JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
Five years. Fifty Issues. Together.
PART 1 OF 2
Part Two of this storyline will be in the February CarePage.
Lost Solace's 2004 Winter Summit was held in Lock Haven from January ninth to the twelfth. Jedi, the twenty-one year old from New York, showed up by bus on the ninth, while E, the Lost Solace computer expert, drove in from Ohio, also on the ninth. Of course, some members of the LS Kids showed up on Saturday the tenth for the trip to Centralia. Debbie Benfield, Staci Wyland, Vesta Jones, and Krystle Welch all showed up periodically throughout the weekend, while Crissy Miller, Ida Yost, and Ginger White stayed from Friday to Sunday.
During the trip to Cenralia, the team stopped at the Rupert covered bridge, in Rupert, Pennsylvania. The LS Kids enjoyed taunting Debbie, because she is afraid of covered bridges, even though she laughed about it. We stopped at the inflatable dam in Sunbury on the way back to Lock Haven.
At the Summit, when the Lost Solace members weren't on their way to or from Centralia, they were hanging at Lou's house. Jedi, E, Lou, Crissy, and Ginger all enjoyed sharing stories, cooking, and playing Jedi's game, Apples To Apples.
Sunday was kind of a sad day, because it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Everyone exchanged phone numbers and e-mails with those who didn't already have them. "Although I only met Jedi and E for the weekend," said Crissy,"I feel good, knowing I've made new friends."
FIVE YEARS OF LOST SOLACE
February 25th, 2004, marks the five-year anniversary of Lost Solace. This is a very special time for all of the Lost Solace members. We are all proud of what we have accomplished, not only by ourselves, but also what we've accomplished together. Lost Solace isn't just an organization, we're a family, not biologically, but in our hearts.
To fill you in on some of the history, Lost Solace was started in Arizona, by Claymore, on February 25th, 1999. Claymore himself was abused as a child, and he just wanted to help others in similar situations.
So, to form the group, Claymore chose certain people to fulfill the purposes of the team, Lou and BiPagan among the earliest. Lost Solace has gained many members throughout the years, currently holding twelve adult counselors, twenty LS Kids, and over a hundred online guests as the Lost Solace family.
SARAH WILSON'S BABY
LS Kid Sarah Wilson had her second child in January. Jaylynn Marie was born on January 15, 2004.
Sarah went into labor the night before the hospital was planning to induce labor, on Wednesday, January 14. She had the baby just after midnight on January 15. Jaylynn measure in at nineteen and a half inches, and weighed seven pounds and two ounces.
This is Sarah's second child. Her first daughter, Nevaeh Dawn, was born on June 17, 2001. Nevaeh is openly proud of her new little sister.
FLORIDA- Regina Spence, LS Kid DCS Bureau, entered a contest in early January. Lou contacted her in her home of Florida, and suggested that she compete with her poetry.
On January 4, Lou saw an article in USA Weekend Magazine, about a contest for writing song lyrics. The theme was "American Dreams". Knowing Gina's talent for poetry, he sent the link to her, and suggested that she enter.
Gina was ahead of him. By the time that he sent her the e-mail, she had already entered the contest on her own. She sent in a song containing the lyrics,"It's an American dream to see our kids play, bow down at night and hear them pray".
Winners of the contest will be announced in the near future. The LS Kids are hoping for Gina Spence.
TEXAS- Moving from Savoy, Texas to Copperas Cove, Texas was a big change for me. I moved in with my Grandma on Tuesday, December 29, 2003. It's about four hours away from Savoy, which is where I went to school at before.
There were many adjustments that I had to make, such as schools. There were only twenty kids in the ninth grade at Savoy, and there are at least a hundred and fifty in Copperas Cove. Copperas Cove High School has at least two thousand kids that attend their school.
Killeen is fifteen minutes away from Copperas Cove, and Fort Hood is in Killeen, Texas. Fort Hood is the largest military base in America, so there are plenty of army kids that attend Copperas Cove.
In Cove's High School, they name their hallways like streets. They have blocked schedules, where you only have four classes a day. They last at least ninety minutes. There's a blue day and a gold day. Savoy had one straight hallway. You had several classes a day, which normally lasted close to forty-five minutes.
One of the things I like about Cove is that there are people from all over. Like Russia, Germany, there's african americans, and plenty of others. At Savoy there were only white people. Another thing I like about Cove is not everyone knows my buisness.
Moving was also kind of hard for me, since I had to leave my loved ones and my friends. It was also hard for me because now I have to start all over, and I'm a really shy person, so its going to take a while for me to make friends. Hopefully I will, though.
Another big change for me was moving in with my Grandma. I don't have my thirteen-year-old sister, my eight-year-old brother, and my four-year-old brother. It was really hard for me to leave my siblings and my parents, but sometimes people need to make changes to improve themselves. Living here with my Grandma, I have to deal with her annoying dog, which follows me everywhere. I'm really not a dog lover. So all of this was a big change for me, moving from a house of six to only a house of two. Also moving from a one hallway school to a multiple-hallway school.
Moving involves lots of stress, but sometimes it's for the best. Some people just want to improve their lives and do different things, and that's what I decided to do.
-DCS Bureau Head
The LS Kids And The Preps
Every time we go to a project that has other teenagers involved, we get a lot of dirty looks from some of the other teens, who at school are known as "preps". They always seem to think we don't belong there.
It is admittable that some of us have had trouble pasts, but it's made us tough, inside and out. These people judge us by our pasts, our clothes, and our living situation. They think that they're the better half of society.
Joke's on them: They wouldn't be able to cope with a catastrophe like we could.
Because of our pasts, we can always relate to the troubled, the hurt, the afflicted. And when there's a community problem, the LS Kids will always be there to help.
BLONDE AT HEART
I got a new hairstyle, to wear to my mother's wedding. It involves putting my hair in rows, with a lot of little tiny rubber bands holding it down. Now, it's time to take it out, and I have to find a way to remove them.
I can't ask my boyfriend to do it. I don't trust him near my head with a scissors. I can't do it myself, because I'd have to look in the mirror to do it, and everything's backwards, and I'm not so coordinated. I already have one bald spot, from the time I got a brush stuck in my hair and had to cut it out. (Don't ask.)
I asked my sister Meghan to remove it, next time she's home from college. Her, I can trust. I'm just hoping she comes home to visit soon.
RHYME AND REASON
Why I'm Sitting Here
I'm only sittin here, because I can.
I'm only dreaming, because I'm not supposed to.
I'm only writing, because they told me not to.
I'm only wishing, because they said I coundn't.
So I'm here to prove them wrong.
Because I know I can.
I'm here to show I belong.
Because they say I don't.
I'm here to show you the truth.
I'm here because I can be.
And you can't change that.
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: February ninth to the thirteenth is Random Acts of Kindness week. For the whole week, people are encouranged to do something nice for someone else for no apparent reason. Sounds like a nice idea, doesn't it?
Deplore It: Nashville, Tennessee, schools have banned the honor roll, because it makes the students who didn't get on the honor roll feel bad. They're also working to ban spelling bees and academic pep rallies, and I have to wonder what the administrators in Nashville are smoking.
Perhaps a kid who didn't make the honor roll needs to feel a bit bad, so he'll work harder next time. The schools are about educating the students, not making them feel warm and fuzzy. Get the point, you guys.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
Assistant: Staci Wyland
National Advisor: Vesta Jones
President: Debbie Benfield
Vice-President: Krystle Welch
Secretary: Cris Miller
Quartermaster: Meghan Rockey
Staff: Hilaire Reese, Destini Geraty, Marjorie Shelley, Mia Shelley, Ginger White, Sarah Wilson, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: Kazlynn Otto, Meghan Wilson, Amber Fleming, Rachel Wykry, Regina Spence
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
I've always liked getting the whole team together, Kids and adults. We've been holding these Summits roughly twice a year since July 2000, and it's always fun and interesting. There has always been a mix of me, Jedi, Keri, BiPagan, Kristen, Eileen, and the Kids, in one combination or another, and it's always something new and exciting. And I've written on those moments before.
Out of all of us, I think the Kids get the most out of these get-togethers. All of us feel it, that sense of togetherness, but I think the Kids notice it the most. To them, we represent what they'll be one day, what they can achieve if they try. And while they watched Jedi, Eileen, and I at the Summit, I suspect they saw their own futures.
That's what the LS Kids have worked toward; that's always been the end goal to them. To grow up, and one day be Lost Solace members, alongside the rest of us. Debbie, Staci, Vesta, Krystle, Crissy....All of them, one day, want to be us.
It's really kind of flattering if you think about it.
It's nice to know that these kids, these borderline kids from Lock Haven and elsewhere, look at us that way. That, out of all the grown-ups in their lives, they'd choose to become us.
Saturday night, when everyone has left or gone to bed, Crissy stayed up with us and drew. Crissy, who has a definite artistic ability, sketched out what she called the "Lost Solace Hero Collection". She drew pictures of me, Jedi, and Eileen, not how we actually look, but the way she sees us.
Jedi was a warrior, a dangerous, protective knight with a lightsaber. Eileen was drawn as a wizard, casting her spells across the internet.
And me? Apparently, Crissy views me as a superhero, one of the old-fashioned ones with a cape and a mask.
It's really a nice thing to know about yourself, that someone sees you that way. And I'm glad the Kids look up to us like that....One day, far in the future, it may be one of them writing this column.
They'll carry on, when I'm gone. Someday. I have faith.
For this, the fiftieth issue of the JJJ, I just wanted to mention it.
-Up, up, and away