At our recent conference we asked attendees to fill out an evaluation form, and part of that was voting on next year's theme. A lot of people asked for a conference on engaging youth, which makes me really excited. We all seem to understand the concept of "getting them while they're young", but few of us are really good at this.
Whenever I talk to people about teenagers and museums, I share one of my favourite museum stories. A couple years ago I was doing a site visit and the curator was telling me how worrisome it is that kids these days just aren't interested in museums, that the schools never bring them anymore, and that if nothing changes we'll start to see museums closing because there's no one to continue the work. Before I could respond she started to complain about how a group of teenagers were hanging around the front yard of the museum and "scaring off" potential visitors, and that she was having to spend a lot of time chasing away these troublemakers (literally, she even used a broom).
Photo by Evan