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Ryan’s Story

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Ryan Lefebvre is the play-by-play announcer for the Kansas City Royals as well as a longtime friend of Youthfront. Earlier this summer, we had the privilege of sitting down with him and getting a glimpse of Youthfront from his perspective. We are truly honored to share a little bit of his story with you here.

How did you get involved with Youthfront?
I had a day off during the summer and we just loaded up the family and came down here to see what was going on at LaCygne. We loved the energy here…[One summer] Sarah and I taught a dating class. Being able to share that with the campers and the fact Youthfront put trust in us to be able to share our experiences with them—that was meaningful.

What do you like about the Youthfront environment?
I went to church when I was young, but my faith probably began when I was in high school and more significantly, after college. I was never exposed to something like Youthfront and I wish I had been. I wish at an early age that I was in an environment like this where not only was I deepening my relationship with God, but I was around other kids who were doing the same thing.

What are some of the biggest challenges parents face in today’s culture and how can Youthfront partner with parents to help combat those challenges?
It’s hard being a parent today. In most households, mom and dad are both working. There’s way too many devices for kids to get into; it’s hard to monitor them 24/7—it’s exhausting. Youthfront is a safe place for parents to send their kids to deepen their faith, deepen their relationships with other kids, and learn how to find the right relationships in their lives.

What do you think are some misconceptions about youth and what do you think they’d want their parents or youth leaders to know about being a kid?
Without getting deeply involved, it can be easy to assume that kids just want their space, they don’t want to be told what to do, and they want to make their own choices. But I think deep down, kids really want to know, “Am I good enough?” And I think kids want pastors and their parents to be involved. They might put up a wall early on, but I think we all need to recognize what that wall is. It’s a very thin wall, and it’s got a door, and I think the kids really want us to open that door and understand what’s going on on the other side of the wall. What I’ve experienced at Youthfront is those walls just naturally come down with the kid-to-kid interaction, with the counselor-to-kid interaction, and with the youth pastor-to-kid interaction.

Do you have any advice for parents of campers?
I think it’s very important that the parents stay involved; they should come out and see what’s going on at West and see what’s going on at LaCygne and get involved. A lot of kids grew up doing what our parents were doing, and I think if that role can be reversed and the parents start investing in what the kids want to do, they’ll recognize there’s more of a connection there. Kids are just screaming out for their parents to just be involved, to be interested in what they’re doing. Youthfront offers a tremendous experience not just for the kids, but for the parents to be involved as well.

Ryan Lefebvre, Play-by-Play Announcer for the Kansas City Royals

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