We have eight grandchildren, all in school. Four of them are in Catholic schools. The girls in that family are involved in competitive cheer for which they have traveled all over the Midwest. Their teams have won some of the competitions and were highly competitive in the rest. Before they were on the public team, two of them contributed to the success of the team in their Catholic school. I went to Sioux Falls, S.D., to see their state meet. Impressive! The boy is a cracker-jack Little League baseball player. It’s amazing to watch the games and realize the abilities of these young boys.
The other family has two boys, one in the eighth grade in a public middle school and the other in a public high school. We are so grateful to live in this conservative state where the teachers don’t mess with the folderol that goes on in other states’ public schools. The students are there to learn the basics of education. How do I know? I am friends with one of the school board members and she is solid. Additionally, last year I overheard the then-president of the school board say exactly that, education, not social experimentation, is the goal of this school district.
One of these young grandsons is chomping at the bit for bird season to begin so he can hunt. The other one’s is ways thinking of ways to improve the lives of his chickens. Both young men are avid trap shooters at the local trap club. There are competitions involved also, with some traveling and satisfying results. Young people and adults who use the club, shoot together. Adult volunteer leaders are in charge.
That leaves the two older grand girls, both of whom graduated from high school this spring. They aren’t twins, but cousins. Both of them took several college courses while still in high school to get some of the requirements out of the way. It’s also much cheaper than after they are in college. The Colorado gal interned at a police department during her senior year; she was a hostess at a restaurant; learned to be a barista in a different establishment, and qualified and worked as a lifeguard this summer.
The other one is currently a state FFA officer in South Dakota. As she has done for many years, this summer she ran the hay baler and drove the stacker to help get the bales off the fields, among other duties. She worked intermittently at the local KOA, as she has done for several years. With FFA she was gone to lead FFA camps, have meetings or meet with sponsors for five or so days, about every other week over the summer. She spent a week in Washington, D.C., with FFA. We all kind of got weaned off her being here, which hopefully makes the transition to her being gone for all of her family easier.
Although this is sort of a ‘brag letter,’ the intention is to remind people that there are good kids around. One of the ways to help kids do well is to encourage them in whatever endeavor they choose. I recall hearing this, attributed to an Army colonel, “Keep ‘em busy, keep ‘em tired, keep ‘em out of trouble.”
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