Camping & Disaster Planning

Be Prepared. The Girl Guide motto we try to instill within our energetic, future young ladies through activities, such as camping.

We recently finished up weeks of camping prep with out unit. We cover the basics you would expect, teach our girls how to make a proper bedroll and pack appropriately. We repeat the motto over and over, and we hope they have remembered something and will show up to camp not completely unprepared. Doesn’t sound very positive does it? Unfortunately, it seems to be the reality of working with children from low to mid-income, split parent homes. But I digress.

Of course, we also hope we’re providing them with an understanding of the importance of being prepared, which, among other skills, they will take with them further in life.

Yet, how can you ever help them prepare for disaster? Flipping through an ag paper today at lunch, I came across this photo from a dried-up rice paddy in the radiactive zone in Japan.

Employees of Fukushima prefecture’s agricultural industry department walk on the dried-up rice paddy which was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Soma, about 50km from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, May 11, 2011. REUTERS / ISSEI KATO PHOTO

It reminded me of an article I read last night about a Saskatchewan farmwoman waiting for the flood. While, in turn, reminded me of a story of a little boy in Joplin, MO, who was hit by a flying toilet in the Joplin tornado and owes his life to a bike helmet. Each story hit home for me in the same way. I am not a mother, but I do have kids. 10 little girls whom I care and want the absolute best for, in addition to my niece, who is as special to me as a daughter. Can you ever teach them what to do? If you could, would they remember?
Passing these thoughts around more in my mind, I realized we do teach them the basics. In case of fire or an accident, we arm them with not only what they need to know, but how they can help specifically as children. Hopefully, what they take away is also an understanding of how to react and make fast decisions in the face of emergency. While we will never have the full, undivided attention (they most fondly recall “Karl with a K”, the training prop from their first aid training), perhaps in the face of emergency adrenalin would bring it all back for them.

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