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Archives for June 2016

7 tips for camping with teens

Camping with teens is a good way to get them away from their screens and have some good ole fashioned, quality face-to-face family time. Often teens’ think camping involves uncomfortable sleeping areas, bugs, and burnt food. In reality, camping ranges from a living out of a backpack with few supplies to “glamping” with most of the creature comforts of home. After a night or two your teen will realize that camping isn’t about what you do, but who you do it with.

Who knows, your next camping adventure may be the beginning of a cherished family tradition.

1. Location matters when camping with teens

Read some reviews before picking your location. If you like to fish, pick a campground on a lake or river. If you like swimming, pick one with a beach. Select a campground/site that fits you and your teen’s interests.

You can find a list of campsites near you using the search tools on Reserveamerica.com and Gocampingamerica.com. Use the search options to select certain amenities you and your teen enjoy (bike trails, fishing, swimming, etc.).


2. Create a fun, comfortable campsite

Bring along a screen tent or canopy to be the designated community tent. This space will come in handy for activities, rain and sun protection, or a safe haven from those flying bloodsuckers.

Set up areas throughout your campsite for activities and relaxation:

  • String up a hammock for midday naps or to sleep under the stars.
  • Hang lights from trees or your awning to set a fun mood for the whole family. For ease, use several rope lights to create one long string of lights.
  • Create reading lamps with a headlamp and a milk jug filled with water.
  • Fill the campsite with music. Bring a Bluetooth speaker or a trusty old radio. You can even make a speaker for your smartphone with a regular paper cup.

3. Gather around the campfire

There is something magical about a campfire, especially when camping with teens. The warmth and bright flame entice conversations, but also allow comforting silence. Take time to just sit and talk with your teen under the starry sky. And use that fire to make delicious food!

Camping with teens and family

4. Eat fun food

C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E: lots of it when camping with teens. Bring food that you do not normally eat at home: candy, chips, or cupcakes, anything your teen loves to eat. While riding high with salty and sweet treats, mix in fruits and vegetables to keep your teen energized and healthy.

Bring meals that are fun to cook. Even better are meals that your teen can personalize. Make pudgy pies with an assortment of fillings for a hands-on dinner.

In between meals, or while you sit around the campfire, try the following easy, cook-your-own treats. They are fun and delicious!


5. Play games and enjoy outdoor activities

Add a little friendly competition to your trip. Try the following activities and games with your teen:

  • Activities: Swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing
  • Game: Washers
  • Game: Corn Hole
  • Game: S-P-U-D



During a long rainstorm, settle in for a board game.


If possible, leave the games set up in your community tent while you take advantage of breaks from rain, especially that 6-hour stalemate happening in Risk.

6. Unplug

Set this guideline up front. This trip is family time where screen time is limited to occasionally sharing camping photos. Both of you might enjoy posting on Instagram or Snapchat. However, do not let the online world invade this trip.

7. Enjoy quiet time

While camping involves a lot of outdoor activity, it’s also an opportunity to rest and recharge personal batteries. Bring some books or other reading material for lakeside reading.

Rawhide’s Adventure Camp

Rawhide knows the value of camping with teens. Each summer, we offer weeklong camping adventures along the Wolf River in Wisconsin, designed to help troubled teenage boys. They set up tents, canoe, fish, and swim. Our staff loves watching the guys gain self-confidence, develop new friendships, and learn respect for each other. It is an important program made possible through generous donors. Consider giving to help at-risk youth experience a family camping experience and learn life skills through our Summer Adventure Camp.

9 teen job etiquette tips

Starting your first job is like stepping into uncharted territory. You may be unsure of how to behave or what’s expected of you. Here are tips for teen job etiquette. These tips will help you gain favor as you take this giant step forward.

1. Teen job etiquette tip #1: Be on time!

Teen job etiquette begins with accountability and punctuality. Arrive on time and be ready to work. By accepting this job, you have made a commitment to work at set times for a certain amount of hours. Your responsibility is to keep your end of the bargain.

  • Always arrive on time
  • Never leave early without permission
  • Never skip work

Even one day late may result in dismissal.

teen job etiquette : be on time

2. Dress appropriately

Your working attire is important in how supervisors, coworkers, and customers view you.

  • Keep your uniform or work clothes clean and wrinkle-free
  • Hair should be neat and clean
  • Dress modestly and avoid offensive phrases and logos on clothing

When in doubt, refer to your employee handbook or ask your supervisor.

3. “Unplug” at work

As tempting as it is to check your smartphone while at work, don’t do it. Either mute it or turn it off, then leave it tucked in a drawer or personal bag until you’re on a break or ready to go home. Your employer is paying you to work and may reprimand you for wasting time. Smartphones and MP3 players are distracting and take employees off task.

teen job etiquette no cellphone

  • Give full attention to your job responsibilities
  • Use smartphones only when on an official break (or in an emergency)
  • Keep negative comments about work off the internet

Remember, someone is paying you to do a job, not to socialize with friends.

4. Keep personal problems out of the workplace

Teens are social creatures, so you may feel the urge to talk about your problems with co-workers.  Conflicts happen but the workplace is not the place to rant and rave about personal troubles. If a conflict arises at work, deal with it privately and calmly.

  • Try resolving conflicts privately first without involving your boss
  • Leave positive impressions on supervisors, coworkers, and customers
  • Use constructive and respectful suggestions
  • Avoid being viewed as a troublemaker

You do not have to like everyone with whom you work; rather you need to work efficiently together.

5. Be considerate – important teen job etiquette tip!

You may interact with customers in some capacity on your job. Keep these customer-service tips in mind when you do:

  • Smile
  • Acknowledge customers right away. Don’t chat with a co-worker when a customer appears. Look at the customer and ask how you can help them.
  • Give your full attention to customers
  • Use a polite voice
  • Be patient

6. Practice self-motivation

Any new job provides opportunities to learn new skills. You may feel intimated at first, but don’t let that scare you. Most of us feel nervous when we face an unknown.

View this as a chance to learn employability skills for your future success:

  • Persevere through learning curves
  • Find what needs to be done and do it, don’t always wait for someone to give you direction
  • Remain on task
  • Complete all assigned tasks
  • Volunteer for projects
  • Adapt work style to employer’s preferences

Focus on additional skills you can learn

7. Learn from mistakes and accept constructive criticism

It’s okay to make mistakes. We all do when learning something new. The key is to remain positive and graciously accept input from others. Your pride may be bruised, but if you choose to learn from it, you are actually sharpening your brain power!

  • Take responsibility for errors and apologize
  • Ask for more information if you are unclear about directions
  • Discover what went wrong and figure a way to avoid repeating it

8. When it’s time to move on

You will leave your summer or part-time job at some point. You may pursue higher education or a job with more responsibilities. Avoid burning bridges with these tips:

  • Give at least two weeks’ notice
  • Speak with supervisor away from coworkers and customers
  • Thank employer for the opportunity
  • Stay in their good graces, they can serve as a positive reference in the future

If you get fired, that employer may still serve as a positive reference if you handle it well.

  • Control your emotions and frustrations
  • Inquire why you were let go
  • Ask what you could have done to remain at that job

9. Keep a work / life balance

You may experience stress with your new job responsibilities. Warning signs that you might have too much on your schedule include:

  • Neglecting schoolwork
  • Grades dropping
  • Working over 20 hours per week
  • Social life becoming chaotic or nonexistent
  • Being constantly tired or sluggish

Try alleviating the pressure by implementing a work/life balance. Talk with your parents about your concerns. Refer to your employee handbook for dealing with schedule conflicts.

Rawhide teaches at-risk youth workplace etiquette

Rawhide equips troubled youth with tools for success in their adult lives. Our work experience program is one way we prepare them for the future. Dedicated trainers and staff supervise students in a variety of ranch jobs. Funds from our amazing donors are vital to teaching our guys these lifelong abilities. You, too, can help at-risk youth cultivate job skills and workplace etiquette through a donation to Rawhide!

Should I Sell, Keep, or Donate My Vehicle?

Every car, truck, or SUV owner wonders at some point: should I sell, keep, or donate my vehicle? All three options have advantages depending on resale value, the current market, tax deduction laws, and other variables.  How do you know which is best for you at a given time? Here are a few tips to help decide whether you should sell, keep, or donate your car, truck, van, boat, or motorcycle to charity.

Is it Time to Sell My Vehicle?

American cars now last an average age of 11.5 years, so selling your vehicle before it hits 100,000 miles can increase your return.

Points to Consider:

  1. Mileage milestones:

Selling your vehicle 3,000 to 5,000 miles before these milestones hit can save you costly repairs.

  1. Your vehicle’s “true cost of ownership
    • Projected repairs
    • General maintenance
    • Other expenditures such new tires

Sell your vehicle if the total cost to keep the car is more than the trade-in value.

  1. Your stage in life
    • If your current vehicle no longer makes sense for your life, it may be time for a better vehicle suited to your needs. While a two-seater sports car is fun to drive, it’s not ideal for a budding family.

Should I Keep My Vehicle?

Maybe you own a car, truck, SUV, or van that you love and dread parting ways with it. You might enjoy this vehicle so much you’re willing to pay the increasing maintenance costs that coincide with its age.  Consumer Reports provides a great guide of how much your vehicle will cost if you want it to last 200,000 miles or beyond. You can also ask a mechanic to inspect your car and forecast repair costs in order to make an informed decision.

How does it rate?

Research your car’s reliability ratings with J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, and U.S. News & World Report. If your vehicle receives great scores, it’s one more reason to keep it!

Keeping your current car has its perks:

  • No car payments
  • Lower insurance premiums
  • An opportunity to save more money for your next car

I Want to Donate My Vehicle

Maybe you’re looking for an option other than selling or keeping a used vehicle. An option that puts the vehicle to good use. There is a way to do that. Various non-profits accept vehicle donations. Donating your vehicle can:

  • Earn you a tax deduction
  • Fund a non-profit’s mission
  • Save you the time and hassles of advertising and selling the vehicle
  • Give you the satisfaction of helping those in need

Donating your vehicle can be fast, easy. Check out Greater Non Profits web site to research charities.

Donate Your Car, Truck, SUV, RV, Boat, or Motorcycle to Rawhide

Many Rawhide programs for at-risk youth are funded through vehicle donations. On average, Rawhide donors receive a 48% higher tax deduction, and Rawhide has one of the highest dollars-to-program ratios among non-profits. See how we use these funds.

Other reasons to donate to Rawhide include:

  • Free pick up at your convenience
  • We accepts all cars, running or not
  • Rawhide also considers motorcycles, boats, RVs, campers, and more as donations

If you have decided that donating your vehicle is the best choice, consider Rawhide. As Bart Starr once said, “I can’t think of a better legacy to leave our children than contributing to Rawhide and giving youth and families a brighter future.”

This car donor shares her story:

Teen sleep deprivation, a health threat [INFOGRAPHIC]

How often do you find your teenager staying up past their bedtime doing homework, playing video games, or browsing social media, only to have to pull them out of bed the next morning? Then on Saturday they sleep for what feels like the entire day. This may feel like the norm, but how big of a deal is it really?

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Teen sleep deprivation, a health threat

Teens need about 9 hours of sleep each night to develop and maintain full cognitive and physical abilities. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 91% of all teens fail to get that amount of sleep on a consistent basis. Teens fall behind in school, are more prone to make poor decisions, and see their health decline due to lack of sleep. Unfortunately, 71% of parents are unaware their teens are sleep-deprived.

Teen sleep deprivation is prevalent

In a 2010 study, 50% of teens reported being excessively sleepy, meaning they were likely to fall asleep during everyday activities like reading and watching TV.

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Teens’ lives are busier than ever between school, homework, activities, and friends. Add the prevalence of digital and social media in their lives, and suddenly their day extends well into the night. When activities and smartphone use run into the wee hours of the night, teen sleep deprivation becomes an issue.

William Dement, founder of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic, said teen sleep deprivation has long-lasting ramifications,

“I think high school is the real danger spot in terms of teen sleep deprivation. It’s a huge problem. What it means is that nobody performs at the level they could perform.”

Why are teens not sleeping enough?

Teens’ environments and biology work against each other, making sleep a challenge.

1.      Stimulation from Electronic Devices

Using smartphones and other electronic devices near bedtime contributes to teen sleep deprivation.

Teens unknowingly disrupt their sleep patterns by staring at their smartphones immediately before they attempt sleeping.

2.      Busy Lifestyle

Teens often work, play sports, volunteer, and have homework all in the same day.  When teens procrastinate or schedule too many activities, sleep is often the first thing to go.

3.      Circadian Rhythm

Humans are biologically programmed to adapt to lightness and darkness of their environment. This is called the circadian rhythm, and it’s why we sleep when it’s dark outside. When children hit their teenage years, their circadian rhythm begins to shift. And when you include a busy lifestyle and electronic use at night, their bodies do not make melatonin until well after the sun goes down, resulting in less sleep time.

Dr. Mary Carskadon explained the immense power of our biological clocks:

“Every day we teach our internal circadian timing system what time it is — is it day or night? — and if that message is substantially different every day, then the clock isn’t able to set things appropriately in motion,” she said. “In the last few years, we have learned there is a master clock in the brain, but there are other clocks in other organs, like liver or kidneys or lungs, so the master clock is the coxswain…So if the coxswain is changing the pace, all the crew become disorganized and don’t function well.”

Drastically different bedtimes and wake times on school nights versus the weekend also disrupt teen sleep patterns.

8 Signs of sleep deprivation in teens

Parents can look for signs of sleep deprivation in their teen. Inquire about their sleep habits if your teen:

  1. Has difficulty concentrating
  2. Displays moodiness and aggression
  3. Uses more “sick days” at school and/or work
  4. Exhibits laziness/apathy
  5. Falls asleep in class or while doing homework
  6. Sleeps two hours later or more on weekends than on school nights
  7. Naps for more than 45 minutes routinely
  8. Relies on a caffeinated drink to wake up or drinks two or more caffeinated drinks a day

Physical health problems from teen sleep deprivation

When teens are deprived of sleep, their body releases higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, telling them they need food. The body also releases lower levels of the hormone leptin, which would normally say they do not need food.

Sleep deprived teens tend to make poor dietary choices. They may eat at odd times and grab whatever is convenient, which is often high in fat, sugar, and carbs.

Mental health problems

Sleep loss is tied to depression and suicidal thoughts among teens. Sleep deprivation creates anxiety and make teens moody, aggressive, and more emotional.

Problems in school

Teens lacking sleep are more likely to be outpaced academically by those who get enough sleep. In a study from Tel Aviv University researchers found that a 6th grader with one less hour of sleep than normal each night, performed the same as a well-rested 4th grader.

At the high school level:

  • Teens with A grades slept an hour longer than those with D and F grades.
  • Teens with B grades or better got 17-33 more minutes of sleep on school nights and slept 10-50 minutes earlier than those with C grades or below.

Teens with lower grades had less consistent bed times as well. They went to bed 2.3 hours later on the weekends than on school nights, while teens with A or B grades went to bed only 1.8 hours later on the weekends.


Parents Can Help Fight Teen Sleep Deprivation!

Parents are unaware of teen sleep habits

A teen may go to bed early enough to get 9 hours of sleep, yet wake up periodically to check their phone or experience interrupted sleep.

  • 46% of parents estimate their teen gets 8 hours of sleep each night
  • However, 87% of high school teens sleep less than 8 hours per night

Teens need more sleep than adults. Their sleep needs are not much different than those of a 9-12 year old.

Set Bedtime Guidelines

Parent enforced bedtimes are incredibly effective at influencing teens sleep habits. Set bedtimes around 10 p.m. on school nights and only 2 hours later on the weekends. Setting established times effectively maintain your teen’s circadian rhythm.

According to the Sleep Foundation, children of all ages got more sleep when parents set their bedtimes and enforced sleep rules. On average teens got:

  • 66 more minutes of sleep with even a single enforced sleep rule
  • 48 more minutes with restrictions on nighttime smartphone use
  • 36 more minutes with restrictions on late night TV watching
  • 42 more minutes with restrictions on late night caffeine consumption

Create a Peaceful Environment

  • Eliminate electronics use at night. Put electronics outside of the room. Consider 9-9:30pm as the last opportunity to access electronics.
  • Keep room temperature cool, 60-67 degrees
  • Create soothing white noise. Get a white noise machine or use a fan.
  • Let in natural light in the morning. Sunlight in the morning will cue the body to warm up naturally and reset the circadian rhythm.

Set Limits on Diet and Exercise

  • Limit teen’s caffeine intake to the bare minimum after 5 p.m.
  • Suggest teens exercise earlier in the day. Avoid exercising in the 2 hours before bedtime.

With an array of short- and long-term health threats, teen sleep deprivation is a serious concern. The vast majority of teens fail to reach the recommended 9 hours of sleep, failing to provide their bodies time to re-energize. But all is not lost. If parents raise awareness of the issue and help their teens change unhealthy habits that keep them sleep-deprived.

Enter to Win a Chevy Silverado at Iola Old Car Show

Classic cars cruising the highway and the savory smell of grilled steaks filling the air means it’s time for the Iola Old Car Show! The 44th Annual Iola Old Car Show, July 7-9, has a bit of a twist this year. Classic trucks are the main focus and there will be live music for the first time! While the focus is different, Rawhide is repeating last year’s popular event:  a drawing to give away a vehicle.

Enter for Your Chance to Win a Truck!

Similar to last year, we will hold the drawing at our booth. This year the prize is (drum roll please) … a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado truck!  The pickup truck had only one previous owner who happened to live down the road from the car show. It’s almost like it was meant to be. The Silverado has only 71,000 miles logged and is in amazing condition. Visit our booth in the “Teamed to Learn” exhibit tent to see the truck and enter the drawing.

Iola Old Car Show Silverado

Chet Krause Instrumental in Growing Rawhide

The Rawhide and Iola relationship goes beyond the car show. The founder of the Iola Old Car Show, Chester L. “Chet” Krause, holds Rawhide close to his heart. Chet first visited Rawhide in 1987 and was surprised there were only two boy’s homes on the entire ranch.

Chet challenged Rawhide founder John Gillespie to develop an expansion plan. If John and his staff could compile a thorough plan, Chet promised he would lead the fundraising efforts to make the expansion a reality.

John accepted the challenge and Chet later approved of John’s plan. Chet even contributed a few major financial gifts and let Rawhide use Krause Publications to print and produce the main promotional booklet. The plan worked, and Rawhide was able to build more boys homes.

9 Years Later: Chet Makes another Rawhide Dream a Reality

Additional boys homes led to an increase in students. John turned to Chet again, nine years later. The Starr Academy students needed a facility to play school sports like basketball. Due to the previous success, John again asked that Chet lead the fundraising efforts to reach the one million dollar goal. Chet said he’d think it over.

On Christmas Eve, Chet gave John his response. He called John and said: “John, I really don’t want to serve on a fundraising committee, but I’ll give you the million dollars for the field house.” Merry Christmas, Rawhide.

Chet wrote a check and the Chester L. Krause Fieldhouse was built. It’s been home to the Starr Academy All-Stars as well as a variety of special events and activities ever since!

Rawhide Gives Back to Chet and Iola

With Chet’s overwhelming support, Rawhide gratefully gives back any way possible. Rawhide’s About Face program provides volunteer labor to prepare and set up the Iola Old Car Show every year. Their duties vary from setting up fences to keeping the grounds clean. The Rawhide guys are thrilled to see the classic and collectible cars as they go about helping Chet’s team. They consider it a treat.

See You at the 2016 Iola Old Car Show!

You can join Rawhide at the 2016 Iola Old Car Show July 7-9. Rawhide will be giving away a 1996 Chevy Silverado that you can enter for your chance to win at the Rawhide booth. See you there!

Teen job search, a parent’s guide

Navigating the job market is a challenge. Teens who are trying to land a summer or after-school-hours job may find the task especially daunting. However, parents can help with the teen job search and ease this transition towards adulthood.

The key is to guide teens in the learning experience instead of finding a job for them. The goal is to get teens involved in the job search process for future success.


1.  Help teens narrow their focus

Working is more fun when a job aligns with personal interests. Help your teen focus their job search. Assist them in identifying their likes and dislikes.

  • Are they a movie buff? They might love working at a local movie theater.
  • Do they enjoy camping? They might enjoy selling outdoor gear at a sporting goods store.
  • Do they like ice cream and greeting people? Try an ice cream shop.

teen job search movie theater

2.  Encourage teens to make a list of their skills

Encourage your teen to list skills and experience gained through school, sports, volunteering, and activities, such as:

  • Leadership (led a group project in school)
  • Works Well on Teams (sports)
  • Computer Skills
  • Good Math Skills
  • Dependable
  • Punctual
  • Fast Learner

3.  Help them create a simple resume

Resumes give prospective employers a quick glance at your qualifications.  See sample templates.

  • Keep information short and simple
  • Focus on how you can help the company
  • Place contact information at top: Name, phone, email, address
  • List your skills and qualifications
  • List all relevant experience with transferable skills, even from volunteering
    • Example: Organized a fundraising event for our youth program at church
  • Include extra-curricular activities
  • Add name of high school, GPA, relevant classes, date of graduation

4.  Have teens make a list of references

Recommended references include neighbors, coaches, church leaders, and teachers. Choose people who can attest to your teen’s hard work and creativity.

5.  Show them how to fill out an application

teen job search application

Practice completing applications to get teens comfortable with the process

  • Gather all addresses and contact information (school, former employers, references’ phone numbers, and email addresses, etc.)
  • Have a professional email address
  • Have social security number, work permits, and proof of age ready
  • Use blue- or black-ink pens only
  • Answer all questions completely and honestly
  • Review for any mistakes


Many teens feel pride finding a job. So gently guide them, while they do the heavy lifting.

1.  Point out teen job search resources

On-line Job Resources
Employers are increasingly using online job portals to advertise open positions.

  • If there is a particular employer in mind, click the “Careers” or “Employment” tab located on the company’s website.
  • Snagajob.com and Monster have pages specifically for teen jobs.
    teen job search websites

Off-line Job Resources
Some traditional jobs for teens are not posted online. Find jobs through:

  • Classified ads in local newspapers
  • Church bulletin boards
  • Word of mouth
  • Youth centers
  • Signs in windows

2.  Give your teen contact info of people you know

Applicants are 10 times more likely to get an interview if they know someone working for the company they applied at. But remember, do not reach out to contacts yourself; rather, give your teen access to their information. It is important that they build their own relationships.

  • Obtain contact information of people who can recommend your teen
  • Teens can ask neighbors if they need any help around their property
  • Your teen may have a friend or peer employed who can give a recommendation

3.  Suggest making a list of local businesses

Encourage your teen to jot down local businesses that interest them. Do not worry if they are hiring or not. Sometimes asking the right business at the right time can lead to a job.

teen job search - list local businesses

  • Shopping Mall Retailers
  • Golf Courses
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Parks Departments
  • Summer Camps
  • Skate Shop

4.  Help them think outside the box

If traditional jobs do not suit your teen, explore self-employed jobs.

  • Babysitting
  • Mowing lawns
  • Painting
  • Dog walking

5.  Give teens tips for the job hunt

  • Your teen should drop off resumes to businesses on their list with openings (dress appropriately)
  • Tell your teen to check online job portals daily
  • Encourage your teen to visit a business, ask to speak to a manager, and inquire about job opportunities (dress appropriately)
  • If your teen does not hear from an employer about a week after applying, recommend they send a brief follow-up email or phone call
    1. Restate interest in the job
    2. Short overview of qualifications/abilities
    3. Thank the employer for their interest

6.  Encourage self-sufficiency

Do not accompany your teen when they obtain or hand-in applications. It is important employers view them as independent and self-motivated.


1.  Preparing for the interview

Your teen should treat the interview like a test. Use the following tips as a study guide:

  • Research the company, its products, and its customers
  • What are the qualifications and how do I meet them?
  • Go through common interview questions and rehearse responses
    • Why do you want to work here?
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What do you know about our company?
    • Why should I hire you?
  • Prepare 3-5 questions for the interviewer
    • Describe a typical day in this role.
    • What is the most important qualification for this position?
    • What are the busiest times of the day?
  • Role play for practice

2.  During the interview

  • Maintain proper posture and eye contact
  • Be positive in your body language and words
  • Shake hands when meeting the interviewer
  • Dress appropriately
  • Bring a resume and references
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early
  • Go alone (no parents or friends)
  • Leave phone in the car
  • Express interest in the company and particular position
  • Stress a willingness to work and learn
  • Express problem solving and critical thinking skills through past experiences
  • Be honest!

3.  Following up

Send a thank you email or letter within 24 hours of the interview.

  • Expressly thank them for taking the time to interview
  • Reemphasize major points made in the interview
  • Restate qualifications and interest in the job
  • Give an invitation to contact should they need more information
  • End with another “thank you” and a grateful tone

If your teen does not here back within 2-3 weeks, they may call the employer to restate their interest and politely ask if they have made a decision.


Your teen may face rejection or no response at all to their applications. Remind them that rejection happens to every job hunter. The key is to not let it deflate you. Encourage your teen gently. Learning to deal with rejection is a lesson we all go through.

Tell your teen to move forward and plan their next step.

  • Keep applying
  • Start a business (painting, mowing lawn, etc.)
  • Volunteer


Congratulations! You have successfully guided your teen through a teen job search. You can rest easy knowing that with application and work experience your teen is on a learning path for future career success.

Celebrate your teen’s success and reemphasize your pride in them. This is an accomplishment signaling their path to adulthood.


  • Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development provides a school and work integrated Youth Apprenticeship Program. This gives students paid work experience and job skills while they complete their education.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a website with student resources, games, and quizzes to aid students exploring information about jobs and careers.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor offers a program called Job Corps. It is free for students under 16 years old from low income households.


Our Rawhide guys follow a professional and real-world approach to obtaining a job. They create resumes, fill out applications, and interview for open positions in various Rawhide departments such as: vehicle program, food service, facilities, administration, or in the stables. These opportunities are available thanks to our generous donors. Please join our donor community to help at-risk youth better their lives and go through their own teen job search.

Too Much Screen for Your Teen? [INFOGRAPHIC]

What’s dirtier than a toilet seat and causing teens problems with their vision and hearing, plus contributing to depression? Would you believe devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets? It’s true.

Teens spend on average 9.3 hours on their digital devices each day. That’s more than the time they spend sleeping or in school. And it’s causing new physical and mental health issues including screen addiction. Teen screen addiction is even interrupting sleep patterns. A new study found digital devices can disturb sleep worse than caffeine! While technology helps teens communicate, their screen time causes smartphone addictions, weight gain, sleep deprivation, eye damage, and other issues that can plague teens throughout their lives.

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Teens on Screens How it Impacts Their Health Screen Addiction Infographic

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Teens on Screens: How it Impacts Their Health

Teens may be setting themselves up for a lifetime of physical, mental, and emotional issues, all through excessive screen time. Devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices, are consuming 9.3 hours of each day, time that could be spent sleeping, exercising, or studying. Their devices are veritable petri dishes as well. Many tests found devices such as smartphones, tablets, and video game controllers are dirtier than toilet seats. Overuse and misuse are causing hearing and vision damage as well as depression and musculoskeletal issues such as Occipital Neuralgia, Text Neck, iPosture, and text claw. Improper posture while texting may add up to 60 pounds of pressure to the spine, equal to the weight one would experience carrying an 8 year old around their neck. When a developing body is subjected to this for extended periods of time each day, physical, mental, and emotional issues are likely to develop and continue into the future.

Teen Screen Addiction Leads to Physical Health Problems

Teens that constantly check phones and don’t use proper posture while using digital devices may develop Occipital Neuralgia. This is a condition in which the occipital nerves, which run from the top of the spinal cord up over the scalp, are inflamed or injured. Occipital Neuralgia indicators include:

  • Aching, burning, and throbbing pain starting at the base of the head and moving to the scalp
  • Pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tender scalp
  • Pain when moving neck

Repeatedly checking a smartphone or tablet screen creates neck tension and tightens neck muscles, resulting in “iPosture” or “Text Neck.” Both of these newly defined conditions describe the pain and damage sustained from constantly lowering the head to view screens.

Improper posture while texting can add up to 60 pounds of pressure to the spine, equal to carrying an 8 year old around your neck

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Screen Addiction Increases Mental Health Issues

1.      Depression

At least 70% of teens will have more than one episode of depression before adulthood, and digital devices may be a big reason. Dopamine, a brain chemical known to elevate moods, is released when teens receive social media notifications or text messages. On the reverse side, dopamine is not released if they aren’t getting notifications, causing teens to become depressed. Scientists discovered teens that spend excessive time online had less dopamine receptors in their brains.

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Reduced dopamine levels from a lack of digital engagement may cause:

  • Internet addictions
  • Problems at school
  • Running away
  • Violence
  • Suicidal tendencies

2.      Nomophobia

60% of teens admit they’re addicted to their smartphones. The addiction has given rise to a new medical term: Nomophobia. Nomophobia originated because of the high rates of fear and anxiety teens experienced without their device.

3.      Phantom Vibrations

Another 90% of teen smartphone users experience “Phantom Vibration Syndrome” where they mistakenly think their mobile phone is vibrating in their pocket. Dr. Robert Rosenberger credits this to teens habitually expecting alert notifications. “We are just so anxious these days, because our different technologies constantly have us on the edge.”

Teens on Screens Suffering Computer Vision Syndrome in Greater Numbers

Recent studies indicate Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) affects as many as 75% of teen computer users.

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Computer Vision Syndrome encompasses an array of eye strain issues and pain including:

  • Eye Strain
  • Blurred Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Dizziness
  • Dry, Red Eyes
  • Eye Irritation
  • Headaches

Constantly viewing a screen decreases the blink rate by 33%, creating a higher evaporation rate, and ultimately dryer eyes. Dry eyes may cause permanent damage if left untreated.

Higher Rates of Screen Sightedness Appearing

Since the launch of smartphones in 1997, short sightedness cases have increased 35%. Another new term, screen sightedness, describes short sightedness caused by excessive screen time. Screen sightedness rates are expected to grow 50% over the next 10 years. The problem appears most when young people hold screens close to their faces. Screen sightedness symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Brow ache
  • Eye pain
  • Eye redness
  • Eye irritation
  • Dry eyes

Did You Say Hearing Damage?

46% of teens experience common signs of hearing loss such as ringing, roaring, pain, or buzzing in their ears. The cause? Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Specialist provides insight:

“Probably the largest cause of hearing damage is millennials using earbuds with their iPods and smartphones.”

Teens are playing their music so loud so often that they’re damaging their hearing. Hearing loss can occur in as little as 8 minutes. Hearing loss occurs when:

  • Volume is over 60%
  • Audio consumption is over 60 minutes per day

Excessive Screen Time Causing Weight Gain

Adolescent obesity has quadrupled over the past 30 years. 1 in 3 teens are now defined as overweight or obese and screen time may be contributing. A 2014 CDC report found 80% of obese teens aged 12-15 spend more than 2 hours a day in front of screens. The CDC also found:

  • The average teen is physically active only 39.4 minutes per day       Click to Tweet! 
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 teens get the CDC’s recommended minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day

With around 7 hours for sleep, 7 hours in school, and 9.3 hours in front of a screen, not much time is left for physical activity.

Screen Addiction Causing Sleep Deprivation

87% of United States high school students get far less than the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night. But they still get 9.3 hours of digital screen time. Time devoted to sleeping often turns into time spent checking a phone:

A 2015 Science Magazine study found the amount of caffeine in a double espresso has less effect on a teens sleep schedule than bright light exposure from a digital device.

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Pay Attention!

Since 2000, the average American teen’s attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to less than 8. That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! The short attention span is negatively impacting homework time. One study found that teens couldn’t concentrate on their homework for more than 2 minutes without being distracted by digital devices.

Screen Time Causes Nerve Damage

Repetitive finger motion like texting or scrolling digital screens can cause Text Claw—cramping or sore muscles in the fingers, wrist, or forearm.

Prolonged bending of the elbow too tightly can damage arm nerves by squeezing off the blood supply to those nerves which control the smallest two fingers. This condition is called Cell Phone Elbow, causing tingling and numbness in the ring and pinky fingers.

Distracted Walking Can Turn Deadly

33% of parents and teens agreed that personal digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers caused daily family conflicts about too much screen time. Constant digital consumption can divide families through:

  • Less and less undistracted family time
  • Indifference to the physical world and people in it
  • Need for approval by online strangers
  • Dependence on virtual world
  • Prioritization of impersonal communication

The digital world is consuming teens, leading to unhealthy obsessions that affect family relationships.

Screens Expose Teens to More Germs Than… Toilet Seats?

Many digital devices your teen uses harbor more germs and bacteria than toilet seats.

On average, smartphones and tablets contain 10 to 12 kinds of bacterial and fungal species. Toilet seats only have three kinds of germs. Teens use smartphones and tablets every day, exposing themselves to a veritable petri dish of germs.

What Parents Can Do About Screen Addiction

Parents can implement household rules to prevent excessive screen time:

1. Set Usage Limits – Set the times and places teens may use devices to ensure they aren’t overusing or addicted.

2. Keep Devices in Public Places – Keeping devices in public areas prevents teens from using devices when they shouldn’t.

3. Homework is a Digital Device-Free Zone Unless Needed – Limiting use of computers or tablets during homework time may be difficult especially when writing papers or doing research. You can set restrictions on other digital device however. Make sure the device is for homework only.

4. Teach the 20/20/20 Rule – If your teen must use a digital device for an extended period, teach them the 20/20/20 rule. Give eyes a break from screens every 20 minutes by viewing something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.

5. Encourage Teens to Go Outside – Encourage teens to go for a walk or play a game outside, WITHOUT their phone. Go on family walks or organize outdoor family activities.

6. Steer Your Kids Toward Forms of Media That Actively Engage Them – Screen time doesn’t have to be negative. A variety of sites provide positive stimulation and interaction.

7. Lead By Example – Show teens it’s possible to have fun without technology. Play board games, hold thoughtful conversations, or take family vacations where devices are only used when necessary.

Screen time has its plus sides until it becomes obsessive. Digital media helps teens stay up to date with friends or family. But screen addiction creates physical and mental health issues. Monitor teens screen time and how they use digital devices. Parental supervision helps teens avoid the same fate as the 60% who admit they’re addicted to their smartphones.

Who knew digging stumps could change a life?

Todd sat in a court room in 1996, after what he called “a series of bad decisions.” When the Judge recommended Todd attend a State Correctional Facility; his heart sank. However, his parents fought for him to have the chance to turn his life around at Rawhide Boys Ranch and get out of the Department of Corrections (something Todd very much appreciated). He recalled feeling terrified at the prospect of leaving his home, confronting his issues, and answering for his atrocious behavior as an at-risk teen. He remembers his first day at Rawhide well.

Digging up stumps and turning over new leaves

At a young age, Todd fell in with the wrong crowd. He lacked motivation, moral behavior, and was generally directionless. When he arrived at Rawhide he thought there was no way he would stay in this “hillbilly town” for an entire year.

Though after many nights “digging up stumps” while his housemates played, Todd started developing a new attitude. He holds that this particular disciplinary measure is his fondest memory from his year at Rawhide. Digging stumps was his housefather’s preferred penalty. Todd learned the value of discipline, hard-work, and respect on those long nights toiling in the dirt. He credits his houseparents with molding the man he is today, in part because of the strict discipline they showed him. They consistently went out of their way to create a loving environment and taught him how to live, how to be an adult, and to work hard.

Gratitude for “Hillbilly Town” in rear-view mirror

He left Rawhide a year later with a High School Diploma and a new outlook on life. He now had tools to succeed and a support system to aid him in troubled times. He said, “I think about it all the time…when I left Rawhide I did get into some issues at first, but I managed to get back on track. I thought to myself, ‘man, do I wanna be digging a stump?’”  To this day, when he runs into trouble or a personal hardship he recalls his former penalty to set him straight.

Todd maintains that if he had not attended Rawhide and Starr Academy he would be in prison or even dead. He certainly wouldn’t have “6 wonderful kids and a beautiful wife” with an Associate’s Degree in Police Science from Fox Valley Technical College and a full time job driving semi-trailer trucks. He is thankful that his job allows him to return home every night to his family.  A family that would not exist without the love and parental guidance he received from his Rawhide houseparents. He even recently applied for a position in the same Department of Corrections he despised all those years ago.

Advice for new at-risk teen at Rawhide

We asked Todd what advice he would pass on to a new guy at Rawhide.  He replied, “A lot of people can play the game…[but] be serious about it. Devote your time here to changing and listening to what the people are trying to tell you, and really go forward with it.” He added that it is a great place to learn because “each of their employees individually take the time and devote the time to changing someone’s life.”

Todd went from troubled teen to devoted family man, knowing that his transformation was ignited by Rawhide services. The Adam Trask character (played by James Dean) exclaimed in the movie East of Eden:

“If you want to give me a present, give me a good life. That’s something I can value.”

– James Dean

Todd and the Rawhide staff could not agree more.

Help an at-risk teen like Todd

If you agree with James Dean and us at Rawhide, please consider donating today. Your support nurtures and transforms men like Todd every day.