Teaching Kids How To Survive in the Wilderness

     It seems like teaching kids how to survive in the wilderness is a popular theme in summer camps and excursions these days.  After spending a long weekend in the Twin Cities with a gym full of middle school girls I’m beginning to wonder if we should be teaching them how to survive in the wilderness or just how to survive?

     In case you haven’t noticed it’s kind of a cruel world out there.  I definitely see the benefits of kids spending time in the wilderness but maybe the focus of the trips should be just survival in the real world?  I would think surviving in the Boundary Waters would be much easier than surviving in a group of middle school girls.  Getting kids out of the mainstream and into the woods might just help them to survive another week of real world terrors.

     I don’t mean to be extreme. There are surely lots of good kids out there but from what I’ve noticed those middle school years take their toll on some kids.  And of course with hormones raging and reputations to keep up it’s going to be a rough ride.  I just think it’s rougher than it was when I was young.  At least when I played volleyball most of the parents were there together as a couple watching and supporting their kids.

     Times have changed and kids are fighting to survive in their every day lives. Kids back in the day who had moms whose sole purpose was to raise them had a little more time than most moms these days. These days mom is more likely to be dating a new man and working a full time job than she is to be doting on her daughter.  And it seems dad is just as likely to have a new girlfriend to give his attention to and less time to spend with his daughter.  Single parenting is the new norm if you can call it parenting at all. When is there even time to parent when a person has to work 60 hours a week to just survive?

   With lack of time and lack of parenting skills I see the makings for a freaky new movie.  One where kids rule the world and parents are their slaves or live completely separately. It could be a world war of kids against parents. Maybe it has already started? Kids murdering their parents in their sleep? Parents killing their children?  WOW, I am in a morbid mood this morning and it wasn’t my intent.

     My intent was to say I think it’s great there are opportunities for kids to get out into the wilderness.  Maybe teaching kids how to survive in the wilderness will better equip them for life in the real world. It will at least take them out of the real world for a break from sometimes cruel world.  I know I always benefit from time in the woods and hopefully the kids I bring along will benefit too.