A Parent's DofE Expedition.

>>  Friday, June 21, 2013

Kit list received.
We shopped.
I worried.
We shopped some more.
I worried.
Backpack packing.
She panicked.
I decanted.
The bad weather came.
I worried.
"Mum, stop worrying, nothing can be as bad as that 45C bike ride in King's Park or the last swamp of a Guide camp. I will be fine."
The day came.

She was delivered.

A bunch of backpacks with feet disappeared.

The paradox: I stopped worrying.  It was now outside of my circle of influence. 

But what I have learnt as a Guider:  It doesn't matter how many times you have done this, how safe you know they are, how risk assessed your risk is...for the parent it is a first.  Reassurance and information helps the first time parent get through it!

What I knew as a Guider: to stand back and let the leaders lead.  Observe.  Zoom the camera and stay out of the way.

What I needed as someone about to do a run round the park: a toilet.  I hung back for a while but when I got to the block, they were all still there!  What I knew as a mum: Do not talk to them, stay out of the way, quickly disappear in the opposite direction and hope they would pick up the pace or it would be a week of Wednesday's before they were back, not a weekend.

But they did come back, and a little earlier than expected.  She was happy, dry and not hungry.  And only one blister that she didn't realise she had until we were at home.

It seems the good trousers that stayed dry despite the rain and a totally waterproof but breathable, light weight coat were worth their weight in the gold spent on them.  The sleeping bag was too long and a shorter one must be found but otherwise, the kit was right, the amount of food was right, all was right.

She's a capable girl, and it seems her ability to put up the tent, cook the meals and map read successfully added massively to her enjoyment of it. I have her Guide leaders to thank for that.

This isn't really about the ability to survive a walk in the woods, it is the same as Guiding from a different angle:

"It enables them to develop their potential."

A good confidence booster is a fantastic tonic for a teenager.  I hope the 'real' expedition goes just as well.



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