is something Nicola Morgan was asking about yesterday. She wanted to know what sort of things teens did apart from those that people usually think of - sport, music, screen based and so on.
It made me think.
My nephews began to seriously do go-kart racing. They still do it. It requires physical fitness and skill. It isn't just a matter of sitting in the kart and steering it. They share the interest with their father - who grumbles like made but actually enjoys the challenge of trying to keep their karts running. It has made them very good on road drivers and taught them a lot about internal combustion engines too.
They also formed a duo, wrote their own songs, cut a couple of records or CDs or whatever it is they did back then, and performed gigs all over the place. They both appeared in films - with speaking parts.
The Whirlwind is a gardener, a serious gardener. She likes to grow things she and her father can eat. She also likes to make things. Her paper "architecture" is not just creative but done with great skill. I have tried to teach her to knit but she finds that a bit slow and is more interested in drawing the things around her. There are no girls on horses or in ballet shoes for her. It is more likely to be old shoes or a leaf she has picked up.
I have a group of young people, now in their late teens, who started to knit when they were much younger. They all have serious medical issues but they have been knitting for many years now, first under the guidance of my late friend M... who lived in the hospital they spent so much time in when young and now under mine. They have made hundreds of items for the hospital and for local charities and they are continuing to learn new skills all the time. One of them makes puppets which are now being used in theatre productions. And yes, three boys and two girls form the group.
There is a boy around the corner who is interested in bonsai. It is a curious, time consuming and fiddly hobby for a young man and he says he is learning all the time.
I put all that into the list Nicola was asking for and then I thought of the rural teens who do competitive woodchopping, sheep breeding, shearing, basket making from native materials, and sheep dog training - all because they are passionate about such things.
Not all teens spend their days staring at the screen on their phone or sprawled in front of the television set or playing computer games. There is hope for the next generation.