For the third year in a row, we headed to Nashville for TeenPact One Day. This year, we managed to book a room next door to the Snodgrass Tower where the class was held. We just walked over, after making arrangements to leave our car parked at the hotel until that afternoon. So, so convenient. As soon as we know the date for 2019, we will book our room again at the Capitol Hotel Downtown Nashville.
TeenPact is a four-day workshop for teens ages 13-19, teaching them how a bill becomes a law and many other details about our government. TeenPact One Day is the same workshop adapted for children ages 8-12 and it only takes place over one day. To be precise, between the hours of 10am and 4pm, with a lunch break.
TeenPact also has the tag “leadership school” because it trains the children how to shake hands, have eye contact, the mechanics of public speaking, making friends, and how to be a leader and influence people.
There is homework you download from the TeenPact website. Although not graded, the homework prepares your children for the day. It also gives parents and opportunity for conversations on topics that might not otherwise come up.
This year, we talked to our children about Roe v. Wade, for instance. My favorite part of it, of course, is vocabulary. They learn political terms: candidate, campaign manager, grassroots coordinator, legislative, executive, judicial, capitol, bill, lobbyist, corporate etc.
Our youngest attended TeenPact One Day for the first time this year and she loved it. She says she already looks forward to next year.
The day opens with an icebreaker called the Box Game. The students receive booklets and one of the pages contains boxes with things that might apply to them, e.g. “I have blue eyes.” They are to sign each other’s Box Game in one box and move around the room to get all the boxes signed.
Then, there is a 15-minute worship service followed by the Sword Drill. This is a game my son loves. The Bible becomes a sword and they are to look things up in it as they are told.
There is a skit about how a bill becomes a law – everybody’s favorite. Then we walk to the Capitol building for a tour and scavenger hunt. Lunch is followed by more workshops on government.
Returning students have a different track every year. The first-time students remain in the same classroom and are guided through the mechanics of public speaking. Returning students go into smaller classrooms and discuss different terminology.
As citizens of this country, we choose to vote in every election and stay informed about the political issues of the day. We believe it is important for our children to be trained in such matters.