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….