In talking with one of my mentors recently, we discussed the ‘why’ our kids keep showing up to Club. Bottom line – what gives?!?! There was one word that resonated with us more than anything else. Club provides our military teens something no other place does – a REFUGE from the normal life with no judgment but total inclusion of who they truly are in their own world. They don’t have to have the military life figured out. They don’t have to be the latest and greatest at everything they do. They just come and are KNOWN. When they walk up to us while outdoors, they’re celebrated, cheered on, high-fived, hugged called out in anticipation of their arrival. They MATTER here.

We are in the middle of the transition season.  Students and their families are moving in and out of our community, students graduating and looking to leave for college.  Students and their families are cleaning up housing, packing, leaving great relationships and trying to find new friends, researching a new home and school for the family along with many other details currently occupy many students’ minds. A shocking fact within our community exists that the average number of moves for our students typically is four and much more if they are in their later years of high school.

We want to show our youth the impact of leaving with a legacy. In a straw poll I did on our final Clubs of the semester, I asked our students how many of them would just pick up sticks and move on without saying much of anything to people they left behind. An astounding 90% or more raised their hands. They’d never been taught how to care for one another or even show how someone has made a difference in their lives before they leave to another place. Therefore, we showed them how it was done. The last week of Club we spokeinto our students’ lives who were preparing to move to another military location and sharing with them (one at a time) what we loved about them and how they brought their own ‘flavor’ to the Club family. We took intentional moments to pray over the youth who are moving along with our outgoing high school seniors. Tears were shed and truly deep and honest prayers were shared in the room when our students were allowed to voice their hearts.

 

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