Club gives boys direction

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

Direction. It is the chief thing lacking in the lives of teens whose lives eventually run off the tracks. Whether the result of a single-parent household, teachers who are disengaged or even an undeveloped sense of spirituality, a lack of direction — especially for young men — frequently leads to trouble that begins in the teen years and sometimes lingers for an entire life.

Into the void left by a lack of direction step gangs, drugs, violence, alcoholism and a host of other problems that beset portions of American society today. The substitutes ruin too many lives.

Administrators at King’s Fork Middle School are working to ensure that their young students are protected. The Young Men of Direction club initiated 50 new members on Wednesday, 50 boys who are setting off on a very definite course of community service and self-improvement.

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Club members learn about self-respect through learning to respect their elders. They learn about improving themselves through improving their community. They learn about meeting goals by having high standards.

It’s all about giving them a rudder that will help them pilot a positive course, rather than allowing them to be tossed hither and yon by every fresh wind, every new current.

Coming in middle school — when many children begin to experience the negative aspects of peer pressure — the club is perfectly timed. These 50 students, plus the others already in the club, may be saved from the worst that our culture can throw at them by the simple fact that people cared enough about them when they were young to help them find the right direction.

Now that’s an extracurricular activity worthy of distinction.