During our leadership club planning brainstorming meeting we came up with a ton of fun ideas. As you can tell, we have a lot of theme clubs, which the students really enjoy. Sometimes the themes having something to do with current events (i.e. Super Bowl Club, Olympics Club, Prom Club, etc.), other times they have to do with things the kids are into (i.e. Harry Potter Club, Jerk Club), and other times they really don’t have any relevance (i.e. Yellow Club, Bubblewrap Club).
For a long time I have observed that YL leaders often don’t have to “read up” much on youth culture or scour the web or magazines to see what is “hot”. The good YL leader already knows because of our front-line involvement. In fact we could probably be reporters for all those websites and magazines if we needed some extra money. I will add that we can learn much from other people’s helpful analysis.
So back to the story… One of the ideas that our leaders brainstormed was to do “Jersey Shore Club”. If you work with kids, you know what that show is all about. At first glance it could be fun and honestly I bet it would be a huge hit. The games would be a crack-up and the skits would be easy. I thought the guys would have fun grease-ing up their hair and wearing tight shirts. Then I started to think about how the girls would dress and what kind of attitude they would adopt for the club. That instantly killed the idea in my mind.
In my application of the YL club as a tool, it occasionally straddles the line of “should we really do that”? In my 15+ years of YL I have made numerous mistakes with things I’ve tried and I feel like I have struck a good balance of “edgy” and “above-reproach”. Maybe there is a way to use this idea in a way that makes sense, like in a skit or program that mocks the whole thing. But in our club a lot of kids dress up and play up the whole idea of whatever it is we are doing. So it is a no-brainer. Just like the old SNL skits says… not gonna do it.
How do you decide where the line is? What lessons have you learned?