|Parent-Teen communication practice|
Fifteen years ago, Diane DeLong, (North Star Youth Partnership's Program Director) had a vision of a way to help the youth in the community, and with that small vision and a lot of work, her own version of Teen Maze was born! Teen Maze is a life sized "board game" where students interact with volunteers from many different organizations to help see the benefits and consequences of life choices.
As an AmeriCorps Member with North star, I helped to present our booth, "The Game of LIFE." North Star wanted to show the students that every choice you make affects your life (positively and negatively), so the games were centered around decision making, refusal skills, and goal setting. When the students walked into our booth, they were greeted by a volunteer and asked to spin a wheel. On the wheel were different types of jobs, ranging anywhere from garbage collector to doctor. If you spun a number that was between 1-6, then you went to college and you chose not to have a baby. If you spun a number between 7-12, you did not go to college and you did decide to have a baby. The students that received babies had to hold them properly throughout the entire booth, which included the activities of "The Balancing Act of Life" (playing twister while keeping the baby "safe") "High Stakes Stack" (stacking cups signifying things like 'relationships', 'school', 'fun', 'jobs', etc. on a pizza box while balancing the baby), and a parent/teen communication scenario. This taught teens how difficult it is to juggle your every day life when you have a baby.
It's pretty interesting watching teens try and hold a baby properly while attempting to play the game TWISTER or balance a pizza box in their hand. One student actually said, "How am I supposed to hold this baby AND stack these cups at the same time?" which reinforced North Star's objective. Although a lot of work and dedication, Teen Maze is always a very fun experience both for the volunteers and the students. I personally am proud that I am able to be a part of something that is beneficial, yet loads of fun for the youth in our community!
|AmeriCorps Member Nikki Rice demonstrating "safe" baby balancing|