Posted 24 September 2010 - 04:06 AM
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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:04 AM
Firmly Awana stands, led by the Lord’s commands;
“Approved workmen are not ashamed,”
Boys and girls for His service claimed!
Hail! Awana! On the march for youth;
Hail! Awana! Holding forth the truth;
Building lives on the Word of God, Awana stands!
Our Savior following with steps unfaltering,
And love unaltering, His praise we sing;
His banner over us, in service glorious,
We’ll fight victorious for Christ our King!
Usually followed by a shout of "Youth on the march!"
I was involved in Awana for several years, as many fundamentalists are. It's basically indoctrination, using the tried and true methods of repetition and memorization, conformity (gray-shirted uniforms, etc.), slogans, and peer pressure. My ex-wife's grandparents were Awana missionaries.
Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:20 AM
My sense was that Awana sessions are no stranger than regular Sunday School, Training Union, Royal Ambassadors or other church activities that I was involved in as a teenager 30 years ago. Just a more modern version.
I found one thing really funny: My nephew won the "Most Christlike" award in a soccer game. I never realized jesus was into sports!
Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:14 AM
Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:11 AM
Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:07 PM
Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:26 PM
Every kid who joined got a vest that indicated which level/age-group they were in. The meetings were always the same: 20+ minutes of games (foot races, etc, to wear the kids out), then classes divided by age and - when older - gender. In the classes, we had a Bible lesson and discussion, and had to memorize copious Bible verses. We also had "sword drills" where the leader would call out a Bible verse and we'd race to see who could find it first. As we reached the service/memorization goals that had been set, we'd get patches or medals for our vests.
Once I hit my teen years, the books for the classes included activities that weren't specifically Bible-related, such as learning to change the oil on the car, befriending an elderly person in the church (usually a shut-in), etc.
All in all, I had a great time with it. Now, however, I can see it for what it was - pure indoctrination!
Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:35 PM
Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:17 PM
Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:37 PM
Posted 25 September 2010 - 03:53 AM
It's basically indoctrination, using the tried and true methods of repetition and memorization, conformity (gray-shirted uniforms, etc.), slogans, and peer pressure. My ex-wife's grandparents were Awana missionaries.
This. It's also a place that annoyed parents send their bratty kids to get rid of them for a few hours every week. I went to Awanas for years and I fucking hated it. All of the pointless memorization and being stuck with little shits that not even their parents love.
You basically sit in a room and memorize verses and phrases, and then, go play dodge ball and run relay races. It's sorta like boy scouts, but you don't actually learn anything useful. Probably won't get molested, though.
If my memory serves me, from start to finish (at least, back then in my church):
Everyone meets together, says a brainwashing pledge to the Christian flag and American flag. Sing a little bit. Maybe do sword drills. Go into groups with your leader and brainwash yourself with memorizing phrases and verses for about an hour. Go play games for a while and then, meet for awards. Go home, clear out pointless Bible verses so you can memorize new ones next week. (or, if you go to a private Christian school, clear it out for the verses you have to have done two days later).
Edited by AKR, 25 September 2010 - 03:57 AM.
Posted 25 September 2010 - 09:08 AM