Rumspringa

Growing Up Amish Excerpt: Youngie, Buggies & Horses

Following our look at a $9,681 Amish buggy, we’ve got an excerpt from Richard Stevick’s Growing Up Amish: The Rumspringa Years which explores the topic of Amish youth and their horsepowered vehicles. In this selection taken from Chapter Seven (“Singings: The First Step to Independence”), we learn about the many ways the Youngie adorn their buggies (including one surprising modification I had never heard of before, see…

How do Amish youth get driver’s licenses?

Rita asks: I’ve seen the comments about teens, during Rumspringa, driving cars. How do they get a permit, practice time, license and money to buy a car without the parent’s assistance? We’ve discussed Amish youth getting their first buggies, but what about cars?  First off, some Amish youth do in fact drive, and some Amish parents have no choice but to concede car driving to…

Ira Wagler on Growing Up Amish: 6-book giveaway

Ira Wagler on Growing Up Amish: 6-book giveaway

Today, an interview with Ira Wagler on his new memoir, Growing Up Amish. Ira was born in the Aylmer, Ontario Amish community and grew up in Bloomfield, Iowa. During his youth and young adulthood he spent time on a Nebraska cattle ranch, Canadian wheat fields, and in Amish communities across the country. Ira struggled with life as an Amish person before finally leaving for good…

Amish youth on Facebook

If you dig around enough on Facebook, you’ll come across profiles of adolescents with Amish names and profile pics taken in Plain clothing.   These were the catalyst for an interesting piece–“Amish youth hitchin’ up to Facebook“–in yesterday’s Lancaster Sunday News. As the article makes clear, Amish youth+Facebook is far from a universal phenomenon.  I thought one insight by Steven Nolt was particularly interesting–the way…

Amish Dating

Sunday is the day Amish youth groups gather, and when dating couples traditionally meet.  So I thought it would be a good day to share this. National Geographic is airing a new show called “Amish at the Altar”. They describe the show as: Three couples–two Amish and one ex-Amish–reveal courtship, engagement, and marriage among the Amish. Interviews with the couples, family members, and current and…

Feeling queasy over technology

At a talk I gave in Holmes County, at one point one of the Amish entrepreneurs on the 5-man panel expressed concerns over technology.  Paraphrasing, he spoke of worries over “kids having the PSP and the Game Boy and half of the boys having cars”.   Having been to a few Amish homes, I can say this is not far off in some communities, where both…

Buggies and hoops

You frequently see basketball hoops in the Holmes County settlement, and in other Amish communities as well. As with many things Amish, there are different stances on the issue of sports—on what games are acceptable, who should play sports and when, and so on. If you’d like to read more check out this review of the Amish and sports.  And:  a pastime common among Lancaster…

At an Amish youth singing

Last Sunday I attended an Amish youth singing in Lancaster County. What follows is a short account. Youth practices may vary from community to community. Not all Amish youth follow the pattern described below. In some communities, such as Holmes County, Ohio, not all youth are members of so-called “singing groups” (those who aren’t are more likely to be among the wilder youth). Amish youth…

Boxers or Briefs? Aaron Miller on choice in Amish society (part two)

In this final installment, Aaron Miller continues his discussion of choice in Amish society: Let me list some choices that I and other Amish people make in their daily lives. One of the first financial lessons I teach my boys goes like this. When we are about to attend a social function or community event such as an auction or local farm show or the…

Bush 41, Amish, Mennonites, and drugs

I recently came across a transcript from George Bush senior’s 1989 meeting with Mennonite and Amish leaders in Lancaster County.  It’s interesting to read not only for those seeking late 80s era nostalgia but for the interesting dynamic between the President and the typically spotlight-shunning Amish and Mennonites as they take the stage in a very high-profile context. The event is ostensibly about Bush meeting…