Here is Elsie with all of the students from her Civics class at our homeschool co-op.
They were part of a group of 90 students at TeenPact.
Sweet Momma and all of the siblings went to watch Elsie during a Mock Legislature
and were able to see her graduate from her week of training.Hi! Elsie here! I just finished an awesome week learning about the government. TeenPact is a Christian homeschool event designed to teach young people how our government works and how we can have an impact on the choices that our leaders make.
To attend TeenPact, there was some homework that I completed. One of the assignments was to write a bill on a serious or funny issue. The first day, we watched a hilarious skit about how a bill becomes a law. Immediately after that, we read our bills and they assigned our bills to committees. Within our committees, we elected a chairman and a secretary. I was elected to secretary in my committee.
In the evenings, we stayed at a camp about fifteen minutes from the capitol. Every night all the students ate dinner together, then had worship and a message. A very special part was when later in the evening we split into small groups to discuss our day.
On the second day, we went on our first field experience, drafted bills in committee, and participated in a Mock Legislature. Field Experiences were when we did prayer walks around the capitol and learned about our government. Soon after, we broke into committees to work on bills during lunch. As the secretary for my committee, I was the one who read all the bills out loud and wrote down all the changes we made. My favorite part of the day was Mock Legislature, where we took the bills we had passed in committee, and debated on them. We used Robert's Rules of Order and voted on every bill.
Day number three was filled with speakers, elections, and final field experiences. In the morning, Lt. Governor Brad Owen came and spoke to us about respecting our leaders even though we may not agree with them. At TeenPact, we elected a governor, and three representatives. I ran, but did not make it past the primary elections. One boy from my co-op was elected to representative. The elections were very fast-paced and exciting.
The final day was very memorable. We had our final committee meeting, participated in a game to test our knowledge of the Constitution, and finally graduated. Previous to the last day, my committee had been very official. Being official in itself is fine, but it was getting pretty boring. Since it was the last day, we decided that we would have some fun. To begin with, every bill has a clause that reads "All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed". One of the guys in my group had the brilliant idea to cross out the "in conflict with this act" so that it now read, "All laws or parts of laws are hereby repealed". We knew that if this bill got on the dock in Mock Legislature it would be hilarious. Soon following we played "Constitutional Power Grab" which is a game where they give us a scenario having to do with the government. Then we would have to look up the section in the Constitution that shows why it is unconstitutional. During graduation, parents got to see us participate in Mock Legislature. Surprisingly, my bill that I had written came up on the dock, and I went on stage to speak on it. While I was on stage, people in the audience asked me questions about my bill. If I did not want to answer a question I didn't have to. As we were about to end our TeenPact legislature, they brought up the last bill- the bill that we had changed in my committee. When they read "All laws or parts of laws are hereby repealed", confusion broke out. Everyone was asking questions while my committee sat there laughing. Strangely enough, we did end up passing that bill. Finally, I went up to receive my certificate of completion of TeenPact Leadership Schools.
TeenPact was an amazing experience that shaped my faith in God, my character, and my knowledge of our government. Before gong to TeenPact, I saw government as something that I read about in newspapers or watch on television, but has no real effect on me. I saw it as something in the distance, not meant to be grasped. TeenPact changed that. I now realize that I can and should have an effect on my government, because not only does it affect me, but it is my duty as a Christian to "always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within me".
For more information about TeenPact go to www.teenpact.com