Thursday, January 27, 2011


Every January, we like to surprise our high school students with a Mystery Destination. We load them up on a bus and they have no idea where they’re going!

Our high schoolers have often been our students since they were very young. We’ve witnessed them grow into future leaders. Our Mystery Destination is a way to honor their presence in our lives, but it’s also a reward for us to spend quality time with these young men and women. Of course, there’s an educational aspect to it, too, as you’ll see.

We allow no technology - including iPods and cell phones - while on the bus. For the whole drive to a nearby camp, the students had real conversations with their friends, chatting away with seatmates and the people sitting in front and back of them.

We spent the day dancing (remember - we teach social dance, among other things), grilling hot dogs and s’mores...basically, having a wonderful time with each other. All the while, our students honed their conversational skills, something they definitely need to succeed in their futures (and they will).

One hilarious activity we did was “Cinderella Shoes.” The young men stood on one side of the room, their backs turned to the young women who each took off one shoe and placed it in the middle of the floor. Each young man had to choose a shoe, find its owner, get on one knee and ask the young woman to dance.

Are you thinking that there is no way on earth any teenager would consent to this activity? Guess what—they loved it. It’s amazing what happens when young people strip away the buzzing distractions and allow themselves to have pure, unadulterated fun. And it’s good for the adults to see it!

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