The Child Tour Guides of Detroit

By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM

Stacey and I were out doing some Dark Fashion Portraiture and I had wanted to take her to this church I was fascinated with that had a red chair in it's main room. As we walked into the back of the church, where the door is blown wide open, we hear the distant slamming of a basketball. Inside, we could see teenagers playing on the court in the basement level.

Stacey gave me a strange look and I said "Yeah, kids come in here sometimes to play basketball. We're going upstairs anyways." As we walked onto the staircase, we ran into three kids, the oldest could be no more than 8 years old.

"Ahhh! You scared us!" said the girl of the group, who probably was only in Second Grade, if that. "Are you coming to look at the building?" the Middle Child asked. We said yes. "Can we show you around?"

We walked through the building with the kids for about an hour. They told us stories about how they come to that church everyday after school. As someone who studied education, this threw Stacey for a loop.

The kids showed us different places that they played "Hide and Seek," though they called it something like "Huntsman." They climbed over beams through broken windows, opened doors that were locked from the outside, and detailed what rooms were what to us as we accompanied them through the building. The youngest girl also was very excited that we were taking pictures, and kept posing with Stacey during the shoot.

At the end, we came to the biggest room, and we said that after this last room we'd be leaving. They seemed bummed but we snapped this one selfie together. I then said to them, "It was great to meet you guys and hang out!" and the eldest boy said "It was a pleasure to meet you too."

The red chair was gone, but we walked away with a much better story in the end.