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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Parents: Have You Heard of TeenPact?

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What Is TeenPact? According to their website:
TeenPact is a dynamic, hands-on leadership school for Christian students. Our mission is to train youth to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend their Christian faith, and engage the culture at a time in their lives when, typically they do not care about such things.
The TeenPact experience is one of intentional growth, education and encouragement. We believe that God gives every young person a great spiritual capacity as well as a scriptural mandate to cultivate and use their talents - even before they are old enough to drive, work, or vote! TeenPact trains these young people to embrace their call as the next generation of leaders by giving them tools, teaching, and opportunities.
'Changing lives to change the world' is more than a motto to us. It's literally what we do everyday.
TeenPact offers one day classes and four day classes. (Click here for class fees.) This was my son's second year attending the one day class. These classes are available for children ages 8 through 12 and 13 through 19. Their classes are held throughout the U.S. Click here to see if a class is available in your state.

Prior to attending the class my son had to write a mock bill which he read in front of the class. The bill was then voted upon during a mock legislature. My son's bill was as follows:

They began the class with prayer and worship music which both the parents and children enjoyed doing together. Then the children participated in sword drills. A scripture is given and the children have to find the scripture in the Bible. A TeenPact leader then chooses a student to read the passage out loud.

TeenPact Leaders
The students then prayed over certain areas of the State House and its leaders and decision makers.

Using a humorous skit, the children learned about the process of how a bill becomes a law.  It was evident that the children (and parents) enjoyed this as the room was filled with laughter. This was one of my favorite parts of the program. The skit helped make the whole process easier to understand.

The children were divided up between first time attendees and second time attendees. At this point, my son as a second time attendee was able to discuss and answer questions such as:
  • Why is it important that we know who we are voting for?
  • Is it important to be able to choose who our leaders are?
  • What are some different positions that we can elect in America?
  • What are some good qualities that a leader should have?
  • If you were to run for office, what office would you want to run for?

My son said he would run for the office of Mayor. His campaign would be as follows:

At the end of the program each child received their Certificate of Completion.

Friends who attended the class
If you have children within the ages of 8-12, I would greatly recommend you consider them attending this one day class. I'm excited and looking forward to having my youngest son attend TeenPact next year for his first time. My oldest son will also attend, but this time he will go as a teen and attend the older group's class.

TeenPact offers a four day class for children ages 13-19. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

For those of you who have children who are more introverted, last year I spoke to one of the teen leaders and asked her how she became interested in this program. She shared the story of how her older, shy sister had attended TeenPact classes and how she saw the difference it had made in her sister's personality. Her sister became more confident in speaking to others. She also saw how much her sister enjoyed the classes and that sparked an interest in her. In fact, this girl I spoke to was one of the leaders again this year.

Whether your child is shy or outgoing, attending this class will leave a lasting impact. My son and I enjoyed it just as much this year as we did last year. You can read about our previous experience here.

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