A city girl turned Future Farmers of America member who participates with a Livestock Club and raises backyard chickens, she wants to study agriculture. After seeing a llama program last year, she’s been obssessed with them.
I stayed out of her way to see what she would do.
She scheduled the llama lady. Then she messaged the head leader it was set.
I called to give him warning before he saw her email. Dead silence on the phone. “She told us she wanted it in the planning meeting,” I explained.
“But I didn’t think she was serious!” he answered.
“You’ve known her for years. If you don’t tell her no, she does what she decides. If you do tell her no, she may still do it,” I told him.
I knew the girl who designed her 5th birthday cake with an erupting volcano on a Pacific island filled with palm trees, with cowboys and Indians fighting in canoes off the coast didn’t joke. (Yes, I decorated it.)
The church called. Because the meeting room had carpet, they wanted tarp on the floor. She assured them and me that the llamas wouldn’t poop indoors. And she packed our tarp.
She drew a llama graphic and created a Facebook event so members could invite friends.
As we spread the tarp, I gasped in panic that it was close to a denim couch. “Won’t they eat the denim couch cushions?” I asked.
“Mother. Llamas are related to camels, not goats,” she admonished me in her strictest voice.
I shut the classroom door, worried the llamas would get loose and charge through the church halls.
Meeting time began. The llamas stayed on the tarp. They did not escape. They did not eat the denim couch. And they did not poop indoors.
And several kids brought friends.
Huge sigh of relief.
A leadership lesson smacked me when it was over.
If we want to groom teen leadership skills in a changing world, sometimes we have to give them space to try their outside the box ideas.
Some fail. Others work. All teach lessons.