Why I’m Not Worried About the Younger Generation

Entitled. Narcisstic. Fame obsessed. Immoral. Smug.

I’ve thought these words when thinking of how to describe the next generation. I see articles on social media and in the news of how cruel young people have become. I’ve witnessed teens climb the social ladder, sacrificing true friendships, in the name of popularity. I’ve watched as sex and everything surrounding it has become casual and nothing more than an act. Drugs are commonplace and not as taboo as they once were. The demoralization of our younger generation had me worried.

Until a week ago.


Last week, my family went to a place that has become near and dear to my heart. It has become a sacred place for my family, a refuge. We went to Pine Cove family camp. Although the actual location was different (last year, we were in TX, this year we went to SC), the experience was just as magical. It’s because of this place that I’m not worried about the next generation.

Let me explain: they hire unicorns to be on their staff. What I mean is, their staff are the rarest breed of young people I’ve ever seen. I didn’t know they actually existed in the wild before Pine Cove. (You can read about my first experience with unicorns here.) As I sit here typing, my eyes are welling up with tears just thinking about the counselors that cared so well for my family last week. Men and women in their early twenties spending their summer loving on kids and families because they love Jesus are, well…weird. Translation: not the norm when you think of young people today.


(These were just a few of the unicorn counselors who took care of my kiddos. Don’t worry, they hide their horns and tails at camp.)

Servant-hearted doesn’t seem to fully encompass the hearts of these people. They served us meals, they were camp counselors to our kids all day, they attended to our every need whether it be bringing us Tylenol or coming to our cabin before 7:00am so we could go ride horses without our kids. They did ridiculous skits to keep our kids entertained during meals. They all had “camp names” to make them endearing and it was also a good conversation starter. They cheered and chanted and had more energy than a 6 year old with ADD. AND IT DIDN’T STOP THE ENTIRE WEEK. In their scant free time, I saw them reading the Word, writing notes to their campers, and journaling. IN THEIR 30 SECONDS OF FREE TIME. They sat with parents and chatted about their plans for the future as though they hadn’t been asked that every week by every parent they came in contact with. They sat in on our family devotions and shared experiences from their own lives so our kids could see real faith in people that weren’t their parents. Or they took the 2 year old that was simply not having one bit of the family devotion and took them to the playground so the older kids could still benefit from it. They spoke truth to my kids. They encouraged them and affirmed them. They were kind. They were gracious. They were the very heart of Jesus.

And at the end of the week, the parents got to hear these counselors tell their children the character qualities, or CQs, they saw in them. Do you want to make a parent’s heart actually explode? Tell them the amazing qualities you’ve seen in their kids. In affirming the kids, they affirmed the parents. So much of the time we feel like crap parents, don’t we? We worry we’re not doing a good enough job. We worry our kids will never “get it”. We worry about how they will turn out. Then some unicorn counselor tells you they’ve seen honesty and trustworthiness and adaptability and joy in your kid in just one week of knowing them and you fall apart into one million little pieces because God, in His goodness, has worked to grow things inside of your child in spite of all your “not good enoughness” and you swell up until you almost burst. These are the kind of men and women I want my kids to be.

So no, I’m not worried about the next generation because I’ve seen Narnia, full of unicorn young people, who are after the very heart of God. Don’t underestimate the power of God to change a person’s heart. Don’t fret, older generation, God’s not done. Just because they’re not on the news doesn’t mean they’re not there. I’ve seen them with my own eyes and they are precious, beautiful souls. Don’t be discouraged, He’s still working in the hearts of young people just as He always has.

And just for fun, here’s one of our entire crew…


If you want any more info on Pine Cove, please please please feel free to email me! My email is courtneypallen216@gmail.com. (Or just sign up to receive my emails at the bottom of this page and you’ll get amazing posts like this sent straight to your inbox. I know, it’s a shameless plug.) Would LOVE to talk about this amazing place with you! And no, they do not pay me to write things.


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10 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Worried About the Younger Generation

  1. Denise Hatfield says:

    My son experienced one of those kids you refer to as a “unicorn” at GBC in Germantown TN. She showed him the heart of Jesus and we are forever grateful. Thank you, dear human.


  2. Ally Gann says:

    My heart just swells with gratitude for this place!! Some of my very favorite people in my very favorite place.


  3. Lea says:

    Oh, we have been loyal Pine Cove “lovers” for years and years. Our children were campers there for many years and then both were counselors while they were in college. They will tell you till this day that PC is their favorite place on earth and had such a huge impact on their life. Now, our son and his family go to family camp in Tyler, Texas and our 8 year old Grandson went to The Towers for his first time this summer. Yes, we love Pine Cove and the vision of the founders.


  4. Laurie Colvin says:

    As a family camper for 11 years who now has a daughter on staff, thank you. When I spoke to her this weekend she was weary, and as a mama being far away, my heart ached for her. I reminded her of her calling and am praying for her to be able to finish strong. Your words reminded me of why our family loved Pine Cove so much many years ago as counselors gave of themselves over & over again.


  5. Carolyn says:

    As a mom of a unicorn…thank you. From the bottom of my heart…thank you.


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