• Attendance

    June 2012
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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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June 19, 2012

Last August, the last time I walked out of Shute Park and “The Outpost”, we were days away from Nik starting his job in Vancouver. I wondered if I would ever come back again. It was sad.

And here we are for our fourth summer at the outpost. Slightly surreal, because I have not even been to Shute Park since that day. It was a slightly chilly, sprinkle day. But not bad. Kids talked to cops (that I thought were a bit boring and unengaged) about safety stuff. They talked about usual stuff like wearing helmets and when to call 911. But they also pulled the “don’t talk to strangers” crap. Which is just so empty and wrong. The kids are talking to a stranger right now! And even if she was excepted because she is in uniform, they are expected to come to the outpost and talk to the counselors, the art cart helpers, the Superhero training teachers, the food line volunteers, EACH OTHER! All of which are strangers! The more concrete rule would be “don’t’ go anywhere with a stranger without asking your parent first. Don’t take anything from a stranger without asking a parent first.” And then when a little older, don’t ignore your feelings. If a stranger makes you uncomfortable in any way, move away and end the conversation, including some real skills on how to do that. Most of the Outpost kids are poor, many ride public transportation and deal with multiple agencies and other stranger situation. They HAVE to tell very personal information to strangers sometimes. Don’t talk to strangers only works for white, middle class kids who are insulated in their parents cars all the time and never deal with community stuff. And even then, it is a false promise of safety.

But also, lots of playground time, a bit of art time, and lots of balls, frisbees and games. Free lunch (in which I gave Avery milk because I forgot to bring anything for him. Did not even have a cup to get water. And my bad. he went zombie and cranky and slept all afternoon and didn’t eat tonight.) Big kids did Super Hero training after lunch (PE class) where they jumped rope and stuff, and then we came home. They watched “How to Train Your Dragon” tonight on Amazon Prime.

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