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FreeRange kids or similar discussions and BP

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There was another shared piece relating to a parent allowing her son to have more latitude in his play time and location.  It occurred to me that BP would very likely be square on the side of this basic idea.  Afterall, he spoke often about how as a youth he spent a lot of time alone wandering in peripheral forest and fields, learning and coping with challenges encountered.  Even though a different era and possibly less, if any, kickback from the society of the period, there are a lot of similarities to this current discussion I feel.  Afterall, isn't the basic idea of the "patrol method" just that?  And I would agree that too often we do not allow that space and time for the scouts to discover this, stepping in to avoid disappointment or possible failure, which in reality is the most important learning they will glean.  Just a thought.

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IMHO, I think BP would very much support the concept.  But at the same time, we don't live in his time.  Things have changed.  We know more than we did.  IMHO, I think it's appropriate to value the concept and hold it as our ideal, but we need to then correct for modern times and what we know now.

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4 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

IMHO, I think BP would very much support the concept.  But at the same time, we don't live in his time.  Things have changed.  We know more than we did.  IMHO, I think it's appropriate to value the concept and hold it as our ideal, but we need to then correct for modern times and what we know now.

What is it that we know?

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7 hours ago, Saltface said:

What is it that we know?

that there's some bad people in the world lurking in the bushes to steal our children.

 

Now that is part sarcasm, but in some cases....

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7 hours ago, fred johnson said:

IMHO, I think BP would very much support the concept.  But at the same time, we don't live in his time.  Things have changed.  We know more than we did.  IMHO, I think it's appropriate to value the concept and hold it as our ideal, but we need to then correct for modern times and what we know now.

But in modern times, kids are relatively safe from things like abduction.

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The biggest danger to any child in the western world is traffic. It simply wasn't a thing in BP's day. These days it is the single biggest killer of children aged 5-16 in the western world. When my scouts do something unsupervised by adults it is them being hit by a car that is top of my list when it comes to things that leave in a cold sweat. I'm not saying don't let kids off the leash, just teach them to cross the road safely first!

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1 minute ago, Cambridgeskip said:

The biggest danger to any child in the western world is traffic. It simply wasn't a thing in BP's day. These days it is the single biggest killer of children aged 5-16 in the western world. When my scouts do something unsupervised by adults it is them being hit by a car that is top of my list when it comes to things that leave in a cold sweat. I'm not saying don't let kids off the leash, just teach them to cross the road safely first!

Or properly buckle up while in the car. 

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8 hours ago, Saltface said:

What is it that we know?

I'm scared that adult leaders mock this topic and don't take it seriously.  This is not a light switch where we either free range or baby sit every moment.  Abusers look for programs in which they can abuse.  Kids will sneak in alcohol, tobacco, pot, drugs, fireworks and more.  Kids get hurt, drown, fall in fires, break bones and more. 

We can be effective as leaders while at the same time minimizing our presence and impact.  It's about keeping kids safe.  

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15 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

I'm scared that adult leaders mock this topic and don't take it seriously.  This is not a light switch where we either free range or baby sit every moment.  Abusers look for programs in which they can abuse.  Kids will sneak in alcohol, tobacco, pot, drugs, fireworks and more.  Kids get hurt, drown, fall in fires, break bones and more. 

We can be effective as leaders while at the same time minimizing our presence and impact.  It's about keeping kids safe.  

To a large extent, the free range ideas are about properly assessing risks. So its recognizing that the drive to a trailhead is often as or more dangerous than the hike itself. Also the goal should be how to handle dangerous situations, ie being prepared. 

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15 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

I'm scared that adult leaders mock this topic and don't take it seriously.  This is not a light switch where we either free range or baby sit every moment.  Abusers look for programs in which they can abuse.  Kids will sneak in alcohol, tobacco, pot, drugs, fireworks and more.  Kids get hurt, drown, fall in fires, break bones and more. 

We can be effective as leaders while at the same time minimizing our presence and impact.  It's about keeping kids safe.  

"It's about keeping kids safe."

What is about keeping kids safe? The Scouting program?

The concept of free range kids is exactly not that--it's not about keeping kids safe. It's about giving kids the freedom to grow.

Now, you can add some safety in there. But that's not what free range is about. Free range accepts risk as an inherent and necessary  part of life.

When safety becomes the foremost concern, you've lost free range.

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