I have been wanting to share this with you because it has been inspiring me for some time. A friend of ours, who we know from our time in Chicago, moved his family to Norway. His wife is from there. Winters are long in Norway, so when his oldest son got interested in skate boarding, his outdoor opportunities were limited. At the time there was no indoor facility for his son to skate in the winter. Mike decided to create a space for kids to be active all year long. With help from local government and business owners he was able to built an indoor park. The facility is being used by skaters, scooters, bmx-ers, and more. What intrigues me the most about this, is that his vision is so much larger than to just have a place for kids to hang out and “contain” them. Once a year the facility hosts a camp, called Flipside, that invites kids from all over Norway and Scandinavia and has professionals inspiring and mentoring the kids. The camp is there not only for skaters but also for kids interested in gymnastics, music, film making, and the arts. He created a community for young people to be inspired, engaged, and empowered. Isn’t that something we all want for our kids? Wouldn’t it be great if our youth groups, after school programs were like that?? For kids to have interaction and mentorship with professionals in their fields of interest…to have a safe center of creativity and inspiration.
My husband and I try to do that on a small scale in our home. We have had adults over and talk about what they do that range from search and rescuers, police officers, helicopter pilots, musicians, artists, photographers, missionaries, to scientists. We don’t always do it in a formal setting. What is important is that we want our kids to embrace the big world we live in.
How about you, does this inspire you? Have you been empowered by professionals in your field before? Do you engage young kids?
Here is Mike’s Ted talk. I promise you, it is inspiring:
Have a great day,