As is the case of Elijah, who gives his testimonial below, you do not have to be a member of a GenJ club in order to participate. There are several young adults in WV who do not reside near a club, but attend camps, take classes, and take part in Student Action Teams as a GenJ member.
GenJ also provides teen programs which focus on teaching civics with a fun interactive approach. These programs were popular at the last three full CHEWV conferences in 2010-2012.
Below are two articles – the first from the adult leader of a new GenJ club in the Beckley area and the other from a GenJ member who has attended many programs, camps, and Student Action Teams with GenJ.
Generation Joshua (GenJ) is an organization whose mission is to prepare such leaders to defend our Christian heritage and stand for what is right in this great nation. By developing young Christian conservatives (ages 11-19) to become citizen leaders, GenJ hopes to impact the world for good.
While GenJ is relatively new to the Mountain state, there are currently two active clubs statewide. GenJ Patriots of the Eastern Panhandle started in 2012. The newest club, GenJ of Southern WV, recently held its first meeting in Beckley. Club meetings include prayer, discussion of current events, and education in civics. The organization also provides on-line civics classes, summer camps, and Student Action Teams (groups which campaign for conservative political candidates).
Members of the WV GenJ clubs are optimistic that their involvement will not only be personally rewarding, but will further the cause of traditional values in their community and throughout West Virginia.
For GenJ details, visit www.generationjoshua.org/GenJ/home. For Eastern Panhandle information email Joe Donnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Southern WV information, contact LtCol(Ret.) Les Payton at email@example.com.
Les and his wife Gina recently moved to WV after retiring from the US Marine Corps. They homeschool their four children in southern West Virginia.
Students on an SAT may find themselves making phone calls, knocking on doors, staying at hotels, visiting awesome places around this beautiful nation, and meeting other teens like themselves. Now I know you might think going out and knocking on doors and making phone calls to people you have never met sounds quite scary. Although it can be daunting in the beginning, I know for many participants it becomes an enjoyable experience and also teaches them helpful, even necessary skills in life.
A bit more about the actual work part of it - At the beginning of the SAT you will be split up into vans of 4-15 people whom you will work with throughout your SAT. Depending on the funding of the SAT you will be issued paper walkbooks, or an electronic device with an app on it for the walkbooks. You can also download the app onto your phone to use. (Walkbooks are lists of addresses in a neighborhood the campaign wants to have surveyed.) Then each morning, vans leave the hotel somewhere between 8 and 10 AM. Once you leave, it will be up to your van driver and navigator to determine which neighborhood you will work in first. Once you get to the location the driver will drop you and one other person off to begin work. One of you should handle the inputting of the information into the walkbooks and deciding which doors each of you will go to. You will have a script with a few questions on it, so you won’t have to make it up all on your own. Typically you are going to stop whenever it gets dark, which depends on the area you are working in, usually between 5 to 8 o’clock PM. You will then return to your “headquarters” - which is sometimes the hotel or sometimes the campaign headquarters. You will make phone calls to people around the election district of the campaign you are working with until a time determined by the campaign as being too rude to call - 9 to 10 most of the time. Then you will go to your hotel if you are not already there. Curfew will be about the time you get done with phone calls on most of the workdays, although it can be extended, at which time you head back to your room and can take a shower, go to sleep, or hang out with your roommate(s).
Now there are a few questions that could be on your mind, so here are the ones I thought of and the answers I had:
Q: So how do I get there, do I have to pay to get there myself? A: Depending on the distance between you and where you are working, you will either fly there (which, except on rare occasions, will be paid for by the campaign/organization), or if it is close by you can drive there (gas costs not generally paid for).
Q: Do I have to pay to go? A: Not at all! GenJ covers room costs, food and everything else (excepting gas, see above) for free. All you do is campaign to repay them.
Q: Are these SATs actually doing anything? A: Absolutely! I have been on SATs that have been credited with winning the election we were working for. SATs can generally swing a few thousand voters’ decisions.
Q: When do these take place? A: Prior to any election.
Q: Who funds the SATs? A: Depending on the SAT, it could be any number of organizations, from the campaign itself to an organization like AFP (Americans for Prosperity).
Q: How do I know my children will be safe? A: Although I have not worked on the staff side of an SAT, I can tell you that keeping the kids safe and healthy is their top priority, and they are very good at what they do.
I hope this made you consider trying SATs. Thank you for reading and have a good day!
Elijah Karnes, a WV homeschool student has been involved with Generation Joshua for several years with camps, seminars, and Student Action Teams.