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Yr 9 Son doesn't want to go to CCF camp! What would you do?

(63 Posts)
gazzalw Wed 04-Feb-15 08:00:34

DS (14) is a typical computer-playing teen. Very reluctant to do anything but stay within his bedroom comfort zone. Also lacks confidence in his abilities and although he doesn't seem shy isn't wildly sociable either.

Has had the opportunity to do several out of school activities in the past but it's always 'but I'm no good' or 'I don't like it'. He had the opportunity to do a weekend drama club but he wasn't keen and his fallback option was school CCF.

However a term and a half in, faced with a half-term camp, he's suddenly come home saying he not only doesn't want to go on the camp but that he wants to quit CCF.

He's got himself all worked up about it to the point of teen hysteria. I think he's scared because it's going to be physically hard work (and he's not very sporty) and none of his close group of friends is going. So it's a knee-jerk reaction about being out of his comfort zone.

We don't want him to quit - the reason for encouraging him to do it in the first place was to do with the discipline and getting out of his comfort zone.

It is an important life lesson to work thro' the pain of not wanting to do something (but then inevitably finding it turns out to be much better than anticipated) but how do you get this thro' to a teenager?

ssd Wed 04-Feb-15 08:03:30

why are you forcing him to do something he clearly isnt happy with?

does it suit you to get rid of him to this camp for a bit?

are you regularly forced to do things you really dont want to do?

didnt think so.

poor boy, let him be.

Mumtotherescueagain Wed 04-Feb-15 08:11:07

Your comfort zone is an important place to be. If you're forced out of it without the means to get sustain yourself then it can be very, very damaging for your confidence and self esteem.
LISTEN to what you son is saying. Think about what you're asking. You're asking him to do stuff he doesn't want to do without any friends or support. It sounds hellish.
Let him quit.

NorwaySpruce Wed 04-Feb-15 08:15:32

If you were talking about almost any other type of camp, I would say you should encourage your son to go.

CCF at that age is something you really have to love though. There is a particular atmosphere, and unless your son is going to throw himself into the entire thing, he'll hate it and get nothing from or.

Scouts or DofE or something would be more about having fun, maybe he could try those?

SoupDragon Wed 04-Feb-15 11:10:20

Your comfort zone is an important place to be.

Not when that comfort zone appears to be limited to his bedroom playing computer games.

That said, I wouldn't make him go to the camp but I wouldn't let him quit CCF unless he finds another activity that involves actually moving.

AuntieStella Wed 04-Feb-15 11:23:28

I would let him miss the camp (he won't be the only one not there) but tell him he stays in CCF until he can come up with a suitable co-curricular alternative. Does his school have DofE or some other community service programme he could do instead?

GraysAnalogy Wed 04-Feb-15 11:27:22

teen hysteria hmm you mean an anxious teenager who is being forced to do something he completely doesn't want to do that puts him out of his comfort zone.

I'm all for pushing for new experiences and opening doors, but I don't think you should force this.

He's given CCF a go, that in itself is a good thing. Let him enjoy his half term doing things he likes instead of what you want him to like.

Jinglebells99 Wed 04-Feb-15 11:29:34

What's CCF? I've found my 15 year old increasingly reluctant to take part in extra curriculum activities. It's a shame, but it wasn't worth the grief to me. He still does Explorers though.

forago Wed 04-Feb-15 11:32:55

maybe he has ideological objections to CCF? could he do duke of Edinburgh instead?

SoupDragon Wed 04-Feb-15 11:33:06

Combined Cadet Force. RAF, Navy and Army cadets.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 11:35:38

to be honest if he is not a CCF type of person, there is not much you can do.
would you like him to go and fight in the Middle East or wherever and be taught how to kill? Because that is the logical conclusion to CCF.
Why are you so keen for him to do it?

Blu Wed 04-Feb-15 11:36:43

Hmmm, sympathies, Gazza!

I think it is important for them to be pushed / encouraged / supported to go a bit beyond, and that it is the basis of resilience and increased confidence. But knowing how, when and what to push is tricky.

It sounds as if drama would have been much more up his street really.

I think that a full on CCF camp with no mates, could be disastrous. Scouts I would feel happier about.

All in all, I agree with SoupDragon: no camp, quit CCF for another interest or activity.

Ragwort Wed 04-Feb-15 11:37:33

I'm not sure ................ a close friend of mine had a very difficult teenager (actually in his 20s now) and the one thing she says she wished she had done differently is to 'encourage' him to do more activities rather than aimlessly drift around (which we all know is what teenage boys mean when you say 'let them do what they enjoy doing' grin). I do quite a bit of voluntary work with young people and the 'aimlessness' and lack of hobbies/interests is heartbreaking (aware that makes me sound like an old fogey).

I have posted on another thread about screen time but my teenage DS would spend hours on screens if we let him, fortunately he is sporty so does spend a lot of time doing sports.

As someone else said, perhaps only let him give up CCF if he finds something else 'structured' to do with his time rather than computers.

LIZS Wed 04-Feb-15 11:37:46

Is it compulsory, I know it is in some schools but even then the camps may not be. The drop out rate at dc school after one year is pretty high so doubt he'd be alone. Frankly it isn't for everyone.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 11:38:31

also I just re-read your post and would wonder if there is some unpleasant dynamic going on in the CCF?

meditrina Wed 04-Feb-15 11:39:00

No, that's not the logical conclusion at all. It is most emphatically not used as a recruitment mechanism, and if you are aware of a unit that is abusing it's position, I hope you have reported it.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 04-Feb-15 11:40:19

hmmmm well I would not want my kid doing it...but then I am a lentil weaving hippy at heart.

Aussiemum78 Wed 04-Feb-15 11:42:35


Coping with change.

Overcoming obstacles.

Yes, clearly I'm a mean parent because I would make him do it "just once".

Dd has a fear of public speaking. The cure for that? Public speaking. Small groups and short things to start with until the fear is overcome and confidence built.

Blu Wed 04-Feb-15 11:43:12

I don't even think it needs to be 'structured'.

I think spending time perfecting your RockToFakie at a skatepark is good, jamming on your guitar, building something on your RaspberryPi....

Can he be encouraged to go on outings - go and see the imitation Game and then a trip to Bletchley Park with a friend? for example, according to his interests?

forago Wed 04-Feb-15 11:44:02

My brother is in the TA and he says vast majority of the officers did CCF at school. He does TA recruitment and does seem to be under the impression that CCF has a recruitment component. I wouldn't really know but I think it will probably put me off encouraging my DS to do it at secondary school.

Also, has he watched "Harrow, a very British School" I found the portrayal of the CCF there cringeworthy as an adult, never mind an image-conscious teenager smile

in fairness I know very little about CCF though apart from what I have seen/heard above. Sounds like you're flogging a dead horse to me.

Aussiemum78 Wed 04-Feb-15 11:45:51

I disagree with the pp. a comfort zone is not a good thing. Travel, new jobs, a new course, meeting new friends - all siuations requiring a leap out of your comfort zone.

Anything can be tried at least "once"

PeaceOfWildThings Wed 04-Feb-15 11:46:10

Really, there is no point in making him go. He gave it a go and that is more than many teens would do. Find something else that is less of a challenge for him.

Swimming.or other things at local leisure centres
other (non competitive) sports not at school
Try something different like ice skating or indoor rock climbing
guitar lessons or another instrument
science club
chess club
Take him and a couple of friends to try out something new every month.

GentlyBenevolent Wed 04-Feb-15 11:49:03

Nobody should be forced to do CCF or to attend CCF camp. Could you not think of something less hideous for him to do? Poor lad.

chillybits Wed 04-Feb-15 11:51:13

Absolutely agree. No CCF camp. You simply cannot force someone to enjoy that way of life, but would agree it has to be replaced with one non home based activity.

I understand teen based hysteria, but it's only hysteria to you. Your son is trying to tell you something and being ignored.

Also many people would absolutely hate being with a group of people they don't know. Half term is a great opportunity to give children a chance to wind down and be who they want to be, not to wind them up.

It sounds like you are not that impressed by your son's strength of character but you need to work with him on that not against him. I'm sure you love him very much it does sound a bit like you are trying to make him into something he's not.

NimpyWWindowmash Wed 04-Feb-15 11:59:03

I would not force it, but say if he quits he has to choose something else (sport or drama).

At this age they should be allowed to choose WHICH activity, but fair enough to ask them to do some kind, any kind, of sport/club.

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