Chill Pill Required

Dropped off the Mrs to do a presentation for the Girl Guides who are having a big week-long camp and for the most part they were happy people who were happy to have the participation. There were however some older camp leaders who were obviously running low on patience and a brought a lot of memories back to me.

When I was in Scouts and Ventures and we ran into Guides, Pathfinders or Rangers at some kind of co-ed function they would always go on and on about how we got to do whatever we want. Of course we begged to differ, because we got in our fair share of trouble. But when I think about the countless hours we spend wandering around Goodyear Memorial‘s 104 hectare property unsupervised throughout the many weekends we spent up there, they did have it a lot worse. We’d learn how to do practical things like make a fire, snare food if we were lost in the woods, play with knives for hours on end or go through an obstacle course made from logs and rope by kids only a few years older than us. They’d tell us about knitting, excessive crafts and not being able to go do stuff fun stuff like recklessly tobogganing down an icy road for hours.

Kids are being padded these days. Gone are the all wooden playgrounds with pea gravel where you could shimmy across the top of the beam which holds up the swings only to get a splinter while risking the 25foot fall. Now it’s all Fibertop padding and a completely lack of merry-go-rounds that produced more Gs than you could possibly withstand so you inevitably flew off. I think the Girl Guides was like Scouts with that padding added when I was that age.

The point of Scouting, if you ask me, is to learn to become independent and that’s something you can’t do if you’re not allowed to try crossing the creek using a branch hanging from a tree as leverage. You won’t fall in but you also won’t solve the problem of getting across the river for yourself.

Many of the Guiders are perfectly logical people who let their kids learn and have fun while doing it, but there are a number of leaders who make rules for the sake of making rules and don’t let their kids run mucks, which is what being at camp is all about. Organized chaos… possibly safe.

Fortunately, since I’ve grown up, Scouts Canada is now open to boys and girls so even if we weren’t having a boy, my kid would still never have to be a Girl Guide.

Author: Ian

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