Call me crazy, but I love going on trips with teenagers. I get to know kids I otherwise might only know in passing. I see creativity at it’s best. To see their eyes opened to worlds they never thought they would enjoy is priceless. Yes, even teenagers can appreciate Vivaldi, musicals, opera and Cirque du Soleil. They can also be trusted at zoos, museums and the mall. When total strangers come up to comment how great the kids are and how impressed the stranger was with their behavior, I have to agree and am not one bit surprised. Watching them grow from timid freshmen to college kids ready to explore their future is an honor.
How can I convey how proud I am of the young lady who saw a stranger leave her wallet in the bathroom at Safeway and the student was determined to make sure it was returned before worrying about her own dinner? Percussionists who took second place at the competition and cheered the loudest for the school that took 1st place showed true class. The joy and excitement 103 teenagers truly felt when the news spread the teacher they left behind had a new baby girl in his arms was beautiful.
I spent this weekend sleeping on a gym floor, sitting on a bus for hours, walking for miles and eating fast food. Yet I would not change a minute of it. I hope the next time you are asked to give a little of your time for the youth in your area, you consider what you are missing when you say no.