Missions are different than kids survival or Scouts.
In Scouts one follows a proven path of outlined activities. In kids survival there’s an underlying fear of having to survive in unnatural circumstances or condition.
Missions are what kids do to have fun! Not that Scouts or survival activities are not favorable and enjoyable, but with missions, kids essentially set the tone for what they want to do….within parental oversight.
Missions require no knowledge of the wilderness. If nothing else, an adult(s) can bring a child or children to a local state park and just walk on the trail or boardwalk. There’s no schedule that has to be followed with these kids outings. Go once a week, once a month or once a year, as some do on our annual Christmas Eve Mission.
That reminds me of the time I pointed out pine cones, pine needles and a pine tree to my grandsons. Obviously, I knew about evergreen related by products, but they didn’t. I think they thought I was a super hero.
No pre-planning is necessary because there’s no agenda to a mission. There’s no time limit, there’s only the amount of interest the children have for what’s occurring. Reminds me of my nephew and his son out with us on his first mission I believe…..The kids had stopped to walk on a downed tree, and the adults began chatting while the kids were messing around. Moments passed and this particular adult nephew said to his son, "Alright, we gotta move on, we’re on a mission"! I said, "Hey bud, there’s no plan on a mission, if the kids want to do this or that, that’s the mission"! And that my fellow readers is the secret of unleashing the outdoor spirit in kids….. no demands for kids or adults/parents!! It’s magical!
No big lunch or dinner is required. We bring snacks and water in backpacks. I do remember when another one of my nephews came on his first mission with his kids. He brought a hard-side cooler with a soft-side cover and shoulder strap for it. Before we set out on our walk down the trail, I asked if he was sure he wanted to bring that? He replied confidently…Yeah, I’ll be fine. Twenty minutes in, he was saying, "…..uncle…… PLEASE don’t ever let me bring this again”. Travel Smart, travel light!
No special gear is required. Shorts, t-shirts, jeans, whatever is perfect to wear in the wilderness! You get bonus points if you wear camo though! NO, just kidding. For the longest time I was the oddball, no camo person on our missions. When a friend of my grandsons, came on his first mission, he wore no camo clothing. When he returned home he informed his parents he wanted to be equipped with camo apparel BEFORE the next mission! That was funny!
You want to get kids away from their video games, Ipads, Iphones for a few hours, or a day? Bring them on a mission! I only allow Ipads when we’re camping and it gets dark early, but even then electronic devices are not a part of my missions!
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