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.

Check Out These Groups Available to You:

You won't believe some of the
neat things that 4H Kids
are doing.

Community Projects
Environmental Studies
Working with Animals
Foreign Exchange Programs

       The Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts of America
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.

Other Groups.

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.


More articles and comments coming soon.  Please feel free to contribute.  eMail:

Resources, Ideas, & Links

I'm hoping that this section will become a long and useful list of ideas, resources, and links to youth groups, clubs, and organizations.

Again, feel free to contribute to this section; eMail foxnest@metacrawler.com

http://www.nydic.org/nydic/links.html         The NYDIC (National Youth Development Information Center) has already compiled quite a list of youth organizations with links to each  organization's sites.

America's Promise -
The Alliance for Youth

Department of Education

Gamma Phi Beta

National Assembly

NFCYM - National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry

NYDIC - The National Youth Development Information Center and the Younger American's Act

No Child Left Behind

Programs of Religious Activities with Youth

Search Institute

USA Freedom Corps

The Scout Path
To The High Road

On This Page

Introduction; a young person's choices in life; the paths toward either the high road...or the low road.

Advice, Wisdom, and Other Comments

Resources and Ideas

On Other Pages of this Site:
About some of the different Youth Groups and Adventures in Life available to you:

about the Boy and Girl Scouts of America

I think that this group will surprise you; 4H is now oriented toward learning about the environment, camping, and outdoor adventure

Future Farmers

Junior Achievers: coming soon

YMCA  &  YWCA: coming soon

Camp Fire USA   I haven't had much experience with this co-ed organization yet, but click here to go to their site

Adult Service Groups
coming soon

Adult Outdoor Groups
coming soon

Motivational Speeches: Passion for Wanting a Life of Consequence.

It's my pleasure and honor to offer this site to you. 

Please visit my other sites, and if you would, please support our sponsors; if you click on any of the banner ads, we get a commission, all of which goes to our non-profit, no-kill animal shelter.
Thanks very much,
Roger Ross, DVM
Seneca, South Carolina

About our Shelter; The Animal Rescue Fund of South Carolina

The FoxNest Veterinary Hospital; about our clinic for small animal medicine.

The Animal Pet Doctor:  my main site; all about the treatment, care, and love of pets.  Also includes wildlife topics and the very controversial subject of animal politics

The Horse Doctor: about the treatment of diseases and problems in horses and much more. Includes info on the new treatment for fescue toxicosis.

Martial Arts Karate: about judo, karate, hapkido, jujitsu, tai-chi,
tae kwon do, and personal development.

Blue Grass Theater:
about and for people who love acustic guitar music, old cowboy music, blue grass, and American Folk music.
Also about Community Theater.

People In Trouble: 
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.


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 foxnest@metacrawler.com

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.


Positive family communication Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s).


Other adult relationships Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.


Caring neighborhood Young person experiences caring neighbors.


Caring school climate School provides a caring, encouraging environment.


Parent involvement in schooling Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.


Empowerment Community values youth Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.


Youth as resources Young people are given useful roles in the community.


Service to others Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.


Safety Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.


Boundaries and Expectations Family boundaries Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person's whereabouts.


School boundaries School provides clear rules and consequences.


Neighborhood boundaries Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people's behavior.


Adult role models Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.


Positive peer influence Young person's best friends model responsible behavior.


High expectations Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.


Constructive Use 
of Time Creative activities Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.


Youth programs Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.


Religious community Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.


Time at home Young person is out with friends "with nothing special to do" two or fewer nights per week.


Commitment to Learning Achievement motivation Young person is motivated to do well in school.


School engagement Young person is actively engaged in learning.


Homework Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.


Bonding to school Young person cares about her or his school.


Reading for pleasure Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.


Positive Values Caring Young person places high value on helping other people.


Equality and social justice Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.


Integrity Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.


Honesty Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."


Responsibility Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.


Restraint Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.


Social Competencies Planning and decision making Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.


Interpersonal competence Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.


Cultural competence Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Resistance skills Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.


Peaceful conflict resolution Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.


Positive Identity Personal power Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."


Self-esteem Young person reports having a high self-esteem.


Sense of purpose Young person reports that "my life has a purpose."


Positive view of personal future Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.


Copyright © 2000 by Search Institute. All rights reserved.