Steamboat Springs Don't ever underestimate teen-agers with a dream. Though the stereotype of the lazy, think-they-know-more-than-you-do teen-ager still lingers in American culture, and in some cases is proudly represented, to say that it completes a teenager's psyche is off.
Sure, we all see our local young people hanging out at Go-Fer's at night. It's like Al's in Happy Days in that parking lot. Everyone is looking cool and trying to fill free time with some sort of amusement.
You can't say it's ridiculous behavior. If some adults didn't have a bar to hang out in as a social outlet they probably also would pull up some concrete in a local place and sit around.
Heck, when I was in high school, we hung out at Taco Bell talk about exciting.
But the key thing to see in those kids next time you pull in to get a soda at about 9:30 p.m. is not the loitering. It's their energy.
It's bouncing off the windows of the gas station, running through the parked cars and lining the loud shrills and laughter that often is heard in the parking lot. It's pure energy, untarnished, untainted and usually unrecognized. For 15 days in June, a few of the older local teens Ryan Scheer, Joe Oakland, Carter Dunham, Mari Mack, Eddie Van Baak and Dusty DeGroff (just to name a few) along with the help of a couple of old fogies in the their late 20s, were able to take that energy to create something that has never been done here before then. They shot a feature-length movie, previewed in the Front & Center of this issue of 4-Points, in those 15 days.
T.C. Johnstone was one of the old guys who helped out on the project. Formerly the head of Young Life in Steamboat Springs, a Christian youth organization, Johnstone explained that any teen could harness his or her energy to focus on a goal if someone recognizes their dream, identifies their talents and then gives them ownership of a project.
Now with hours and hours of tape to edit, there is still work to do before they know how successful they were. But even if it doesn't work out, for many, the 15 days showed the approximately 40 young people how to accomplish a goal. It also gave them something to be proud of.