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Early morning and the sun has just risen over Lake Arrowhead. Another warm day is upon us. 20 tired teenager (age 13-19) are pushing through brain fog and lack of sleep to waken and prepare for the second day of Teen: Leadership Foundation. They arrived yesterday by car and even plane, some ready, some dragged by parents. Faces were many defiance, attitude, boredom, stoic, fear and even a few uncomfortable tears.

The evening began in typical teenage fashion, questions asked …. silence, faces looking at the floor, blank stares, avoidance. A classic line from the facilitator Eric as he asks a question to silence stares, “I can out wait you.” And silence ensues. Eventually a couple of the braver kids answer just to slice through the awkwardness..

The ice is broken.

The processes of Leadership Foundation begins. Each teen is challenged to express, to show enthusiasm, to communicate, to reach beyond the comfortable. When I went through BOLD: Advanced Leadership, 8 short weeks ago, I remember well the first night. Pushing through the uncomfortable, staring at strangers soon to be lifelong friends, the unknown, anticipation vs. apprehension. As adults, secure in the world, the emotions rushed. Now watching these 20 young adults (or future adults), uncertainty in their eyes … trying to be non-challant and feign confidence. As we pushed into the night, almost the wee hours of the morning, confidence grew, emotions drained, some of the walls already beginning to crack. Cracking, cracking, cracking….

Why? Why are these teens being taken through an intense 2 1/2 day training. Because they are the future. They are the change-makers. What the world needs, what our country needs, what our children and grandchildren need are change-makers. We need young leaders who are “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.”

Day 1 ends and Teen: Leadership Foundation is beginning to release the brilliance in these 20 future change-makers….

Ref: Tribe 303

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