Our teen class is for kids in high school. Three mentors facilitate our group. They are chosen, not because they rigorously follow a particular path, but because they are open-hearted, open-minded folks who are willing to explore life and its existential questions along with the teens. Each week, one mentor takes the lead for the class while the other two provide support. Classes vary each week. The group might explore a passage from an ancient text, from the mystics, or from a modern-day voice (e.g., Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry). They might write poetry, host a guest-speaker (e.g., spiritual leaders from the Asheville community), create an appreciation circle, explore the divine feminine, design their own religion, or support one another when particular issues arise. One year, they built their own altars. Another time, they presented their Drink for a Dream project — when they offered hot drinks out on Patton Ave. in return for passersby sharing their hopes and dreams — to the entire Jubilee! community. They collected gently-used iPods and CDs as a community service project for Land of the Sky Regional Council. And they occasionally gather outside of class time for a hiking/camping trip or even a polar bear dip.
Regardless of the specific activity, we want them to make healthy decisions while treating themselves, one another, and the members of their communities with compassion and respect.