it’s important work. It’s also a particular joy that happens in very few other contexts.

We are thankful for our MK staff and love seeing them positively impact the next generation of TCKS.

Jump into June

Many of you reading this already gave towards TCK scholarships with our Jump into June initiative–thank you so much! If you haven’t, would you? Giving to Jump into June makes it possible for MKs and other TCKs who couldn’t otherwise afford to a week of camp to join our Transit Lounge community of TCKs. Without your gift to help cover costs, there are TCKs who will miss out on the influence of our legendary special sauce. None of us want that.



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