Welcome. If you are a young person, this page is about the choices you can make in your life that will open doors in the future. It's about the larger youth groups that are available to almost every American Kid, and in many cases,Kids in other countries, that offer fun, adventure, and skill learning.
For as long as man has been telling stories and writing books, there are references to the fork in the road and the taking of different paths.
As for me, "I'll take the high road."
Our American Indians, living on or near our reservations, referred to the "Jesus Road"; describing those Indians, under the influences of the many different missionaries, who devoted themselves to Christ and tried to live a moral and productive life. The implied alternative was alcolholism, gambling, fast living, and no account living.
As for the Youth of Today; they too have to choose which roads and which paths in Life to take. That's what this web site is about. There are only a limited number of roads; same as always; but today there are lots and lots of different paths. That's both exciting and frightening.
Here's what I'm talking about:
The Roads I'm referring to are called many different names, but it all comes down to Good and Evil. The road to Heaven, Inner Peace, Love, Success, Fulfillment, & Honor. Or the road to Purgatory, Inner Strife, Self Discust, Hate & Envy, Personal Failure, and DisHonor.
These roads are not always clearly marked. (Remember that people on the low road will stive to fool others as well as themselves and may very well be finacially successful and loaded with with the symbols of wealth and honor. Obvious examples are the crime and drug lords with their display of jewelery and mansions and cars...or the crooked lawyers, politicians, and business tycoons with their many plaques, memberships in honor societies, and titles.) (Most business tycoons, lawyers and politicians are top notch people; not crooks)
That's pretty much all I'm going to say about the roads. This web site is about the many Paths...some of which lead to the higher road...and some which meander and twist, but eventually lead to the lower roads.
I don't want to belabor this analogy of paths and roads too much, but think about the obvious: there are some well defined paths that young people are likely to follow, and from the vantage point of middle age, it's pretty clear where those paths lead.
The Enticing Paths that lead to trouble if you stay on them too long:
Hanging out, acting tough, being cool...and proving it by smoking, drinking, shop
lifting, vandalizing, etc. Skipping school, picking on the smaller and younger kids.
Avoiding the effort of getting involved in the good stuff.
Being promiscous and early pregnancy will quickly doom you.
Withdrawing into yourself or a very small group of other introverts: avoiding
rejection by other kids your age. Spending most of your free time in front of a TV or computer. Sometimes being too much of a nerd can lead
to trouble too.
Joining the really tough set. Getting involved in gangs. Being involved, even a little
in the use or selling of drugs, committing robberies, or violence will quickly ruin your
The Paths that lead away from trouble and toward character building, skills, and oppertunity: The Scout Path
Being clean cut, hard working, reliable, and helpful to your family and to others.
This includes doing as well as you can in school; an incredible oppertunity.
Joining with like-minded kids of your age in groups that develop skills, discuss ideas,
and get involved in community projects.
Scouting, 4H, Future Farmers, YMCA or YWCA
Junior Achievers, Sports, Band or Orchestra
Theater, Karate, Debate, Outward Bound
The paths you choose in your young life will determine who you will become. They will determine what types of friends you make. Some paths, while exciting for awhile, will lead to self destruction, while better paths, though a little harder, will lead you to self confidence, self respect, and a good chance for a truely successfull life.
Unlike the animals, you as a person, get to choose what types of things you're going to do with your time and your behavior. If you recognize that you're on a bad path, one of the neat things about America is that we encourage second chances, you'll be welcomed in any of the following groups. Please give them a try. For your sake.
Where ever you go, there will be adults willing to help you and guide you if only you ask nicely, are willing to work a little, and behave like a half way civilized person. On this site, I've gathered material to introduce you to some of the bigger and better organizations that you might consider joining. Please take advantage of these groups. Most of them include a lot of fun activities, they all offer a lot of oppertunities, and all of them are likely to make you a better person.
This very sexist group discriminates against boys! Nonetheless, if you're not a boy, you may find that this group is for you. Lots of activities, outings, campouts, canoe trips, crafts, shop-a-thons, horse back riding, travel to foreign countries, community service projects, trips to our capital...
The Boy Scouts of America...our future leaders
Yes, another discrimatory group. The Boy Scouts only want boys who are willing to be morally straight, friendly, brave, reverent, and worthy of trust. Hopefully you fit in this category. If so, an exciting world of fun, work, skill learning, and adventure is waiting for you. Check out the Boy Scouts.
There are many other excellent groups. Many that are just as good as scouting and
4 H. Maybe even a few that are better. There are also many activities that will enrich your life and character. I mentioned some of them above;
Athletics, Band or Orchestra, Theater, Karate, Debate, & Outward Bound.
There are many clubs and service groups that are worthy of your time. Many of these I will list below in the Resources and Idea Section of this page.
I highly recommend Karate as a discipline if you can fit it into your schedule. I have a whole web site devoted to the study of martial arts. Please take a look.
Coming soon, I will have pages ready highlighting Future Farmers, YMCA and YWCA, and Junior Achievers, all of which are excellent groups.
Advice, Wisdom, and Other Comments
Go placidly amid the noise & haste, & remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly: and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter: for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantement it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nuture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatique & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
Desiderata: FOUND IN OLD SAINT PAUL'S CHURCH, BALTIMORE; DATED 1692
More articles and comments coming soon. Please feel free to contribute. eMail:
Everyone needs a helping hand now and then...sometimes we need a lot of help.
It's easier to build a boy
than it is to mend a man.
A good man dies
when a boy goes wrong.
From Rev Darwall Cranbrook School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
(where I attended in the early 1970's)
Here's an Interesting Story
You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy
night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people
waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car.
Think before you continue reading.
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.
You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.
However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.
WHAT DID HE SAY?
He simply answered:
"I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital.
I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."
Thanks for visiting this site. Any help in making this site better would be greatly appreciated. If you have links or activities or youth organizations you want to recommend, please send them by eMail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again and God Bless, Roger Ross, DVM
Here's something I just came across from The Search Institute; their findings of the 20 external and 20 internal things an adolescent needs to develop into a healthy adult. I don't know much about the Search Instititute ... I doubt if they're a government organization because they include weekly participation in group religious activity as being important .
When I first read about these 40 things, my first thought was "right on", whoever this Search Institute is, they've come up with an important list. And they have. On the other hand, it struck me that, "hey, all this stuff seems familiar: it's the same stuff that organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4H, and Future Farmers have been teaching for almost 100 years.
Here's the Search Institute List:
Support Family support Family life provides high levels of love and support.