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The definition of Rumspringa is running around. This term refers to young Amish people, anywhere from the age of 16 until they get married. It is the time of dating and getting together with other Amish young people that have not married and it is a chance to get to know one another. This is also the time for the boys to take the girls on dates. In my experience (24 years living as an Amish person) it was not okay for the girls to ask boys on a date, the boys always asked the girls.
I saw many of the people I grew up with, went to school with, and worshipped with do a lot of wild things on Rumspringa – the time when Amish teens get to live outside traditional Amish society without strict rules. I wasn’t nearly as adventurous as many of my friends, but ironically now live a life as a musician that perhaps many English (non-Amish) would consider wild even by their standards. Though, from what I have seen on television, still relatively tame compared to most musicians.
Part of his childhood was spent without electricity or running water, and his family traveled to town each week by horse and buggy. In fact, the first time Leroy Troyer rode in a car he got sick; he wasn't used to the speed. He grew up Amish in Wilmot, Ohio. There was no television, or time for sports.
Jacob Stoltzfus is in his final year of formal education, and it shows. His bright eyes and smile exude the confidence of a pupil who has mastered all that his school has to offer him, a young man who is about to put his childhood behind him and start the rest of his life.
Elizabeth Byler remembers a time when she would do anything to lead the life the average American is accustomed to. She felt like a slave to the black, blue or purple dress that made her so hot in the summer, and longed to cut her hair into a cute bob that was then the trend.
One of five children, I was born in 1979 to an Amish Family. My parents decided to leave the Old Order Community in Central Pennsylvania to make a new life. Upon leaving they took their children with them. When my parents left they were "shunned." Shunning practices vary within each Amish Community. Generally, Old Order Communities tend to shun severely (you don't exist to them), while more modern communities tend to do so with less harshness.
Founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Author of Twist of Faith was educated until the 8th grade in a small Amish school in PA. Her close-knit family celebrated a sincere Christian faith and also valued a marketable work ethic with a good eye for business opportunity....
When Albert Miller finished college and applied to medical schools across the country, he got his very first rejection letter from the school he wanted to attend. Instead of accepting his fate, Miller called the University of Cincinnati with one simple request. I simply said, "I simply said, I know my application isn't the best you've had, but I have an unusual background. I asked for an interview, and if they felt after that, that I didn't belong there, I could accept that." Miller, now a doctor in Wooster, recalled. Miller was granted an interview and received another letter a short time later.
When she wrote the letter that she hoped would protect her sister, Mary Byler was lying on a twin bed, surrounded by rainbow-colored walls and a sky-blue ceiling decorated with bright white clouds. A stereo sat on the floor beside her. There were no signs of the Amish upbringing she had left behind—no plain wood furniture or chamber pot. Nothing except a stuffed doll that had belonged to her 6-year-old sister. The little girl had put the doll's bonnet on backward.
The choice between living the rustic Amish lifestyle, or joining the fast-paced, convenient modern world, has always been an option for Amish teens. Many continue to embrace the security of their strict communities, where a horse and buggy is the mode of transportation, an 8th grade education is the norm, and a simple life is the road to salvation. But, as we hear from Kevin Niedermier, there are still young Amish who look for more in their lives, and choose the challenges of the outside world.