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Discussion: "dropping" children in the Netherlands

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 23, 2019 6:05 PM # 
This article appeared on The New York Times

The Dutch do childhood differently. Children are taught not to depend too much on adults; adults are taught to allow children to solve their own problems. And so there is the custom of "droppings" -- leaving kids in the forest to find their way home alone.
Jul 23, 2019 7:27 PM # 
Funny, I was out with the kids in the woods today. I was reminiscing about Outdoor Ed Class in our school 30 years ago. How things have changed. Rock Climbing, getting dropped 5 miles from home and told to just race back to school but paths weren't allowed. Traversing sea cliffs at high tide solo in wetsuits. The best was being dropped into a Jet mine (disused in 100 years) without a head torch and told to get out (but not out the same opening). None of these things were "risk assessed". Just the teachers did these things with their own kids the week before and understood the dangers involved. It was excellent. Never get away with that stuff now. My kids wanted to do it. All the roofs had collapsed leaving a lovely line of depressions. Phew! Another chance to be called a poor parent swerved.
As a side was the most popular elective (option). But the other options were Tech Drawing (Draughtsmanship), Motor Vehicle Tech or House Craft. Outdoor Ed was the only option essentially.
Jul 23, 2019 7:29 PM # 
sherpes, it looks like you never actually included the link.... (just a link element with no html attribute)
Jul 23, 2019 7:37 PM # 
A simple Google search will get you there ;)
Jul 23, 2019 9:04 PM # 
sherpes, it looks like you never actually included the link

corrected. thx
Jul 23, 2019 9:22 PM # 
this sort of fits in with what I heard from a friend in Belgium, that told me that to lessen the dependency of the child to his/her parents, there are programs in school where the kids go to do a week-long schooling session away from home for the entire duration of the week, sort of like a camp, with the school teacher. Just emailed my friend for the exact name of this "program" in the public school system, and once I find more info or web page, will post here.
Jul 24, 2019 9:02 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I have not heard about this particular idea here in Norway (our forests & hills/mountains are just too big, it would be easy to get lost for several days/starve), but we do something similar with young kids in the Scouts:

I.e. when our daughter Cathinka was 13 years old she became patrol leader for a group of 8 boys, aged 10/11. She had an assistant in the form of the next door girl who was one year younger, and she started by taking her patrol on an overnight hike in Nordmarka.

She found a nice camp spot by a lake 1-2 hours from the trail head and had brought along a tarp to sleep under. This went perfectly well of course, nobody fell into the lake or the camp fire, and they all came back at the agreed time the next afternoon. :-)

A few years later she sailed an old wooden ship ("Colin Archer" type) from Oslo to London for the international Scout Jamboree in England: 3 weeks on the boat, the oldest was 20+. Crossing the English Channel in bad weather Cathinka was the only one not puking so she steered for a double or even triple shift.
Jul 24, 2019 11:08 AM # 
Wait a sec here... Vikings puke?
Jul 24, 2019 1:24 PM # 
This school kids week-long sojourn in nature is called Classe Verte [trans: Green Class]. Some example here and here. Not just Belgium, but France too...
Jul 24, 2019 1:45 PM # 
the oldest was 20+

Jul 24, 2019 3:28 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@fossil: Norwegians who haven't sailed since they were babies are probably just as likely to puke in bad weather/seas as anyone else. The main difference is that Norway have always had more boats than cars. Most here probably don't know the highway road system in Norway starts with #2, since the sea has always been considered the main highway, and our coast line is extremely long (the National Mapping Authority updated the official figure in 2011), at over 100k km: There is about 40m of private seafront available for every Norwegian citizen, a number that will rise significantly if you also include fresh water lakes.

We also have the Norwegian Arctic territory of Svalbard, as well as Queen Maud Land in Antarctica but those parts are not included in that 100k number.

@tRicky: 100? Sure!
"Once a Scout, always a Scout!", right?
Jul 24, 2019 4:14 PM # 
My maths says there are 2.5m citizens of Norway based on those figures.
Jul 24, 2019 5:16 PM # 
at over 100k km

210k is over 100k...
Jul 24, 2019 5:31 PM # 
Some Norwegians puke quite often when they go to sea. It has something to do with the duty-free alcohol on the ferry boats.
Jul 24, 2019 8:09 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@tRicky, jjcote, gordhun: You are all correct, my math-fu is less strong than usual today. :-(

I have seen total coast line numbers in the 3-400 k km range, but that includes Svalbard as well as using a very short minimum straight line length: Since the coast is quite fractal in nature, you can get higher and higher values just be measuring with higher and higher resolution.

I.e. take a look at my local Vikerhavn map:

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