Sunday, March 1, 2009

Government, Leadership & Spiritual Growth: TeenPact

Last Sunday I left home with Feche-boy and 2 other high school friends for our state capitol. We met up with part of our TeenPact team on Sunday evening, including founder and president Tim Echols, who was our Guest Director for the week. It was a fast and furious week, full of great guest speakers, prayer walks, awesome food, great fellowship, ultimate Frisbee, tired dogs and by the end of the week 42 exhausted, happy and well-educated high school students who might, at this point, know more about government that most of us.
They heard from the Lt. Governor, a Public Utilities Commissioner, the Secretary of State, our state Family Policy Council Executive Director and many of our state legislators and senators. We were introduced during the legislative session and had several comments, including from the Seargent at Arms, that our suited and skirted group was the most respectful and thoughtful group of high schoolers he had ever seen at the capitol.

The kids participated throughout the week in legislative procedure, parliamentary procedure, wrote and voted on mock bills, debated with a devil's advocate, campaigned and voted for a governor and legislators (go Feche-boy!- Legislator for a year! along with Matthew H, William U and Brianne W!), prepared and gave speeches, went on daily pray walks, sat in the gallery's and looked awesome in their suits and dress skirts.

Evening fun included more inspiring talks by Mr. Tim Echols, Program Director Josh C., board games, ultimate Frisbee, bball, snacks and talking and laughing so hard our sides ached.

It was a good week. The parents involved worked hard to make it happen from a monetary and time standpoint. The TeenPact staff and office work hard to make it happen around the country. All of that to pour into 42 high schoolers and 31 elementary student to teach them about how our government works, to let them participate in their rights as American citizens. And hey, if you want a powerful moment, walk your state capitol with a group of high schoolers and pray outside of your governor's door with them! The point was to show them that study earns respect and the right to be heard, that how you look and present yourself matters. Those of us involved are pouring into the lives our ours and others kids because we believe in the process. We are passing along our values and our belief in the constitution, in liberty and in life. Being part of that rocks!

Rush Limbaugh spoke this week at the end of the CPAC conference about conservatism. He sums up what our week was about and why I believe in conservatism and why I am investing in the lives of many others in pragmatic ways such as through TeenPact:

"Our beliefs are not the result of a deranged psychology. Our beliefs are our core. Our beliefs are our hearts. We don't have to make notes about what we believe. We don't have to write down, oh do I believe it do I believe that we can tell people what we believe off the top of our heads and we can do it with passion and we can do it with clarity, and we can do it persuasively....When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don't see groups. We don't see victims. We don't see people we want to exploit. What we see -- what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don't think that person doesn't have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.

Rush Limbaugh, addressing the CPAC convention, aired on Fox News. Read the rest of it here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/01/transcript-rush-limbaughs-address-cpac/

If you want to provide your high school student with a week of challenge, growth and fellowship, as I've said before, check out TeenPact at http://www.teenpact.com/ There are also 1-day classes for students ages 8-19.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Wow, that sounded so great. What a learning experience. I would like that myself!!!! You go girl!!!