I have heard about TeenPact over the years, but we have never had the opportunity to attend. Since this was there last chance to go for just the One Day Class, I decided we should check it out. There was a bit of homework involved, and we spent several days working on it, but when Friday morning came, they were ready to go see what this was all about... and so was I!! Since we were headed out of town immediately after, and the van needed some work, Roger agreed to drop us off and then return to pick us up. On the way over, Roger asked me if there were public schools attending this or if it was just for homeschool students. I honestly didn't know. We got there a little early and roamed the capital building, found some friends and were able to take a seat in the Supreme Court Room. The kiddos were working on an icebreaker and the moms were doing a little bit of chatting as well. I asked a couple of the moms that I was talking with about it being for PS or just a homeschool event or what. One mom mentioned that it probably wasn't a public school thing because it was very Christian based. Well, I knew that it was, I mean... part of the homework was to memorize some Bible Verses.
Once it got started, I quickly realized what she meant. We opened in prayer, followed by some praise and worship songs and then a Bible drill. After that, we went on a Prayer Walk around the Capital and each group prayed over the members of the House
they prayed over the Senate Chambers
and they prayed together in the Governor's Office
Once the Prayer Walks were over, it was lunch time and they were given a scavenger hunt to work on during lunch. We went to the basement cafeteria with some of the group and most of the kiddos completed the scavenger hunt while eating - because of the photos and decorations on the walls!
Once lunch was over, they sat the kiddos away from the parents and let the good stuff begin!!
The leaders had an awesome skit showing - on a kiddos level - how the bill is born and how it goes through all of the proceedings and how it becomes a law. The bill had to do with candy, so they had a great description of lobbyists - tossing candy at the kiddos - asking them to vote for the bill. I knew what lobbyists did, but the way they showed was just perfect! Of course, it was all full of humor, keeping the kiddos engaged and laughing!
Once they understood how the process works, they were lined up for their "first reads" and put to the proper committee for review.
Riley and his read:
Samantha and her read - after she argued with the leaders that she DID NOT want to go in front of everyone - it wasn't so bad - they barely let them get through the read before banging the gavel and announcing the committee:
After all of the first reads, they broke up into their groups again and were part of the committees - to see how that part of the process is done - and to learn how the next part works. They were given their parliamentary procedures cheat sheet and then we were back in session.
Some of the kiddos were so cute - they were so passionate about their bills! No matter how silly they were, they were serious!! There were a couple that I wasn't sure they understood this was for fun and it wasn't serious!! They were so in to it all, that it ran over!
All of the kiddos got a certificate of participation.
All in all, Samantha and Riley both enjoyed it. And if they learned half as much as I did, then it was well worth it!!