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Teaching Young People Basic Survival Skills

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posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 12:41 AM
Back in Sept. when much of our city experienced power outages for 1-2 weeks, my husband and I had the opportunity to speak with many college kids in our community who seemed lost, frightened, and confused at times on how to deal with not having power.

Now, many people in the city are once again without power, and many of my co-workers (college kids) seem to not know even the very basics of survival.

Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.

Today, one of my co-workers said he hadn't eaten in over 24 hours because he lost power and didn't have food in his house. He said he normally just heats frozen dinners in the oven and/or microwave because he doesn't know how to cook.

Okay, well besides the fact that I think everyone should be taught the basics of how to cook, this kid said he didn't eat because the food in his freezer/fridge spoiled. Did it not occur to him to drive to the grocery store to get some food?

I suggested to him that he go buy some bread, peanut butter, cheese, and lunch meat so he could at least make sandwiches. He said, "That's a great idea!" and his eyes lit up. Then he asked me about not having refrigeration, and I told him to just put the meat and cheese outdoors in a cooler or something. He said he never thought of that.

This summer a young college student returned home to find he was without power. We were outside walking and struck up a conversation with him because he looked so upset. He told us he didn't know what he was going to do about eating without electricity.

We told him that there was a grocery store across the street with power, and to go there and buy some food and charcoal and use the outdoor grills at our apartment complex to make his dinner. And we told him to buy things he could eat that didn't require refrigeration and gave him some examples.

This is very, very, very basic survival stuff, but these two young college kids just seemed totally lost.

One guy we ran into outside in our apartment complex back in Sept. was panicked and upset because he heard the gas stations were running out of gas and didn't know what to do because he hardly had any gas in his tank. I told him about a gas station right across the road that had gas. My husband and I told him if he didn't think he could make it right across the road to the gas station to just walk across the road to Target or Home Depot, buy a 5 gallon container that holds gas, go fill that up and then put that in his tank. Then he could drive to the gas station and fill it up.

I swear I'm not making this stuff up. I have more examples, many of which share this same thread...people not having common the point that it impairs their ability to take care of themselves.

I guess things are just different now. Back when I was a young girl, I was trained with a bow and arrow, and I was also taught how to shoot. Me and my brother and sister had an archery and gun range. We were also taught how to fish, as well as how to cook, can, preserve food. We were taught to sew, as well as what to do in certain emergency situations.

Anyway, I think young children and young adults need to be taught the basics. Parents and schools need to prepare and teach kids so they know how take care of themselves. We also need to teach kids to think for themselves.

School and book learning is important, but basic survival skills need to be taught too. Book smarts is great but it seems like so many of these college kids are lacking in common sense. We need to really work on developing that in them.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 01:05 AM
No replies yet? Okay, I'll bite.

I'm a 'young person' as you describe, and I wholeheartedly concur with what you are saying. Our education and media has cultured young people into a state of convenience.

Fortunately for me, those tips you ticked off in your anecdotes were ones I was familiar with, but I don't know if that's the same for everyone in my area. I think it would be a good idea to start a kind of compendium with practical, old-school, back-to-basics lessons that teach kids more self-reliance.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 01:24 AM

Originally posted by SpencerJ
No replies yet? Okay, I'll bite.
Our education and media has cultured young people into a state of convenience.

Things do seem to be geared toward convenience. Back when I was a kid, I lived way out in the country. We had to drive 30 minutes to get to the grocery store. I don't recall "convenience" stores. Gas stations sold fuel and oil. There were very few fast food restaurants. I was a teenager the first time I went to a fast food restaurant (not a McDonald's), and we only went a few times.

We didn't go to the grocery store to buy vegetables. We grew them in our garden. Then we canned or froze them so we'd have them for winter. We didn't buy frozen dinners. We didn't cook our food with a microwave. We baked our own bread and biscuits. I still do. I buy some bread too, but I also bake bread and/or biscuits every week.

Back when I was a kid, most young people were involved in 4-H, which taught kids things like archery, cooking, gardening, woodworking, etc. While 4-H was great for all the things we learned there, it was also one of the few things we did for "entertainment."

We read books to learn things too. We didn't have television for much of the time when I was growing up, but we did spend time sewing our own clothes, knitting and crocheting scarves, quilting, horseback riding, etc.

It seems like so many of the things we did for fun like sewing, archery, etc, were things which also taught us how to survive. Nowadays, it doesn't seem to be like that.

In general, it seems like teaching kids how to hunt, sew, and cook aren't priorities. I guess it's like you said...the culture is more about convenience now and less about passing on good survival skills.

Edited for typos.

[edit on 30-1-2009 by cornblossom]

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 04:04 AM
We have already got a thread going on teaching kids survival skills its on page two Survival and Children.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 10:44 AM
Thanks so much for that information. I didn't see it.

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