top of page

A New Teen Scene

As you might imagine, we are huge fans of the American tradition of Freedom of the Press. Our nation’s birth was helped along by the often incendiary writings of Thomas Paine. Her formation into a constitutional republic, the first modern nation ruled by laws rather than by men, was largely the result of the publication of the Federalist Papers. The idea that We the People have a voice independent of our government’s permission is one of the strongest foundations of our society. We, Lisa and myself, publishers of this magazine, were blessed with many mentors that helped us develop our own voices. From our high school newspaper advisor to college journalism professors to the journalists in our community, we were influenced, taught and guided until we were able to own our own publications. We now have our own public voice. That is a powerful thing. Helping the next generation of journalists and storytellers get to the point where they too can hold that power is important. Our society needs many voices. Teen Scene, Inc, a new area non-profit, is helping to find and develop these voices. Teen Scene is recruiting teens in the Cape Fear region to write and publish a monthly teen newspaper. The goal is to help develop writing and business skills by developing successful business plans that lead to the publication of a monthly newspaper written entirely by and for teens. Teen Scene hopes to offer scholarships to its writers/publishers. Parents must sign a consent form for their child to participate. Contact Teen Scene at (910) 408-1934 or at to see about joining the team. We recently spoke to Teen Scene President Gerald Decker to learn more about the organization’s origins and goals.

Can you tell us a little about the genesis of this venture?

I started this effort while teaching high school and college Political Science in Anniston, Alabama. It is an outgrowth of my own insecurities about my writing skills and how that affected my professional career. I started the paper originally in 2004, and it was nominated by the local Chamber of Commerce for “Business of the Year” the first year. Because of a multi-year battle with cancer, I had to close it down. Now that my cancer seems to be in check, at least for the last couple of years, I thought I would give it another chance. I moved to Leland in 2016 to be nearer my first-born grandchild. In May, my business partner, Eric Mens, and I started publishing a monthly paper for creative adult writers in the Cape Fear area called Cape Fear Voices. It has been well received in the community so far. We have been trying to reach out to schools, homeschools and parents to recruit teens for the Teen Scene. Because of the current issues with COVID-19, that has not been an easy task.

What is your background?

I have a Masters in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University and worked nine years as a research assistant on the U. S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations while finishing undergraduate and graduate studies. As mentioned, I have also taught high school and college and have done a great deal of one-on-one tutoring in the past. Most recently in the Leland area, I put together a trip in 2018 to take 45 veterans and family members to Washington to visit the White House, Capitol Hill, and the monuments. In 2019, I founded, and am now the Commander of, the new VFW Post 12196 in Leland. I am also the President elect of the North Brunswick Kiwanis Club for 2020-2021. Two months ago, Eric and I also published a small book about Alex Moskowitz of Supply, NC. Alex is a 97-year-old WWII veteran who was one of the veterans who went on the DC trip with us.

Teen Scene is aimed at teens — do you have a specific age or grade range you are looking to work with?

I do not have a specific age group in mind. The idea is that any teen (13-19) is eligible to participate in our program, which includes developing business plans, implementing those plans, writing, editing, layout, design, and production of the paper. With some success we will also offer scholarships for those who do their part to make the effort successful. One of our Advisory Board Members is Elizabeth Wassum, the Executive Director of the Brunswick Community College Foundation. With her assistance, we hope to build a strong relationship with the university that will be beneficial to the College and our student writers.

Do you have a specific publication date you are working towards?

We currently publish Cape Fear Voices on the first of each month. Once we get the Teen Scene going, it will most likely be published the same day each month. Our cut-off for submissions to Cape Fear Voices is the 15th of each month. That gives us time to review each article to make sure it is in line with our mission which is non-political and non-issue oriented content. It is meant to be a “feel good” piece for creative minds to publish their work.

The Latest Issue
July2023Leland Cover Website.jpg
Follow us on Facebook
  • Facebook Basic Black
bottom of page