17 responses to Rumspringa-Myths and Reality
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    Monica
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 7th, 2010 at 14:35)

    Another myth: All communities practice the same version of “Rumspringa.” Most of them practice it exactly as you describe. A few of them practice it more liberally. Good post!

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    magdalena
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 8th, 2010 at 07:26)

    I wish other Christian groups had a rumspringa! It would make it a lot easier to raise the young ones. We don’t have any way to get young people together at the partner-selecting age except throwing them out into the world to date. Sure, the churches have youth groups ad summer camps, but often the emphasis is on the boys and girls NOT getting together. The Amish rumspringa is much healthier, and more conducive to finding a lifelong partner.

    I speak from my experience 35 years ago in a strict Baptist church. We had roller skating parties rather than dances, summer camp, and Sunday night youth meeting. The “cool kids” with “cool” parents (even Baptists can be concerned about cool) would not attend any of these, so they seemed pretty lame. I married outside the church, and never went back, joining first the Lutherans and then the Anglican Church.

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    Beth
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 8th, 2010 at 19:06)

    I agree with Monica – it’s different in different places. It seems teens can be teens (good or bad) no matter what their religion and I’d be pretty surprised to find a parent who encourages bad behavior. I can see the myth in that. My teens do things I don’t want them to but it’s not because I “let” them, believe me.

    A friend from church grew up in Indiana and said when he was a teenager he lived for the weekends and the Amish parties, but possibly the next settlement over it was cool as a cucumber, and he only saw one part. I think at the end of the day, we’re just happy when they’re tucked in bed and pray that they find the Lord sooner rather than later.

    I actually had a conversation about this with an Amish mom (with teens) in Jamesport, MO. We realized how alike we all are when it comes to raising teens – any many things for that matter. This is a good post because rumspringa is probably one of the most misconceived aspects of the Amish.

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    stephen
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 8th, 2010 at 19:46)

    I left the old older mennonites,because i want to become a phcologchist

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    stephen
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 8th, 2010 at 19:48)

    the mennonites dont allow education

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      Mary Miller
      Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (May 2nd, 2012 at 17:25)

      Perhaps the old order Mennonites don’t, but the Mennonites in general encourage education! Old Amish however, don’t encourage education.

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    GUNDA
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 8th, 2010 at 23:50)

    there are several amish communities here in central wisconsin, that DO NOT practice rumspringa in any form what so ever.

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    Ruben
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 9th, 2010 at 08:09)

    I love rumspringa kids, most of them have a cell phone or Facebook and it’s so much more easy to keep in touch with their families when you live in different continents…

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    Sandy
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 9th, 2010 at 11:59)

    There is an Amish settlement close to me, and no one ever mentions Rumspringa. However, its not uncommon to go to Wal-Mart and see Amish teens buying rock CD’s, looking through the movie posters, etc.. Before a friend’s wedding, we all went to the local kareoke (sp) bar, and were surprised to see some young Amish people there! They drank, played pool, etc., acted just like the rest of us and had a great time. I can only assume they were in Rumspringa, because the majority of Amish people in my area are very shy, stick the the food sections only of the store, and don’t encourage much conversation with strangers. Granted, this is just one settlement.

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 9th, 2010 at 13:54)

    I think a good point which Beth and Monica make is that there is variety among settlements, which you also point to there at the end Sandy. I think Aaron also makes a good point that “bad behavior” is nothing Amish parents would want to encourage. But, it certainly can happen.

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    Comment on Adult supervision of Amish youth meetings (March 9th, 2010 at 13:59)

    Adult supervision of Amish youth meetings

    An Amish youth signing I attended a couple years back was with a parent-supervised group, and was a nice social event. Volleyball, a meal, and an hour or two of song followed by socializing. A nice positive atmosphere. Some smoking out in the barn, and I can’t say know how the evening finished (I showed my advanced age and turned in early), but the youth didn’t seem to have a problem with parents around–and after all, the choice of youth group is the individual youth’s, and some are known to be rowdier than others (though I imagine that parental pressure is there in some cases, like in many other families).

    Magdalena I think you make a good point.

    Adult supervision of Amish youth meetings

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    Sandy
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 9th, 2010 at 19:04)

    Yes, I’m sure according to their Ordnung their behaviour is “bad” indeed, but compared to the other teens around here, their behaviour is very wholesome. :) I can’t imagine the Amish adults I’ve known EVER encouraging their kids to “experiment” during Rumspringa (if indeed they do practice it), but I can see where they might not be upset as much as they would be if they were doing those things after joining the church. Its interesting how much diversity there is in a group that on the outside appears so cohesive…

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    Allyson L
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (May 2nd, 2012 at 16:42)

    When we were at the farm of an Amish family in New Holland, Pa last summer the young lad we were talking to who was 18 and his sister 16 were telling us that in their youth group they always were watched over by one of the newly wed couples. There was always a form of supervision for their group. Each youth also has a name that they go by and if memory serves me correctly he told us they were part of the “Dragonflies” By there name you can tell home progressive or conservative the activities and level of supervision they will recieve.
    I was shock to her that they will go on co-ed camping trips, trips to see national monuments as a co-ed group of course with supervision. He did say some of the more liberal groups will go camping or to the beach as co-ed units without supervision.
    I think it is a neat time of their lives and just like any parent of a teen you HOPE your child will make smart choices, always knowing that there is the possibility of them not!

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (May 2nd, 2012 at 17:55)

    Enjoyed this post. It’s always a good day when I get to read a blog from Amish America. Hope your family time is fun, Erik!

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    Lee Ann
    Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (May 3rd, 2012 at 08:14)

    Im glad my kids are grown and I no longer have to go through the pains of teenagers! My church has youth gatherings where they go tubing down the river, water skiing, different things. Alot of the youth will hang out together in a group all through high school and beyond. They will come to a parents house to hang out together.

    Later in the 20’s we have a young singles group where they get together for pot luck dinner’s volleyball, etc. and meet others. Some marry those they meet in this group.

    I agree all parents of teenagers worry about the choices their kids will make, and hope they do make the right choices. Kids do sometimes have to learn the hard way, before they grow up.

    This post was very interesting. I would love to hear about the other Amish groups that do not practice Rumspringa and how they go about having their youth meet, etc.

    Rumspringa-Myths and Reality

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    Lauren atchison
    Comment on Rumspringa (May 3rd, 2012 at 13:54)

    Rumspringa

    As the mother of three now twenty-somethings, I can sure tell you that NONE of them were thinking about, looking for, or even REMOTELY ready for marriage partners as teens, and currently STILL AREN’T. I can understand the socializing aspect, but NOT that.

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  • Rumspringa-Myths and Reality Link

    Are Amish free to choose? | Amish America Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (March 9th, 2010 at 16:36)

    [...] Miller previously discussed a pair of issues related to the idea of freedom–the Ordnung and Rumspringa.  Today, Aaron shares his take on choice and individuality.  As you’ll see, Aaron views the [...]

  • Rumspringa-Myths and Reality Link

    At an Amish youth singing | Amish America Comment on Rumspringa-Myths and Reality (April 3rd, 2010 at 16:08)

    [...] and find a life partner, as our Amish correspondent Aaron Miller has explained (see “Rumspringa: Myths and Reality“).  The Sunday evening gathering is a key event in the social life of Amish [...]

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