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29.7.06

Boys will be boys. Not according to the media

Now I’m back! I’ve just spent three days and nights in a wood in North Yorkshire with three teenagers – my son and his two mates Richey and Newport.
This wasn’t a social experiment, although it turned out to be one in away. I was covered in mud, ditch water, blood, and other bodily fluids by the end of the exercise but what impressed me most was the boys and their attitude.
This is a generation brought up on iPods, DS, MSN, text messaging and shoot-‘em-up video games. However, as soon as they set up camp – no tents, just a tarpaulin and ground sheet – it was so much Lord of Flies more Lord of the Manor.
The trio dug there own fire pit and proceeded to live off the fat of the land – catching rabbits they had snared themselves or fish they caught in the streams and ponds. All this without help from me. They slept under the stars and left all their hi-tech childhood at home – they couldn’t even get a signal for their mobile phones.
All this at a time when the British media seems to be obsessed by the disillusion of the nation’s youth. The Daily Mail, true to type, never misses an opportunity to dis the kids with articles like Children ‘fear playing outdoors’ and even the BBC has had to resort to a top ten tips for keeping the kids busy in the summer holidays 10 ways to survive the holidays with children. A quick search of the web carries hundreds of articles harking back to a golden age of childhood and complaining that modern kids are being deprived of a “proper childhood”. And this is not just the usual suspects – even The Guardian has a pop at them.
My experience with three 15-year-olds, enjoying a Ray Mears experience, is that these lads are more together than I ever was at their age. Moreover, bereft of all the mod cons they fell back to home-made entertainment – conversation, playing cards, fishing and just messing around.
Forget the popular press – the Kids Are Alright!

2 comments:

Frank said...

Thanks Dad - I don't want eveyone knowing my business!!!!!!!

Ian G said...

Ahh my son - you did enjoy it though didn't you.