Hopetown Highlights: 9th and 10th Grade - Being Un-Dragoned

We started out our 9th-10th grade camp with a boy named Eustace.  Eustace wasn’t actually at camp with us…except that he was. Eustace was a character in the movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that we watched the first night of camp.  And Eustace, basically, is every one of us.

Eustace started out as quite a grumpy young fellow.  Nothing quite suited him…no situation, no environment, and certainly, no one.  He grumbled his way, much like a little monster, through the beginning of the movie until a certain scene when Eustace was transformed… 

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Technology Tuesday: Juul-the New E-cig Disguised as a Flash Drive

“I saw a guy drop his Juul the other day.  The teacher picked it up and handed it back to him, thinking it was a flash drive.”

One of the high school students in a group counseling session told us this story just last week.  And then every one of them went on to talk about the kids in their classes who were bringing their Juuls to school and using them in class...  

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Technology Tuesday: Decoding the Teenage Code Language

Are you doing your best to keep up with your kids’ texts, but only able to understand a word or two inserted in between cryptic emojis?  Welcome to the world of teenagers today.  They use Acronyms and Emojis to communicate more than words these days.  And, as typically happens, we’re often behind the 🎱 

So, I sat with some teenage girls recently to decode their codes.  I asked them about the slang words they’re using lately, the acronyms, and the emojis.  Buckle up for their answers…

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Technology Tuesday: Should my middle schooler have access to Social Media?

This is a question we're asked weekly in our counseling offices. We always recommend having development serve as a backdrop in making the best decisions for the kids and adolescents we love.

This medical professional (and mom of four) wisely coaches us through what's happening with the brain in this stage of development as we make this important decision. Take a look.

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Technology Tuesday: The Companion App

An App for College Kids…or anyone who might need someone to walk them home...

Over the past month, I’ve seen countless photos on social media of friends dropping their college freshmen off—in cities faraway surrounded by people they hardly know.  I am sure every parent drives off those campuses filled to the brim with lots of hope, and more than a little fear...

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Technology Tuesday: An Open Letter (Challenge) To Teenagers with Cell Phones

I was recently meeting with a young woman in high school I respect very much.  I already did respect her when she told me the following story.  Now, I respect her even more.  She’s swimming upstream in this age of technology.  And I wanted her to write a Technology Tuesday because I believe her thoughts…her passion and her commitment can help the teenagers you love.  Actually, they might can help us all learn to be better stewards not only of technology, but relationships.

In our daily lives, we are constantly surrounded by technology. Everywhere we go phones, laptops, and other devices are always in use. Not long ago, phones were used for a means of communication, and that was it. Now phones are more commonly used for social media purposes. Weather it be snapchat, twitter, or Instagram, people close themselves off from the world and instead engage in what’s on their screens...

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Technology Tuesday: Snapchat Streaks

 “I only have like 10 streaks going, but a lot of my friends have 30.”

A middle school girl went on to describe a Snapchat “streak” to me in my office this week.  By her definition, a streak is when you snapchat each other every day for a given number of days.

“Some people have streaks with 100 days.  I know a girl who has a streak for 600 days with someone.  Basically, if you don’t have a streak going with someone, it means you don’t like them...”

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Technology Tuesday: Going Live!

“I walked out of my bathroom yesterday, wrapped in a towel, only to hear my ten year-old yell, ‘I’m going live!’”.

“Going live” is now evidently the thing.  This ten year-old was “going live” on Musical.ly, only to show her latest “slime” to her five followers, including grandparents and an aunt.  “Going live” basically means live-streaming a video of you—doing whatever you want to do.  People who follow you can click to watch and comment, unless you turn off the commenting feature.  (And slime, by the way, is exactly what it sounds like).  Facebook has a live component, as well as Instagram.  In fact, TeenVogue recently did an article called “6 Tips for Instagram Live.”  The article went on to say...

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Technology Tuesday: The Story on Finstas

Have you heard your child use the word “Finsta?” (I think regularly, if our grandparents were to sit in on a conversation with teenagers, they would be as confused as if someone were speaking a foreign language.  Finsta…tweets…snaps…what are we talking about, anyway?).

So, here’s the story on finstas.  A finsta is what it sounds like—or what it sounds like if you’re 15 and thinking this way—a fake Instagram account.  (Get it…fake Insta?)  I hear about them weekly now in my counseling office.  Middle school girls tell me they have finstas with their very closest friends.  “You know, there are pictures you only want your best friends to see—like things you think are funny...

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Technology Tuesday: Asterisks and Affection

“I wasn’t sure how I could help, but what I really wanted to do was hug him.”

But not just hug—it was more like *hug*.  

“What does the asterisk mean?”

“It’s when the role play starts.  I wanted to hug him, so when I typed asterisks, it was like I virtually hugged him.  And then things took a bad turn from there..."

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Technology Tuesday: Pornography & Masturbation

Take a look at these resources, and how we can make technology work for the adolescents and young adults we care about.

1.  Brain Buddy App   www.brainbuddyapp.com

    Enough silent suffering.

    It's time to get back to rebuild your life.

    The result of over 3000 hours of patient study, Brain Buddy rewires your brain to how it was before you got hooked on porn...

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    Teenage Brain 102

    You may remember our question from last week:

    What is my teenager thinking?

    And the answer:  They’re not.  At least, not in the ways we might be thinking they’re thinking.  See last weeks’ blog for exactly what is happening inside of the brain of your teenager.  In the midst of all of those things, he’s got a lot of strikes against him walking into a new school year.  And so does your teenage daughter.  Here are a few things you can do to help...

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    Teenage Brain 101

    “You may be wondering what your son is thinking…The answer is, he’s not.”  David says often in our parenting seminar, Raising Boys and Girls.  You probably remember that stage with your son.  He would put marbles up his nose and try to flush a matchbox car down the toilet.  His lack of thinking ended him up in trouble quite often.  If you have a teenager, son or daughter, it can feel much the same.  

    What is she thinking that she can text and drive at the same time and not have an accident?

    What is he thinking that he doesn’t have to do any of his school work and he’ll be “fine"...

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    Hopetown Highlights - Session 4 - 9th-10th Grade Camp - Changing from the Inside Out

    "For as he thinks within himself, he is…" Proverbs 23:7

    "Our brains think in 1300 words per minute...", Melissa told us during our 9th-10th grade camp.  A majority of those thoughts are negative.  Have you noticed? What kinds of things do you say to yourself?  Are you critical of others? Are you critical of yourself? Do you say things to yourself like...

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    Hopetown Highlights - Session 2 - Boys Camp - A Lesson in Being Alert

    This week's Hopetown Highlight is brought to you by, Connor Brown, one of Hopetown Intern's.

    “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” Colossians 3:1-2, MSG

    Our third camp of the summer, half a week devoted solely to high school boys, began with this verse, a charge not to become absorbed with the humdrum of daily life, with the rigors of school and activities, but to focus instead on the man God intended you to be...

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    Hopetown Highlights - Session 2 - Girls Camp

    “Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.  The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?’ They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.  Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, ‘The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.’ Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.  Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. ‘Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?’  ‘No one, Master.’  ‘Neither do I,’ said Jesus. ‘Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.’  John 8:1-12

    Jesus once again addressed them: ‘I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.’

    This verse started off Melissa’s teaching to the high school all girls’ camp.  "Many of us have read this story many times.  What stands out to you about it here...

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    Hopetown Highlights - Session 1 - Discovering Our Internal Identities

     “Keep a cool head.  Stay alert.  The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.  Keep your guard up.  You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times.  It’s the same with Christians all over the world.  So keep a firm grip on the faith.  The suffering won’t last forever.  It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.”                                1 Peter 5:8-11, MSG

    Our first camp of the summer started off with this verse.  “Stay alert.  You are waking up at your age,” Melissa said to the 11th-12th graders that were with us at camp this last week.  “You’re aware of new things around you and new feelings inside of you.  There’s a destructiveness that you’re waking up to, as well... 

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    It's Not My Alcohol

     

    It’s not my alcohol, Mom.  I’m just keeping it for a friend.”

    As a counselor who has been working with teenagers for over twenty years, let me tell you the truth.  These words aren’t it.  Teenagers can come up with a million excuses for whose alcohol you’ve just discovered in their room…and why they have it.  And when it’s your child, you’d much rather believer a lie than the truth that your child has been drinking...

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