This weekend I was at Hume Lake Christian Camps. It was only natural that the weekend would show up waaayyy toooo fast. Especially in this season of life as I am trying to get going at a new real estate brokerage, marriage is busy, and school is starting again for this old professor. Life is hectic, but after the weekends events, my perspective is that my life, and my high school experience, is nothing like most of these kids.
Many times I can be a judgmental person towards how "Christian" things are done. The music stinks, the jokes are cheesy, stuff costs too much, etc. The thing about this winter camp is that I could've said all these things...but it didn't matter. The kids loved the camp. Hume was able to capture their imaginations and souls for some much needed attention and introspection in their own lives.
Unlike these kids, my high school experience consisted of making fun of girls and T.P.'ing houses. For these kids, life consists of pill overdoses, cutting wrists, terrible grades, teachers that have had it, or parents that pay ZERO attention. It's heartbreaking in a "if my life was like that, I wouldn't have succeeded in high school, college, or even life" kind of way. They don't even think about kid stuff anymore. Many of them are functionally mature in that they have to bathe a younger brother or sister, cook dinner for Grandpa, or work to actually earn money.
Psychological maturity is where they lack. Their lives have left them with strong wills, and strong personalities, but an immature view of what the meaning of life and their purpose in adulthood will be. This is why I serve on the board of Teenworks and ultimately care about the future of these students. It’s tough to take on their perspective as my high school experience was vastly different. By working with them, I feel like I am somehow righting one of the biggest injustices in our community. So, camp was tiring and hard, but very rewarding. I look froward to next year, where hopefully we will be taking twice as many kids, learning about twice as many heart-breaking stories, and ultimately touching twice as many lives.
If you are interested in getting involved in TeenWorks and going to events like this please visit our "Get Involved" tab. We would love to have you!
Nathan Milnik has been on the TeenWorks Board for three years. Nathan is a professor of philosphy at Columbia College, Modesto Junior College and Delta College. He is also trying his hand in the family business of real estate. Nathan enjoys running with his wife, Heidi and dog, Reid when he is not helping with TeenWorks Group Mentoring.