Rumspringa and High School/College Modern Life
Amish do not believe in baptism as a child; they believe in making an informed decision to become a member of the church. This opens up the topic of the teenage Rumspringa. In some Amish communities, the term Rumspringa refers to the adolescence period where greater personal freedom is accorded to the girls and boys. At this time, they are allowed to get into romantic relationships, leave the community, or be baptized into the church. Only some Amish communities have Rumspringa. Modern media has focused on the wilder and less likely side of Rumspringa like in the movie Devils Playground (Awakening Experience: Amish Youth and the Search for a Modern Identity
Most teenagers start Rumspringa at age sixteen, and it ends when they decide to become baptized and become a member of the church. There are normally two types of groups. One of the groups is the “slower”, and the other is “faster”. The “slower” group might go bowling on a weekend. They just stay within their communities. They will attend singings on Sundays and play volleyball or another sport after church. The “faster” groups will leave the communities on weekends and return again on Sunday night to get ready for the work week. They are the few that might buy a car and receive a driver’s license. They will also go to parties and drink alcoholic beverages. Most, however, do not participate in premarital sex, or drug use like the media says they do. Most will, however, dress in non-traditional clothing, possibly cut their hair, and visit the outside world. Amish children start helping with chores as soon as they can do so.
They are taught at an early age to work hard. Amish children start their day at five or five thirty in the morning just like their parents and other siblings do. The boys strive to be as much like their father as possible while girls try to be like their mother. At age sixteen the parents allow their children to start making their decisions, and they are not yet baptized so they are not under the control of the church. This period is called Rumspringa and will last until they decide to be baptized and become a member of the church or until they leave the Amish lifestyle altogether. Teens will also start dating and talking to the opposite sex at this time to form relationships. While on Rumspringa most still live with their parents and attend church. They will also start taking over the heavy work for the family and community and assume greater responsibility (Awakening Experience: Amish Youth and the Search for a Modern Identity)
Once they decide if they want to leave the Amish ways or become baptized, they will return to the Amish way of life after Rumspringa. Eighty-ninety percent of the teens will become baptized and become a part of the church (Awakening Experience: Amish Youth and the Search …