My mom was worried about my 9yo nephew going to sleepaway; after I disclosed she is now terrified. He is an awkward and emotionally volatile kid who does not fit in well. I could see him being very vulnerable.
So I told mom that I'd recommend 2 precautions before really any kid goes:
1. A for-real, at least 6th grade level discussion of what a person can do that is not allowed. Kids can be very literal-minded and will miss implied points easily. Yes it will scare them but when you think about it, "stop drop and roll - if you are on fire and burning to death" is scary too. When I was a tour guide I gave bear attack survival tips and there would be kids there. Better to cry over a shrinks desk than a grave.
2. My-Mom-Died. If anything anything ever does happen, they dont have to report it there, they have to get out. Even if they are cross country they have to get out immediately. SO: at first possible chance go to the camp directors office or nurses office and say "I snuck offsite last night and met some campers, I'm sorry, but they let me use their cell phone and My-Mom-Died! Boo hoo My-Mom-Died! Please let me call home!" No one can refuse that and they spend all day in a multi-user building while they call home, give the My-Mom-Died password, and wait to be rescued. And the parents put a $1,200 same-day plane ticket on the credit card and worry about more important things than money.
Of course this is like telling someone in advance when the grizzly bear attacks you you play dead, and if it tries to roll you over you keep rolling and stay right back on your belly. In the heat of the moment would the plan be remembered? Who knows but its better than nothing.
Awkward moment: my mom wants *me* to give the pre-camp warning talk to the kid and not his dad.... who is an emotionally unbalanced and disengaged asshole. But it still feels like not my place. We'll see what happens next summer.
Edited by SoccerStar (12/21/12 08:33 AM)
"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny