1 : a social group made up of many families, clans, or generations that share the same language, customs, and beliefs
2 : a group of persons with a common character, occupation, or interest
It’s Friday night in Arrowhead, the sun has not set but is slowly disappearing behind the trees. 16 teenagers (age 14-18) have arrived embarking on a journey of self. Each has written a letter asking to be in the Teen: Leadership Foundation. They arrived by car and plane, mostly representing California and Nevada (not to forget the Ukraine!). Faces are pensive, bodies are fidgety, some look ready, some look terrified, wondering what the next 3 days will bring.
The program begins, deep end of the pool. I never took Teen Leadership, as disappointing as that is. (Then again it didn’t exist when I was a teen and the McGraths weren’t born yet, but that’s another topic). I well remember my first night of BOLD: Advanced Leadership.
Each teen is challenged to express themselves, to show enthusiasm, to communicate, to reach beyond what they know as comfortable. They are being pushed to not only reach beyond but to actually embrace the uncomfortable and run with it.
As I watch the faces and watch them stare down these strangers, little do they know some will become lifelong friends by the end of this 3 days. But tonight, there is the unknown, the anticipation vs. apprehension, the recognition that they are in this now – there is no escape. I do see a few looking longingly at the door. ‘If I run for the door, will they stop me? And, how will I get home? Dang…trapped!’
As adults, “somewhat” secure in the world, when we are placed in uncomfortable situations, we know how to push through and generally hide the emotions that rush in. But these are teens … teens, and they are rocking it.
Where, where will they go. And, oh what we will see!
So why? Not only are the teens here, they WANT to be here. Why are these teens going through an intense 2 1/2 day training? Because they are the future. They are the change-makers. And these teens know it – that is why they are here. They are here to push, to strive, to raise themselves to a new level. These young adult (future adults) are what the world needs, what our country needs, what our children and grandchildren need. We are crying out for change-makers. And I am looking 16 of them square in the face.
These young leaders are headed towards being “Powerful Beyond Measure.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Ref: Tribe 305