The teen fashion choices have changed -- from the grunge look of the 1990s to the skinny jeans of today. Technology has changed too.
At one time, "I thought pagers were going to be the death of me," said Cynthia Bement, a longtime youth minister at Kennewick First United Methodist Church, with a laugh. Now, her young charges often are attached at the hip to their smartphones.
But one thing has remained constant during Bement's time as a youth and education director at the downtown Kennewick church -- her love for the young people who show up week after week for lessons, guidance, encouragement and fun.
Bement's career in youth ministry has spanned two decades, a significant run in a field that often sees turnover and burnout in its ranks.
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But now the 53-year-old Kennewick woman is stepping down, planning to spend more time with her husband and kids and take a break from the frenetic pace. Her last day is today.
"I feel so blessed. So very blessed, for the opportunity that God and the church gave me," she said. "So blessed -- blessed beyond measure."
Church leaders and former youth group members say Bement is leaving behind a legacy.
Ray Porter, 18, a recent Kennewick High School graduate and longtime member of the church, described Bement as a second mother to many.
"She's really dedicated to her faith, which translates to her being there for the people around her," he said. "She's the center of this chain reaction of goodness that's going on down there."
Bement was hired at the church in 1992, but she started volunteering there years before that, tending to babies while their parents were at the service and then teaching and serving as Sunday school superintendent.
Her job hasn't always been easy. It's required her to be a source of encouragement and love, but also the person who enforces rules, who has tough conversations with youths, with parents. She's hardly had a weekend off in two decades.
But there have been so many good times -- the mission trips, the camps, the connections big and small. The lives touched and changed.
Bement used to think she'd step down when the youngest of her two children, her daughter Jocelyn, graduated from high school. Jocelyn now is 27. The time finally feels right.
Now that Bement is stepping away, she and her husband, Randy, who has himself dedicated years to youth ministry at his wife's side, will be able to take more weekend trips to the Vancouver, Wash., area, where both of their kids -- their son, Brian, is 29 -- now live with their spouses.
But Bement won't be stranger at Kennewick First Methodist, which has a long, rich history in the community as well as in Bement's life.
She was baptized there, married there, raised her children there, watched them both get married there.
She'll still be a member and volunteer.
That feels right too. "Cynthia is a cornerstone of that church and has been for a really long time," said Alexa Eisenbarth, 20, who started attending youth group in middle school and is interning this summer at the church. A student at Whitworth University in Spokane, Eisenbarth is studying sociology and theology and plans to attend seminary and become an ordained pastor.
She described Bement as a true friend and mentor. Porter, who will soon head to college in Montana, said Bement is a lot of fun, willing to try new things and convince others to do the same.
Teens who aren't crazy about physical activity -- she'll get them to try a game of capture the flag. Those who are timid about being up in front of others -- she'll find a way to help them be brave.
"She's really taught me to never stop exploring the world -- in a spiritual sense, religiously, but also as a matter of your character. She's taught me that as long as you're grounded in yourself, you shouldn't be afraid to try new things," he said.
For Geoff Helton, Bement's influence is part of what helped him on his own path to the ministry.
The 32-year-old grew up attending Kennewick First. He went on to Whitworth and then seminary at Princeton and now is a pastor in Spokane.
Bement has a way of being what each youth needs -- a maternal figure, a friend, a kick in the pants or a source of support, Helton said. "She can be any of those things and all of those things -- I think it's pretty remarkable," he said.
While Bement said she's looking forward to the next phase of her life, it's hard saying goodbye to this one, to two decades as a youth minister.
To a vocation, a field she's loved.
In youth ministry, "you are on the front lines of life. Nobody will need you more than a teenager."
"It's the best," she said. "I think it's just the best."
-- Have local faith or religion news? Contact reporter Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald