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Archives for July 2016

Volunteer opportunities for teens on the rise

Teen volunteering is growing at a faster rate than the national average. An astonishing 93% of teens say they want to volunteer meaning the only step is finding the right volunteer opportunity. Just guide your teen towards a few volunteer activities and watch your teen fall in love with helping others.

Volunteer Opportunities for Teens Pulling Weeds

But how do you get your teen involved in volunteering? What if volunteering gave your teen the social environment they crave and opportunities to learn new skills? Non-profits and charities throughout the nation are adapting to provide opportunities to attract teen volunteers; and it’s working.

What do volunteer opportunities for teens look like?

Nearly 66% of all teen volunteers dedicate time working with youth, religious, and social services organizations. Teen males are more likely to select volunteer opportunities that allow them to explore future careers and educational opportunities, while teen females choose volunteer activities that incorporate their hobbies/interests.

According to a 2016 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens volunteer at a higher rate than nearly all other age groups.

  • Despite having 5 million less citizens in the last census, 300,000 more teens volunteer than those in their early 20’s
  • The average teen volunteer chips in 36 hours annually

Teens seldom use the internet to find volunteer opportunities. Instead, they rely on recommendations from peers and local advertising. Over 40% inquired about volunteer opportunities for teens without being asked.

Teen volunteers want simple, social activities

Teens use volunteering as a way to interact with current friends and an opportunity to make new ones: Over 75% of teens volunteer because their friends do.

Painting Bench Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Teen volunteers want to:

  • Volunteer close to home
  • Mirror their hobbies (coaching basketball, build houses)
  • Work within a group
  • Use volunteer experience on a resume or college applications/scholarships
  • Learn skills to achieve career/educational goals

Try to emphasize these volunteering qualities when suggesting volunteer opportunities for teens.

Volunteering is increasingly replacing summer and after school jobs. Even extra-curricular groups are being replaced as the preferred way to gain experience for college and job applications. Researchers believe that volunteering is a highly beneficial application of skills learned in school. They can solve community problems with knowledge learned in the classroom. Volunteering also helps teens:

From an introduction to the medical profession to tutoring others, volunteering can kick-start a fulfilling career for many teens.

Seeing the fruits of their labor

Teens enjoy activities that have a direct impact on their community. There is a reason animal shelters are the most popular volunteer destination. Teens can see and feel what their time creates.

It is important that first-time volunteers get a sense of the importance of volunteering. While many teens volunteer, retention remains a concern. The good news is that most teens do find worth in donating their time. Skills and lessons learned by teen volunteers include:

Rawhide’s teen volunteers

Rawhide’s About Face Program is a chance for at-risk youth to learn the importance of community service. Through different projects, our guys learn a lot about themselves while doing some good for others. Past community service projects include:

Our guys work at Rawhide’s famous Friday fish fry. The guys love the responsibility and fast paced work where they can interact with each other and hungry diners.

When friends of Rawhide donate, they fund community-building services. By giving to Rawhide, you are helping to build a generation of community focused young men.

20th Annual Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Raises Funds for Rawhide

The 20th Annual Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing was one for the record books. 148 golfers from across the country teed off to support charities in Northeast Wisconsin. Funds raised from the event were split between three non-profits:

But what was so remarkable about this year’s outing? A whopping $200,000 was raised, setting a new single event record!

20 Years of Benefiting Charity

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing 2016

The Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing began as a memorial for a former Kimberly-Clark team member and fundraiser for cancer research. But in 2010 the focus switched to benefit local charities, Rawhide included. Total funds raised since the event formed sit at over one million dollars, with the event growing larger every year!

A Hole-in-One Event

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Color Guard

The day began with two Rawhide guys presenting the colors for the national anthem. A shotgun start signaled the start of the golfing as golfers hopped into their carts and sped to their first hole. Once the clubs came out, the golfers took in a little friendly competition. Contests such as longest drive, straightest drive, longest putt, and best team scores resulted in a lot of talk and even more laughter.

After golfing, the silent auctions drew much of the attention. Prizes included autographed Packer memorabilia, drones, gift baskets, and vacations. The Rawhide guys were fortunate enough to have a new dart board come back to their recreation center. All proceeds from the silent auctions went to benefit the charities.

Tech Sponsors Make Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Possible

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Charities to benefit

The event couldn’t have happened without the generous support of the sponsors. This year’s sponsors included:

These sponsors helped cover expenses for the event and provided some raffle prizes. Thank you to all sponsors who helped make this event such a resounding success!

Rawhide’s Impact on Display

Rawhide is a consistent benefactor of the KC Charity Golf Outing for one reason: Rawhide programs work. An assessment of all the organizations benefiting from the KC Golf Outing found that Rawhide provides services crucial to helping at-risk youth. Committee Chair member Kim Iverson said,

“Seeing the impact Rawhide has had is a reason we keep bringing them back for the event. They make such a positive impact on so many young men’s lives.”

The Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing helps fund many programs that continue to help make Rawhide a leader in at-risk youth care. We couldn’t be more grateful for their continued help and support.

Rawhide Guy Learns to Golf

Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing Golf Lesson

The night prior, a Rawhide guy spoke to a large crowd at Lambeau Field. It was only his second ever public speech, but he delivered it with confidence. After the speech, he asked Rawhide Executive Director John Solberg if he could attend the golf outing. John said yes.

While at the golf outing, John took time to teach the Rawhide guy, and first-time golfer, how to golf. By the end of John’s lesson, he was driving the ball over 200 yards! He had never hit a golf ball prior. When asked what his favorite part of the whole event was, he gave two responses:

  1. Learning to golf
  2. The food

Support Rawhide Programs Your Way

Opportunities to fund Rawhide programs go beyond special events like the Kimberly-Clark IT Charity Golf Outing. Whether you attend a famous Friday fish fry, donate a vehicle, view our eBay store, or show your support through social media, all methods are helpful and much appreciated ways to support Rawhide.

To stay up-to-date on Rawhide events and discover ways to help Rawhide give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance, join our online community. You’ll receive all the latest information and ways you can give at-risk and troubled youth a second chance.

2016 Iola Car Show Attendee Wins Chevy Silverado

The 44th annual Iola Old Car Show saw thousands come from across the country to see classic cars, trucks, and, for the first time in Iola Car Show history, live music! As if that wasn’t enough excitement, Iola Car Show attendees that visited the Rawhide Boys Ranch booth had an opportunity to add to their vehicle collection. Rawhide continued a tradition started last year and gave away another vehicle to thank supporters both old and new.  This year, the prize was a 1996 Chevy Silverado in peak condition.

Honoring Chet Krause: A Rawhide Friend for Decades

Iola Car Show Chet Krause Memorial

Sadly, Iola Old Car Show founder Chet Krause passed away shortly before the 44th car show. Chet and Rawhide have had a longstanding relationship since Chet first visited the ranch in 1987. Chet pulled aside Rawhide’s co-founder, John Gillespie, and challenged him to develop an expansion plan for more boys’ homes. If John could do that, Chet promised to lead the fundraising efforts.

John, never known to back down from a challenge, immediately accepted. He presented Chet with a plan and shortly after, Chet led the fundraising and personally contributed several major financial gifts.

Chet’s support helped provide our guys with opportunities they never thought possible. We are incredibly grateful for everything Chet has done. He will be greatly missed by everyone at Rawhide, Iola, and the many other organizations and charities he supported throughout his lifetime.

Rawhide Guys Give Back to Iola Car Show

Rawhide Booth at the Iola Car Show

As a way to honor Chet’s generosity, Rawhide’s About Face Residential Program has been helping at the Iola Old Car Show since 2000. Rawhide guys set up fences, keep the grounds clean, and handle whatever else Iola’s Managing Director Larry Fechter needs done to prepare for over 100,000 yearly attendees.

This year, many of our guys got the chance to work the booth with Rawhide staff. They talked about the truck and other vehicles with visitors expressing interest at the Rawhide booth. They also educated visitors about Rawhide’s programs and provided an excellent representation of Rawhide.

Rain Can’t Stop this Parade!

Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, the Iola Car Show had a strong turnout. Thursday and Friday saw rain, but the sky’s cleared to beautiful weather on Saturday, bringing a giant crowd. Costumed Star Wars enthusiasts delighted the crowd with a replica Millennium Falcon and podracer and provided photo opportunities for all attendees. Unfazed by the weather, car enthusiasts came from all over to make it another Iola Car Show to remember.

Iola Car Show Star Wars motorcycle

About that Chevy Silverado…

Iola Car Show Win Me Truck

As exciting as Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone performance was, Rawhide’s Chevy Silverado giveaway was “Just a Little Bit Better.” On Super Saturday the Iola Old Car Show team drew the winning entry card and notified the winner of the truck. Thank you to all who entered. We hope to see you next year!

Grow Your Vehicle Collection

Even though you didn’t win the 1996 Chevy Silverado, Rawhide can still help grow your car collection. We have many vehicles on our eBay site, from classic cars to everyday drivers. The right one for you might only be a click away. Every purchase from Rawhide’s eBay store helps fund programs that benefit at-risk and troubled youth.

view vehicles for sale

Rough troubled teen transforms into chivalrous cowboy

To 12-year-old Dennis, driving to Rawhide was like entering a different time. In 1966, the roads to the ranch were unpaved and winding, and the ranch consisted of one house, a workshop, and a barn with a small corral. When prompted about his first thought of Rawhide, this troubled teen stated, “Bonanza,” adding, “The mansion looked like the Ponderosa.”

Troubled Teen boys home

Dennis never lived with his biological family. He bounced around a series of group homes until he fell into trouble. He said, “I wound up in the big city…it was easier to run into the wrong crowd just trying to prove yourself.”

At Rawhide, Dennis found the family he never had. He spent parts of six years under the care of John and Jan Gillespie, where he was “educated and learned.” He was quick to point out the distinction, “Learnedness is what does it taste like, feel like, look like.” With little guidance as a child this was important to him. He was the youngest guy by 2-3 years; he described himself as “the runt of the litter,” but he grew to love his new family.

Troubled teen finds freedom on the Ranch

With consistent behavior, Dennis earned the trust and respect of John and Jan enough to have his own horse, Frisco. At first he was supervised, but after a while was able to go riding alone anytime he wanted. Back then the ranch was mostly wild terrain and open country, and the guys could ride a long way once they saddled up.

Living in the structured environment at Rawhide, riding was freedom. It was a reward for the obedience and discipline ingrained in Dennis. He said, “Sure there were some ups and downs, but take my horse away and that was like wow, the end of the world.”

We asked him to advise new guys at Rawhide and he spoke direct:

“You want me to be frank?…Keep your mouth closed, and your eyes and ears open…If your lips are flapping, then you’re not learning.”

Dennis wasted time fighting discipline and refusing to respect authority, mainly because he was never taught to value societal and moral etiquette. His behavioral models were understaffed and overworked group homes prior to Rawhide, street gangs, and other troubled teen guys. On his youth, Dennis said:

“I’m just thankful that I was able to see the trail…I came to a Y in the road very young, and I could have stayed and taken one trail and who knows what, and coming to Rawhide I took the trail to the other side and it worked out pretty good.”

He specifically mentioned learning, “If you abide by the laws, you’re rewarded.” For Dennis this was an entirely new idea. He fought for everything he had, having to prove himself to every revolving member of his life. There were no rewards, and no consistency. With the care he received from the Gillespie’s that burden fell away. They accepted him as their own, and raised him with love, respect, and understanding. For this Dennis expressed immeasurable gratitude:

“John and Jan… I appreciate what you’ve done, I think you did a good job. Thank you, immensely.”

Growing emotional over their influence on his life, Dennis said the tears come “from the love for John and Jan, they’re like my parents.”

Unwavering bond of the heart

After Rawhide, Dennis enlisted in the Marine Corps where he was promoted four times in two years. Dennis said, “I just had my act together and I attribute that to Rawhide and the folks here.” Tough he is not currently in contact with the Gillespie’s, for Dennis the connection is unwavering. The bond he formed anchors him to humility and morality, and will forever.

From the big city to the ranch, bereft of affection to brimming with love, Dennis saw and learned from what he called, “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” He took what he learned on the streets, where he had to live by his senses, and directed it through a new lens, a lens of respect and the opportunity for a future.

Ways to help a troubled teen

You can help another troubled teen like Dennis become a successful alumnus. Rawhide continues to provide outstanding guidance and care to at-risk youth with a growing number of services. To help us grow and meet the needs of our students, please consider donating to Rawhide. We offer many ways to support our mission, so please contact us to find the best approach for you.

13 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Disc Golf

The sound of a Frisbee colliding with a chain-link net is followed by a congratulatory high five from a group of disc golfers. As the group moves to the next hole, they marvel at the scenery surrounding the course. You might think this takes place in a city park. However, this unique 18-hole disc golf course is located on the 700-acre Rawhide ranch property! Rawhide strives to provide new experiences and healthy activities for students at its Starr Academy. Disc golf, a.k.a. Frisbee golf, is one of those activities.

18 Holes of Fun

During the 1990s, disc golf became the fastest growing sport in America. New courses appeared every year, and the sport’s growth continues today. New courses are appearing in parks and attracting new visitors.

trick hole on disc golf course

Rawhide’s disc golf course features 18 wooden holes that are maintained through Rawhide’s woodworking elective. The course spans the ranch and is open to Rawhide guests. The holes are challenging but offer a fun and relaxing time for all skill levels. Playing disc golf at Rawhide Boys Ranch is by permission only, but it allows the public to tour Rawhide while enjoying a fun game.

Here’s a fun glimpse of the game:

Rawhide students also play disc golf for physical activity and fun. Rawhide instructor Jeff Schillinger even incorporates disc golf in his physical education classes. Many people don’t realize the physical and mental health benefits of disc golf.

13 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Disc Golf

A young man recently shared how playing disc golf is changing his life. He struggles with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. However, after he started playing disc golf, his mental health and outlook on life improved. He said that “a new love of being and inner peace—acceptance of life and self—have started to crowd out the negativity and fear.” These are welcomed mental health benefits of disc golf.

Playing disc golf helps individuals by:

  1. Building an appreciation of nature
    A course’s natural settings force the player to work around trees, bushes, hills, etc. They actually interact with nature rather than simply look at it as on a walk or hike.
  2. Providing another exercise outlet
    Studies show that people are more apt to stick with exercise if it’s fun. Disc golf is so much fun for some people that they never think of it as “exercise.” A round of disc golf can burn between 400-600 calories.
  3. Allowing the player to be part of a like-minded community
    It’s always fun to be around others who share an interest or passion for an activity. Players from across the nation spend time reviewing courses and discussing strategy. It produces a sense of camaraderie.
  4. Helping the player understand and get in touch with his or her body
    The game requires the player to become aware of body alignment and position in order to make the shot. This requirement can ground individuals who have a tendency to drift mentally.
  5. Developing confidence
    Learning and honing new skills builds self-esteem with each level of success. There’s no better feeling than throwing a long drive or sinking a long putt.
  6. Developing patience
    Disc golf is full of ups and downs. Courses may present challenges that take time and patience to master. Patience on the course often helps build confidence
  7. Building independence
    The only person you can rely on to win at disc golf is yourself. As your confidence builds, the more confident you are as an individual.
  8. Providing a break from the daily routine
    If you are able to play disc golf daily, bravo! For the rest of us, it’s a nice break from routine as is any pass time activity.
  9. Seeing practice put to work
    The joy of seeing practice making perfect is undeniable! We highly recommend it.
  10. Providing a positive stress reliever
    Heavy use of technology, oddly enough increases our stress levels. Disc golf provides a healthy outlet for reducing stress and working out those kinks in the neck, arms, and shoulders. Unplug.
  11. Providing a crash course on physics
    Whether you know it or not, as you figure out how to adjust your throw for a windy day, you are applying physics principles.
  12. Building problem solving skills
    Figuring out how to adjust your throw on a windy day builds those problem-solving skills.
  13. Providing a sense of achievement
    Successfully throwing a disc on a windy day and making the hole, gives the player a real sense of achievement!

Disc golf is also an inexpensive hobby for new players. Players don’t have to spend much money for a set of new discs and used sporting goods stores often have inexpensive discs as well.

Why Disc Golf at Rawhide?

Many of our guys have had limited opportunities for building self-esteem by the time they arrive here. Disc golf teaches them a healthy alternative to the poor activity choices they made in the past.

If you would like to help troubled youth in your Wisconsin community, you may donate in various ways—cars, trucks, RVs, boats, cash, life insurance, estate planning, etc.

Thank you for your interest in our mission!


 

Temporary and Anonymous Apps: What’s the Teen Appeal? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Self-destructing or anonymous messaging apps, much like one would see in a spy movie, are the latest digital trend for teens. These temporary or anonymous apps allow teens to send messages, images, videos, and other digital content anonymously. Content may self-destruct or vanish after a set time as well. Teens find a sense of security in the anonymity and temporary nature of these apps. However, these features may encourage teens to act uncharacteristically and send questionable or harassing content users wouldn’t normally send.

Realistically, shared content may not disappear or remain anonymous. Cyber predators use temporary or anonymous apps to create a sense of security to gain personal or revealing content from teens. The temporary and anonymous nature of these apps makes tracing questionable interactions difficult because content “disappears.” Many teens use at least one temporary or anonymous app, and parents can take action to prevent their teen from encountering the dangers that lurk in these apps.

(click to enlarge graphic)

Anonymous Apps INFOGRAPHIC

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Temporary and Anonymous Apps: What’s the Teen Appeal?

Teens turn to anonymous or temporary messaging apps to assert their independence and escape from popular social media their parents might be on such as Facebook or Twitter. But with independence comes various issues, threats, and dangers. Anonymous or temporary messaging apps allow teens to post content anonymously or share content that is supposed to disappear after a selected amount of time. But content doesn’t always disappear. Screenshots of embarrassing or revealing content might be taken and shared to humiliate the sender. Sexting, cyberbullying, and talking to strangers are also likely, opening the door for cyber predators to lull teens into trusting relationships to gain personal or revealing information. While temporary or anonymous apps give teens a chance to assert their independence, they also expose teens to new dangers they may not be prepared for.

Definition of Temporary or Anonymous Apps

Temporary apps allow teens to send messages and images that self-destruct or vanish after a set time.

Anonymous apps allow teens to send content anonymously. Users of anonymous apps can hide their location or information about themselves so others can’t tell who content is coming from.

Temporary and anonymous apps gained popularity for teens wanting to assert their independence and get away from sites their parents use such as Facebook and Twitter.

Teens Cover their Digital Footprint

Teens may use temporary or anonymous apps to manage their digital footprint. The sense of security surrounding temporary and anonymous apps can entice teens to send questionable content and communicate in ways they wouldn’t normally. This may include cyberbullying because they feel it’s easier to do or sexting because messages “disappear.”

“Though most teens are only sharing day-to-day moments with an already tight social group, there can be unintended consequences when teens think temporary messages really disappear forever or when they make mean comments under cover of anonymous apps.”- Christine Elgersma, Senior Editor at Common Sense Media

Top 9 Temporary or Anonymous Apps

Nine temporary or anonymous apps have gained substantial popularity amongst teens. The anonymity, disappearing nature, and easy-to-learn platforms are attractive to teens. While there are more than nine temporary or anonymous apps in existence, Snapchat, Kik, Whisper, Yik Yak, Omegle, WhatsApp, Ask.fm, Burn Note, and Line remain the most popular.

Snapchat

  • What is Snapchat?Snapchat is a disappearing, temporary messaging app that allows users to send text, photos, and videos to anyone on their friend list. The sender determines how long the receiver can view the image and the image “destructs” after the allotted time.
  • Stats- 41% of United States teens use Snapchat multiple times a day.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal- Snapchat is the fastest growing and number one most used app for teens.
    • 35% of teens use Snapchat solely because their content disappears       Click to Tweet!
    • 10% of teens took a screenshot of a Snapchat and shared it to embarrass the sender

Kik

  • What is Kik?Kik lets users send texts, pictures, videos, and offers other mini-apps. Those allow users to do anything from exchange virtual greeting cards to chat with strangers. Users don’t have to reveal identity.
  • Stats – 64.8 million teens use Kik and 40% of American teens use the app.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal – Kik is easy to use for teens and has a minimum age of 13 but has no verification method. Kik doesn’t require a phone number and teens can send unlimited messages. Group messaging and in-app web surfing are also features.

Whisper

  • What is Whisper?Whisper is a social “confessional” app that allows users to post whatever and remain anonymous.
  • Stats – Whisper restricts users to only 17 years old or older, but this is not enforced. An estimated 800,000 users under 18 use Whisper.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal – Teens use Whisper to share deep secrets or opinions about social topics or people without any repercussion.

Yik Yak

  • What is Yik Yak?Yik Yak allows users to post text-only messages anonymously that can be viewed by 500 users closest to the poster. Yik Yak uses GPS tracking.
  • Stats – Yik Yak has 1.8 million monthly active users and is most popular around college campus areas
  • The Appeal – Teens can make incendiary comments they wouldn’t normally make if people knew they were saying it, making cyberbullying and harassment easier.  Yik Yak also recently added a chat feature.

Omegle

  • What is Omegle?Omegle is an anonymous chat app where users discuss whatever they’d like. Omegle’s content often contains lewd language, sexual content, and drugs, alcohol, and violence.
  • Stats – 40% of Omegle users are between ages 15-18.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal – Users can anonymously discuss anything they’d like. The conversations often turn lewd, vulgar, and dangerous, incorporating drugs, alcohol, and violence.

WhatsApp

  • What is WhatsApp?WhatsApp is a mobile messenger that allows teens to communicate with all contacts on their device. WhatsApp allows users to send unlimited images, video, and text as well as group chats.
  • Stats – 25% of teens with a mobile device use WhatsApp.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal – WhatsApp offers teens a messaging platform to escape from parents and grandparents without using their phone plan. WhatsApp does not filter adult content, potentially exposing teens to risky content.

Ask.fm

  • What is Ask.fm?fm is a social site that lets teens ask questions and answer questions others post. Questions are often asked anonymously.
  • Stats – 28 million registered users under age 18 use Ask.fm.       Click to Tweet!
  • The Appeal – Teens are attracted to the anonymous questions. While the questions prompt healthy discussions, sexual content is also posted.

Burn Note

  • What is Burn Note?Burn Note is a temporary messaging app that erases messages after a set time frame. Burn Note is text only.
  • Stats – Over 10,000 users have installed this app.
  • The Appeal – Burn Note has a unique display system that reveals only one word at a time, making the messaging more secretive. The message “burns” after reading.

Line

  • What is Line?Line is a multifaceted text, video, and voice-messaging app that also features social media elements such as games and group chat.
  • Stats – Line has 218 million monthly active users worldwide.
  • The Appeal – Line is an all-in-one social media featuring emoticons, stickers, free texting, and video calls. Line also has a “hidden chat” where users may choose how long they’d like their message to last before it vanishes.

Ripped from the Headlines

anonymous apps ripped from the headlines

Yik Yak has caused serious disruptions for many schools. Threats of shootings, bombings, or other violent events directed at schools across the country have been made over Yik Yak. Schools have also encountered students making racist threats and sexually aggressive comments that create a hostile environment for other students.

Yik Yak isn’t the only anonymous app that’s created headlines.

Parents Left in the Dark

Many parents aren’t aware of temporary and anonymous apps, despite the emerging press coverage and dangers associated.

The fact that parents are under-informed about temporary and anonymous apps, gives teens another way to cloak their online behavior.

The Hidden Dangers

Anonymous apps may provide a false sense of security. Studies show that even anonymity does not protect teens from cyberbullying, stalking, or other threats.

Cyberbullying Anonymity can encourage cruel behavior from teens without fear of repercussions. Ask.fm has been associated with 9 teen suicides due to users consistently harassing others.

Cyberstalking – Anonymous chat allows predators to create fake accounts allowing them to find teens easier. Predators can then lull teens into a sense of security. Once trust is established, cyber stalkers and cyber predators may gain access to the different social channels a teen uses and collect sensitive and personal information.

Sexting – The anonymity behind anonymous apps may encourage teens to pursue riskier relationships and engage in riskier actions such as sexting.

Lost Evidence – Temporary apps have disappearing messages that eliminate evidence of any negative content that was shared between people. This can make it difficult to prove inappropriate messages were sent.

GPS Reveals Location – Some anonymous apps are location based and make looking up locations of teens easy for predators.

Bots – Bots may disguise themselves through suggestive, personalized messages that trick users into viewing adult content. Bots may cause computer viruses.

Exposure to Adult Content – Some anonymous apps don’t require age verification. This may result in minors being exposed to pornographic content.

Hyper-local Anxiety – Aggression and bullying threats can now come within a close proximity, causing anxiety that a threat might be close.

Anonymity Not Guaranteed – While anonymous and temporary apps might make users think the content is temporary or disappears, users can still screenshot pictures or texts. Taking screenshots before an image disappears is common on Snapchat.

  • 52% of teen Snapchat users have had others screenshot their content       Click to Tweet!
  • 47% of Snapchat users take screenshots of other people’s content       Click to Tweet!

What Can Parents Do?

While teens prefer hiding their online behaviors from their parents, parents influence teen online behavior.

If you’re worried about your teen’s online behavior, consider taking the following actions to protect your teen from trouble.

  • Establish boundaries – Remind teens not to communicate with strangers, reveal personal information, bully, or share inappropriate information.
  • Expose teens to real-world dangers – Show teens examples of extreme, unsafe online behaviors. Show them what they post can potentially harm themselves or others.
  • Discuss privacy settings – Check teen’s privacy settings. Make sure they understand how to navigate privacy settings and block people.
  • Stay currentMonitor and educate yourself about the apps your child is using. An internet search about “teens new favorite apps” can help reveal the newest digital trends.
  • Explain the true impact of your teen’s actions – Inform teens that other users may screenshot anonymous posts. Embarrassing or questionable posts may come back later.
  • Hide phone numbers on public profiles – Don’t let teens disclose phone numbers on social media. Revealing numbers can make it easier for cyber predators to find more information on your teen.
  • Check age restrictions – Inspect apps on your teen’s device to make sure they haven’t joined an app they’re not old enough for.
  • Disable location sharing – Turn off location tracking features to prevent predators from locating where your teen is.
  • Software Filters – Use programs to monitor social media, block chats, and mask profanity.

While anonymous apps provide teens a fun way to explore social media sites other than Facebook or Twitter, they also present dangers. Talking to your teen about the dangers and taking action can help your teen stay safe online and prevent any actions that might be harm them or others.

Biking benefits at risk youth at Starr Academy

Cooperation. Patience. Respect. Self-Control. These are the characteristics Starr Academy’s physical education instructor Jeff Schillinger teaches when he hits the pavement with Rawhide guys. Biking benefits at-risk youth and helps them cooperate with a group to navigate obstacles and reach their destination. Biking also introduces Rawhide guys to a fun, healthy activity many have never experienced before.

Rawhide Physical Education Program grows

Biking Benefits and physical education equipment

In 2005, Rawhide’s Starr Academy applied for and received a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant. The grant helped Rawhide expand their physical education program by adding:

  • Indoor and outdoor climbing walls
  • Cross country skis
  • Cardio equipment
  • Trek 7500 FX bicycles

Principal Dan Birr said the bikes filled a need to create a group activity as part of an outdoor education emphasis within the physical education course.

New experiences for at-risk youth

Biking benefits for Rawhide youth

Some Rawhide guys have either never touched a bike or have very little experience biking. The Summer Outdoor Elective offers them a new and exciting opportunity to use the Trek bicycles.

As part of the Summer Outdoor Elective, the guys go on two long bike rides. The first is 22 miles and the second 25 miles, with the incentive of ice cream sundaes at some point during the ride.

The bike rides are important times for bonding between the guys and their teachers or youth care workers. On this past spring’s ride, Jeff was encouraged by guys helping each other with broken chains and motivating those who fell behind.

Jeff said the guys really enjoy getting out and riding. On these longer rides the guys learn to communicate effectively by shouting out instructions to turn, stop, or fall in single file.

Biking benefits brains and bodies

Biking benefits Rawhide bikes

Cycling helps build your brain to achieve peak mental capacity and creativeness. While running and other aerobic activities provide the same, cycling is unique as cyclists are not affected by any jarring motions or high stress on their joints.

But the real strides are made in how the guys interact and rely on each other. In order to reach their destination, they need to work with and encourage each other.

Biking is another example in a long list of new experiences available to Rawhide guys. Other activities, in the outdoor elective course alone, include canoeing, skateboarding, and attending EAA.

DIYer to the rescue

Ben volunteers time to maintaining bikes biking benefits

The bikes experienced some wear and tear over the years. When Ben St. Aubin arrived at Starr Academy in 2014, he noticed the bikes were in need of maintenance and took initiative.

He volunteered after school to fix the bikes so the Rawhide guys could continue using them.  Jeff couldn’t be more grateful for Ben for taking his personal time to fix and maintain the bikes. Thanks to Ben, Rawhide guys can grab and confidently ride and benefit physically and mentally from the experience.

The at-risk youth that come to Rawhide gain access to many things they may have never experienced before. Whether it’s biking, wood working, work experience, or one of the other wonderful electives offered at Starr Academy, Rawhide provides once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to at-risk youth every day.

These opportunities couldn’t be done without support from donors like you. Thanks to our generous donors, we can offer these experiences on a broad scale to a growing number of young men. Even the smallest donation can help a young man out of a bad situation and lift him up to love, opportunity, and a changed life. Please consider making a donation to help the future of at-risk youth.

15 Steps for Changing a Flat Tire

Worried a flat tire might ruin your trip? Don’t fret! Changing a flat tire is simple with a little preparation and elbow grease. Our 15-step guide to changing a flat tire will get you back on the road in no time!

Step 1: Prepare Before You Experience a Flat Tire

Don’t wait until you are stranded on the side of the interstate to come up with a plan for changing a flat tire. Take precautionary measures before the problem arises:

  • Test out your car jack
  • Check you have a spare tire
  • Check if you have a lug wrench
  • Carry a flashlight
  • Bring a rain poncho
  • Have a tire gauge ready

Keep these tools at your disposal to fix your flat comfortably and confidently.

Step 2: Find a Safe Spot to Change the Flat Tire

If you felt a tire go flat mid-drive, find a safe area to pull over and turn on your hazard lights. Don’t endanger your life or others.

Step 3: Check the Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual will tell you where to find all the equipment necessary to change a flat tire. This includes where you will find your lug wrench, spare tire, and car jack.

Step 4: Inspect the Spare Tire

Inspect the spare is fully inflated and in good, working condition. It is important that your spare tire functions to provide safe travel. When inspecting a spare tire:

Step 5: Block the Opposite Wheels before Raising the Vehicle

Block the opposite wheels before raising the vehicle to prevent any rolling, forwards or backwards. DO NOT attempt to change the flat if your car is parked on a hill. Move the vehicle to level ground before changing the tire and set the parking brake. Call a tow truck if it’s not possible to change the flat tire on a level surface.

Step 6: Remove the Hub Cap

Use the lug wrench’s sharp end to pry off the hub cap. Some cars have hub caps with false, decorative lug nuts that secure the hub cap. Remove the hub cap and set it upside-down as a lug nut tray.

Step 7: Loosen Lug Nuts

You must loosen the lug nuts to remove the flat tire from your car. The vehicles weight on the tire will hold the tire in place and make it easier to loosen, so loosen the lug nuts before you jack-up the vehicle. Use your lug wrench to loosen all lug nuts, but do not unscrew them completely.

Step 8: Locate the Pinch Flange

the pinch flange is strongest area to use during a flat tire

For lifting purposes, the pinch flange is the car’s strongest spot. Most cars have an underbody notch specifically for the factory jack. Your manual should provide directions to find your car’s lifting spot. Avoid damaging your car by lifting in the right spot.

Step 9: Raise Vehicle with the Jack

Find your car jack and place the jack under the pinch flange. Use nice, even strokes by taking the jack handle from lowest point to highest point on each turn. If you use jack stands, place them under the vehicle, near where the jack is touching the pinch flange. Once you’re sure the vehicle is properly jacked up, push on the vehicle a little. This makes sure everything is resting securely and you can safely change the flat tire.

Step 10: Remove the Flat Tire

Once the car is raised and secure, remove the already loosened lug nuts. Place them in the hub cap to avoid misplacing, and remove the tire.

Step 11: Install the Spare

Take the spare tire and line up the wheel studs and the holes on the rim of the spare tire. Put the lug nuts on the wheel studs tighten by hand.  Be cautious not to put the spare on backwards. It can damage your vehicle. (The spare tire is on backwards. The spare should sit the opposite way.)

install the spare tire correctly during a flat tire

Step 12: Lower the Vehicle

Carefully lower the vehicle by turning or moving the jack handle the opposite direction used to raise it. Once the vehicle is completely resting on the ground, remove the jack.

Step 13: Tighten the Lug Nuts

Once the vehicle is securely on the ground, fully tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench. Tighten the lugs clockwise in a crisscross pattern. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct sequence. Failure to tighten the lug nuts properly may cause the tire to come loose.

flat tire fully tighten lug nuts diagram

Image courtesy of Tire Guides

Step 14: Clean Up

Pick everything up, including the old tire. Your flat tire might be an easy fix, so stow it in your trunk and bring it to a mechanic for further inspection. Make sure to pick up any loose or extra tire pieces.

Step 15: Drive Safe!

Once everything is cleaned up and you’re sure your spare tire is on tight, you’re safe to continue driving. Spare tires are often smaller than regular tires and are not reliable at high speeds. Do not exceed the speed label on the tire’s sidewall (usually 50 mph), and replace it with a new or repaired tire immediately.