Depending on who you are around, the impression teens leave with you are as varied as can be. The Marcus Fair was privileged to have a horse riding group known as the Westernaires from Colorado. About 30 members of the group, as well as volunteers who serve various needs for the performance, came along as well, as it couldn't have been done without them,.
I was one of the volunteers who served them breakfast one morning at the high school. To say I was highly impressed with them is putting it mildly. Not only did they have good manners, but they were so genuine in showing their appreciation for everything that was done for them. They were very tickled that they were being received so warmly and commented on how they would like to come back.
The gentleman is charge of the group commented more than once at different opportunities that he was delighted these teens could see and experience what it is like to live in a small community with a heart. These teens were used to attending a high school with students numbering Marcus' total population. It was indeed a different experience for these teens.
As I listened to them talk, I wished whole-heartily that MMC High School students could meet with these kids and learn what dedication is all about. These kids had to give up high school activities to do the Westernaire experience. They aren't flighty when things don't go the easy way for them. That element of dedication seems to be missing in many of our youth.
They also demonstrated much respect for whomever they were speaking to. In short, they were great models for anyone to use. They even made a huge card and sent it to the City Council to thank them for their experience in Marcus.
Driving into Cherokee, I heard a news report noting a community in Connecticut was having 9 p.m. curfews due the amount of serious violence going on there. They are hoping parents will become more involved in raising their teens. Many young people are afraid to go out on the street for fear of being killed.
Then there is the incident in Sioux City with one teen left dead. They would have you believe they were all getting along and not doing any harm. It was just an accident. Wouldn't you think teens would have better judgment than what was used? Who points a gun at someone's head? Or was there beer or drugs on the premise?
Then there have been so many fatal accidents involving teens. How much do parents talk with their teens? How involved are they in judging the children's friends and learn what their values are? How serious are parents in teaching their children by example how they want them to behave?
The teen years are quite a struggle for many who have no home life. They struggle between childhood and being an adult. With the economy being what it is, this is an excellent time for families to pull together by working and playing together. When budgets are tight, good home fun is the way to go and I think you will find your children enjoying it more.