What do you need to have a very successful group for teens?
The answer not what we usually expect.
In this era of technology and hi speed everything, we sometimes need to remember what makes us all tick. What do we all crave and search for even when we sometimes don’t know it? Human interaction, friendships, and a sense that someone understands us. The media tries to make us believe that we aren’t good enough without the newest phone, most up to date gadget, or fancy car. The truth is that everyone wants to be connected to other people and feel loved.
Tonight’s group had elements of technology as I talked to the youth about up coming events, conferences, fundraisers, and news in our world. This was info that pertained to them, could help them with issues, and might even get them ready for the next challenge that will inevitably come sooner than later. All that was great but did not hold their attention nearly as much as a simple game where we placed our hands on the floor and had to keep track of a pattern. They laughed and joked with each other like everyone has done at one time or another. Some kids knew each other, most did not and several of them had not been there before. They came together not because of an app or program, but because of human interaction. That was beautiful to see and a great reminder that we are all the same, or very close in most aspects.
Everyone is so excited about the Halloween Fundraiser coming on October 26! Many of these kids love the fact that they have an excuse to be something or someone else for a day and that its socially appropriate to do that. Its interesting that they dont talk about candy or trick or treating, they are excited about creating a new “them” as they want to be seen by the world.
Our Junior group had a ton of fun with Natalie, Judy and the crew doing some face painting. I wish I could post the pictures of the great work they did but that is the issue of LGBTQ children being outed to someone who prey on them or bully them for just being who they are. The giggles and laughter can always be heard from the Junior room to the youth room and i love that. To hear kids having fun without judgments or worry is exactly what Outloud is designed to be. If you ever want to see those smiles, just come on the first Tuesday of the month, we will be there with some awesome kids.
Thanks so much to Katie for the beautiful and tasty Rainbow cupcakes! Maybe you have seen these on TV’s cake boss or whatever. These cupcakes were far better than those!
The youth shared some great successes, news, and interests. I am always amazed at the diversity of this group and how many cool things they are involved in. We have actors, entertainers, athletes, singers, artists, authors, and so many more fantastic people wrapped into LGBTQ bodies that somehow find a way to be amazing in their own way.