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Surprising Rumspringa Facts That Will Change Your Mind About The Amish Tradition Of Rumspringa

Updated June 24, 2021 827.4k views19 items

Some of the best-known Amish beliefs center around their aversion to modern electronics and the group's dependence on agriculture in order to sustain their lifestyle. But one of the biggest mysteries of the Amish faith is rumspringa, an Amish coming-of-age ritual where teenagers leave their farm to explore the outside world, all while deciding whether or not they want to stay in the Amish community. If the Amish teens don’t return to their families, they have to leave the farm and find their own way in the world, but if they decide to stick with the Amish faith, they have to deny all worldly pleasures and give themselves over to God. 

What do Amish teenagers actually do when they leave their families in order to find themselves amongst the riff-raff of middle America? Do Amish teens cast off their dorky clothes in favor of jeans and T-shirts, drive cars, and drink a lot of beer, or...? Read along, and explore the truth behind rumspringa.

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  • The Really Wild Amish Teens Don't Wait For Rumspringa

    If you're Amish and you really want to rebel, you don't go off on a yearlong exploration of your faith - you just go wild while you're still on the farm.

    Some Amish teens sneak away after everyone goes to bed and have fun at "English" parties or even stash beer, cigarettes, or a radio in the family barn.

  • Photo: Matthew Trump / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Even The Amish Like To Go Fast

    In May 2016, five Amish teenagers thought to be on rumspringa were pulled over when Indiana state troopers caught them driving 110 mph in their minivan and tossing cans of beer out the window.

    When the state troopers searched the vehicle, they found a handle of whiskey and multiple cases of beer. 

  • The Amish Outlaws Are A Band That Formed On Rumspringa

    Video: YouTube

    Some members of the Amish community aren't sure about what to do when they leave their farms, but not these music-loving guys.

    Four of the original six members of the Amish Outlaws grew up in the Amish community of Lancaster, PA. They formed the band while on rumspringa in 2002 after deciding not to return to the Amish community. 

  • Amish Kids Love Beer As Much As Non-Amish Kids

    An NPR dissection of the Amish rite of passage continually notes how much beer the kids drink. Picture in your mind's eye: "A used-car-lot inventory of cars, trucks, buggies, bicycles, and motorcycles is already parked here. Iced coolers of beer are put out; Amish teenagers reach for bottles with both hands."

    With such a selection, the favorite is clear: "Beer is the liquid of choice, but there are also bottles of rum and vodka, used to spike soft drinks."