We used to have a professional youth ministry in the Church. Each ward ended up paying almost $50,000 a year to the Boy Scouts for that service.
Unfortunately, over time, the Boy Scouts evolved from paramilitary training (its original purpose) (and not necessarily what you want young men trained for) to theme park camping, which isn’t very relevant.
Efforts to move away from that kept being delegated to men immersed in scouting who could devise nothing else.
However, from about 1980 on, the church was aware from statistical analysis that success in scouts did not correlate with other successful outcomes.
Well. We are separated from the scouts now. The big change seems to be no professional support for our “youth ministry” at all and a curriculum that is still in flux.
I’d like to discuss things that might go into a modified curriculum that would teach life skills useful for today.
- Setting boundaries. Kids need to be able to set boundaries. A good example of a lesson on that can be found here https://www.verywellhealth.com/setting-boundaries-5208802. That sort of lesson should be taught at least twice a year.
- Deescalation of verbal violence. http://www.adrr.com/aa/ is a good example of that. I’d suggest at least two lessons a year, every year, on that topic.
- Basic skills. That is, how to cook for yourself, do your own laundry, etc.
- Recognizing manipulation and dealing with anger and other tools of manipulation. http://www.adrr.com/living/ss_9.htm
- Dealing with loss and catastrophic change. http://www.adrr.com/living/sloss.htm. How to respond when bad things happen.
Ok. That is enough from me.
What would you like to see in the curriculum and what sort of support for the youth program do you think the church could afford?