medicines without prescriptions

Inspiring Youth to be Bold and Courageous

January 28th, 2015

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

–Mark Twain, author

 

Encourage young people to be brave and try new things. It’s easy for people to get stuck in a rut, doing the same things they have always done. Sometimes that stems from complacency, insecurity, or fear. Challenge your youth to be adventurous and be bold. If they express fear about something they have always wanted to try, ask them to consider these questions:

  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if you tried it?
  • What’s the best thing that could happen if you tried it?
  • What would give you the courage to try it?
  • How can I or other adults support you in your adventures?

Sometimes that little push is all a young person needs. Remember that for some young people, trying new things is a scary adventure. Be the cheerleader and the encourager as you guide them into the unknown. They just might discover a whole new part of themselves along the way.

This is an excerpt from our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

 

Play with Purpose Workshop!

January 26th, 2015

Love the idea of play with purpose, but want to know more?  Check out this wildly popular workshop:

Title: Great Group Games: Building Relationships and Teams

Description: Learn games to build solid relationships and create a safe space that invites youth to play and learn! Based on the best-selling book Great Group Games, each game connects to group development stages and back to the assets. Participants will learn how to “play with purpose” having fun AND implementing best practices at the same time.

Audience: advisory groups, clubs/teams, classrooms

Time:  2 hours

Schedule by contacting us at 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net

Youth Heroes: Arts and Intergenerational friendships

January 23rd, 2015

A group of teenagers in Tennessee decided they wanted to do more than just offer computer classes to seniors. They wanted to share their interests and passions. They went on a weekly basis to a local retirement center and offered classes from the artsy side of life. These youth led piano classes, voice classes and watercolor classes (things they were learning themselves in school). They, too, moved away from the currently traditional way of connecting multi-generations to something that was more satisfying and enjoyable.

Another  youth group decided to share their love of dance with seniors. They put on an annual Senior Prom and invited elders to come and share their love of music and dance. The night was a mix of old and new as each group taught each other their favorite dances.

 

Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!

3 Ways to Use the Arts to Explore Sparks

January 21st, 2015

Visuals can give expression to feelings and interests that words can’t express. Music can reveal emotions and aspirations better than simple words. Poetry can capture hearts, imaginations, and minds, giving us new understanding. The arts can expand our view and help us see our experiences and the world through new eyes. Collect photos, songs, and poems to use as prompts to help youth explore purpose and passion.

Strategic Moves

  • Let youth use Pinterest or Instagram to craft a visual story of the things that are important to them. Use picture books to engage with youth to explore a variety of topics. Peter H. Reynolds’s The Dot illustrates how a teacher helps a student discover a hidden talent.
  • Use music fromYouTube, Pandora, Songza, or Spotify to engage in conversations about passions and purpose. (And, as you’ll recall from Chapter X, music feeds the brain as well!) What message does the music hold? What song would they choose to represent their values? Their purpose? The difference they want to make?
  • Use poems or quotes written by youth or adults that speak to passion, purpose, and possibilities.

This is an excerpt from our new book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

Connect Well with Youth

January 19th, 2015

You’ve seen adults that know how to really connect with young people – engaging their hearts and minds in such a natural, yet powerful way.  But many well-intentioned youth professionals and educators struggle (if they are honest) with connecting with you on a transparent, authentic and rich level.  We have a workshop to help adults build this skill set:

Title: Connect with Them

Description: To create an environment of trust and support where youth can thrive, you have to take time to connect with them. This workshop will give you practical ideas to welcome youth, check in, learn names and develop common ground – all critical pieces for helping youth learn and thrive. The two hours is packed with activities and strategies to enhance your connection with youth.

Time: 2 hours

Schedule:  615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.

 

Youth Heroes: Homework and Computers and Life

January 16th, 2015

One youth group from the west coast wanted to build relationships between the teens and older adults. They started out by offering computer classes that the teens would teach to the seniors. The elders, on the other hand, would help teens with their homework. This was the starting point

 

Over time as relationships developed and grew, the older adults shared that they had more things they wanted to share than just helping with homework. They wanted to pass on some of the skills they had developed over their lifetime – quilting, gardening, and canning. Soon weekly events and classes were being offered in canning classes, quilting classes and the like. The elders began to share their legacy with youth, and relationships deepened.

 

This project started out as a traditional one then turned into one that tapped into the life history of the adults. It was turnabout that didn’t just cover the current trends in technology but also covered the lost arts of other times.

Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!

Who Are You? (A Game to Explore Diversity)

January 14th, 2015

Excerpted from Groups Troops, Clubs and Classrooms by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor, 2014

This activity, developed by Sharon Williams, a seasoned youth services professional, lets youth explore their identity. Get into pairs. One participant will be the “questioner”; the other will be the “respondent.” When the facilitator says “go,” the questioner asks, “Who are you?” The respondent answers with a descriptor of themselves (“I am a brother,” “I’m a gamer”). The questioner asks the question again, “Who are you?” and the respondent answers with a different descriptor. The question and response goes back and forth until the facilitator calls time (after about 60–90 seconds). When time is called, the partners switch roles.  Afterward, debrief them with the following questions:

  1. Did you learn something new about your partner?
  2. What things do you have in common?
  3. Looking at the different things that make you “you,” what are you most proud to be?

Want to learn more?  Check out our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

Advisory Time – Wasted or Welcomed?

January 12th, 2015

The idea for this workshop came from leading an advisory group and listening to my colleagues struggle with advisory groups.  They can be a wonderful outlet for student growth or they can be a complete waste of time.  Much of that possibility for growth lies in the hands of your advisors – do they understand the vision for advisory groups and are they equipped to facilitate young people in an environment that is very different from the classroom?

Title: Advisory Time – Wasted or Welcomed?

Description: Advisory time is enjoyed by those advisors blessed with charisma and student groups that naturally connect, but what about everybody else?  This workshop will give advisors a tried-and-true framework for healthy youth development and a toolbox of activities to strengthen students’ character, leadership and communication.

Time: 3-4 hours

Contact us if you want to bring this workshop to your school! 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.


 

Youth Heroes on the Appalachian Service Project

January 9th, 2015

Kate Tanis joined her church youth group for a week long mission trip with Appalachian Service Project (ASP): “My role at ASP was to make homes “warmer, safer and drier”, a part of our mission that I will always be able to recite.  My work crew arrived at the house we were assigned to for the week in Chavies, Kentucky, got out of the van, and observed a state of poverty that I had never seen before.

 

There was no running water, a yard full of malnourished pets, and the family who lived in this house had dirty clothes on and never wore shoes.  The adult leaders and youth helpers worked diligently all week, in the hot sun, painting, repairing a leaky roof, and rebuilding the front porch so it was sturdier.  There were two young boys, Sam and David, who loved to climb on us, hug us often and try to distract us from the actual work we were there to do.

 

One day, after our lunch break, I asked the older boy David (8 years old) if he wanted to read a book together.  He retrieved a book from his room and while I waited for him to read to me, he sat there quietly and waited for me to read to him.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that he didn’t have a clue what any of those words meant or how to read at all – and he was in the second grade.  I spent the rest of the week, working with him, and helping him sound out words, so by the week’s end, he could read the entire book to me.  I’ll never forget the look of pride on his face when he closed the book after the last page he’d read to me.   What an awesome experience!

 

Saying goodbye to David, Sam, their extended family (and all those pets!) was difficult, but it felt so good knowing what a difference I had made in such a short time.  I taught a little boy to read in less than 4 days!  Because of this, my very favorite quote about service has always been one by Margaret Mead: ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world:  indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ .  How true that is!”

 

Reprinted with permission from our book Ready to Go Service Projects: 140 Ways for Youth Groups to Lend a Hand. Find more ways to help youth engage their skills, talents and passions in serving the community by picking up your own book at your favorite online bookseller OR bring us to your school, church or community organization to lead service-learning workshop!

How Culturally Savvy are You about Your Group?

January 7th, 2015

This quiz is excerpted from Groups Troops, Clubs and Classrooms by Ragsdale and Saylor.  Take it yourself to see how up you are on your young people’s heritage and youth culture.

 

How well do you . . . know them?

Do you know what name they want to go by—their given name or a nickname?

Do you know how to pronounce it correctly?

Do you know their skills and interests?

Do you know whether they have food allergies? Are any sick with a critical illness? Are any on medications?

Do you know whether they have experienced a personal trauma?

Do you know whether they have a learning difference?

Do you know their MI bent?

 

How well do you . . . know their world?

Do you know what their primary, first language is?

Do you know the current trends in youth dress?

Do you know the cultural requirements of their dress (dresses, covering faces . . .)?

Do you know their rituals and traditions?

What’s the popular manner for greeting each other? Knuckle bump? Something else?

Do you know their music? What are the top five songs/bands/groups your group is listening to?

Do you know the social media venues they use to keep up with each other?

Do you keep up with the books, movies, and art interests that appeal to your age group?

 

How well do you . . . know their family life?

Have you met their parents?

Do you know what the family rules are—the ones that might impact rules you set in your program or classroom?

Have you asked about their family traditions?

Do you know whether the family is going through something serious such as a divorce, loss of a loved one, or other major trauma?

 

How well do you . . . know their spiritual and cultural practices?

Do you know whether they must pray at a certain time each day?

Do you know whether they must avoid certain foods?

Do you know whether they are allowed to touch (shake hands, do a high five) a member of the opposite sex?

Do you know how they approach holidays? (What holidays do they celebrate? Are any holidays taboo?)

Do they have meaningful holidays that you should know about?

 

Young people are so amazingly diverse and it takes time to get to know them and their cultures.  Want to find simple strategies for discovering and embracing their diversity? Check out our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

Building Teams and Relationships

January 5th, 2015

Sometimes people are thrown together into groups and expected to work well together.  Sometimes people are joined together based on a common interest, and automatically expected to thrive as a team.  But highly functioning teams don’t happen without a lot of practice and intentional work together.  If you are working with a team that you would like to thrive, we would love to help you!  We can lead this workshop for youth or adults in any setting.  We can also combine it with other workshops, such as setting vision or understanding our differences.  You tell us your  team’s pain points, and we’ll custom design this workshop for you:

 

Title:  The Power of Relationships

Description:  We practice when we need to work in many types of teams – for sports, for theater, and for choir. But we tend not to practice developing and growing teams in the classroom or workplace. This session will delve into practical tips for building a sense of team with your colleagues and building strong youth/adult relationships. You will leave with activities and ideas for strengthening relationships in your professional and personal circles of life.

Time:  3 hours

Call us to talk more about how we can help you – 615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net.

 

Are You Listening?

December 24th, 2014

If you want young people to really talk and voice their opinions, you need to listen twice as much as you speak. Never ask for youth input if you don’t intend to truly use their ideas. Disregarding young people’s feedback is one of the best ways to ensure that youth won’t contribute to your planning.

Want practical ways to practice listening more attentively?  Check out our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

Making a Difference

December 22nd, 2014

The Old Man and the Starfish
by Irv Furman

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a frail old man. As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water. He asked, “Old man, why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?”

The old man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. ” But there must be thousands of beached and millions of starfish!” exclaimed the young man. “How can you make any difference?”

The old man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it into the safety of the sea, he said, “I made a difference to this one.”

How are you making a difference in people’s lives today?  How would you like to make a difference?

5 Questions to Ask Yourself about Student Leaders

December 17th, 2014
  1. Who makes most of the decisions that affect youth in your program—youth or adults?
  2. How can you start giving youth more opportunities to make decisions in your program?
  3. What young people could you ask for program input?
  4. What would you like to know about?
  5. How will you let them know that you are listening to their feedback and implementing their ideas?

These are some of the questions we ask in our newest book, Groups, Troops, Clubs and Classrooms: The Essential Handbook for Working with Youth.  It is full of strategies to help educators, coaches and youth workers bring out the best in young people!  Check it out and share it with someone else that loves young people!

Lunch and Learn Opportunities

December 15th, 2014

Lunch and Learns are perfect for the small group experience of 6-12 people that wants a deeper professional development opportunity. Participants meet on a regular basis and practice skills in-between sessions and have time to reflect and ask questions about implementation.  Research says that this kind of learning style is more likely to create change in work habits AND produce more long-lasting results in your organization. 

Our most popular Lunch & Learn is called:  Connect * Explore *Grow – Strategies for Youth Engagement

Description:  This interactive learning circle will explore a variety of creative strategies to engage youth – meeting them where they are in order to help them grow in mind, body and spirit. Specific strategies will include service-learning, play with purpose, discovering a sense of self, literacy and creative arts. You will leave sessions with practical and inspiring ideas to connect with young people, access to resources to help them explore the world around them and grow in their goals as well as activities to build literacy and creativity skills. Come ready to learn and share.

Length of Time:  4 Sessions, 2 hours each session

Let us know if you are interested in scheduling a Lunch & Learn for your organization or school.  We can facilitate this topic, or combine your choice of other workshops that we offer – custom-designed to fit your group.  615-262-9676 or cad@TheAssetEdge.net