Sunday, August 30, 2009
now that's a funny memory
i know i'm always complaining about the absence of common sense in the country of my birth, but last evening, i heard a story of an utter lack of common sense right here in denmark. it involved husband's middle daughter, M.
she went to a summer camp on børnholm, an island in the middle of the baltic sea below sweden that belongs to denmark. now M is 14 but looks about 25, so it's easy to forget that she's still a kid. so, being a kid, she and several other kids decided to walk down to the local grocery store for some candy and sodas. as kids will do.
while they were gone (i'm not clear as to whether they said where they were going, but suspect they didn't), some of the adult supervisors at the camp freaked out because the five kids were suddenly deemed missing. they rushed down and found them at the local grocery store and proceeded to bawl them out, citing all kinds of horrible things that could have happened - they could have fallen in the water and drowned, they could have been hit by a car (walking on a path), they could have gotten lost. in my view, the worries should have been that they were buying alcohol and cigarettes, but that wasn't the case (they didn't worry that and the kids really did go out after candy).
the camp personnel were so upset by the incident that they decided the group of kids had to be sent home early, because they couldn't be responsible for such renegades with a sweet tooth. so, they elected to put the five on the next ferry off børnholm. to sweden. without any chaperone. or instructions as to which bus to take from sweden to get back to denmark. and frankly, with M's sense of direction and ability to get lost inside her own bedroom, it was risky at best.
so, to sum up. it wasn't ok for kids to walk a few blocks to a grocery store for a bit of chocolate, but it was perfectly ok to send them home alone via another country.
and i thought the danes had cornered the market on common sense.