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Teenage adventure/volunteer experiences

(22 Posts)
CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 08:49:15

I have a hopeless DS (18). He flops about the place with his main interest being his gf, computer games and his social life. He is on the verge of failing his A levels and is showing no motivation for sorting out anything after that.

I think that a Raleigh International or a Tall Ships Adventure this summer might give him a different experience, show him a bit of the world and help him grow up.

Has anyone done something like this with their teen?

PurpleWithRed Sat 20-Feb-16 08:52:34

DD went to Madagascar on a a wildlife thingy for 6 weeks when she was 18 - but she saved up and went because she wanted to. I don't think I could have made her go if she hadn't wanted to.

CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 08:58:30

I think he would be happy to go on something. I will just need to present it to him and pay for it.

LIZS Sat 20-Feb-16 09:02:34

These sort of projects are selective and would expect him to take the initiative to apply.

SunnyL Sat 20-Feb-16 09:04:12

I used to run expeditions of an ilk to Raleigh international.

The most frustrating kids to work with were the ones whose parents had signed them up and paid for them. They were generally gormless, feckless and useless.

However almost to a man they said the expedition had been the best experience they'd had. They often had epiphanies of what they wanted to do and sorted themselves out.

I still see them posting shit on Facebook about how the experience changed them. My memories of them were lazy fuckers that never got out of bed or helped or made the most of their experience.

So if you send your son on something spare a thought for the poor staff who are commonly volunteers themselves. Perhaps even slip a nice present into his luggage for them.

CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 09:07:51

They were generally gormless, feckless and useless. That is him. My hope is that something like this will give him some motivation.

buckingfrolicks Sat 20-Feb-16 09:08:10

Calico hi

We timeshare the same DS, obviously smile

He will have to apply for those things - there is a personal statement they need to do. This is hurdle 1 unless you are prepared to go so far as to pretend to be your DS

It does not change anything about their motivation or ambition, it simply reinforces their experience that life at their level of effort, is rewarding and satisfying.

Of course he'd be happy to go on something - he's not stupid, he's just lazy. He knows that this is all good CV building stuff. The problem is that an employer/university/potential mate will take one look at DS and realise he's a self-absorbed, indolent, entitled young man who has the good fortune to have a dynamic caring mother; rather than looking at your DS and thinking, now there's a young man I'd like to get to know further.

It's an illusion, in other words, that it will change to boy. Yes he'll have a great time and yes he'll have some good stories to tell. But unless it's BratCamp, you'll get back the same DS you sent away

And yes I am speaking from bitter personal experience

SunnyL Sat 20-Feb-16 09:12:36

Ach the group I worked for couldn't give one where the money came from. There are lots of gap year type orgs desperate for your money that won't need a personal statement.

I think it was a shock to their system that I wasn't their parent. I wouldn't pander to them.

In fact often the greatest push came from the other volunteers who would be incensed if the lazy oik hadn't got out of bed and made breakfast for the rest of the group. Peer group pressure was a handy tool for us staff

CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 09:40:00

SunnyL which is the adventure company you recommend?

I am looking at the Jubilee Sailing Trust and they have some nice adventures.

I like the thought of him being put on a boat and sailing away for a few months days.

Drinksforeveryone Sat 20-Feb-16 09:43:23

Dss did a couple of months in Africa last year through ICS.

He had to fundraise a bit himself though.

Becksa Sat 20-Feb-16 10:09:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 11:09:06

Thank you all for your advice. I have looked up the options and will talk to DS about them and see what he would like to do.

SunnyL Sat 20-Feb-16 11:46:38

For the sanity of the staff I fully backup what Becksa is saying.

Forcing staff who are already looking after umpteen other motivated teens to also take on the role of shoving a rocket up your son's backside makes me feel tired for them.

OneMagnumisneverenough Sat 20-Feb-16 12:20:04

My son has done a tall ships type experience but was much younger (13) and went as support for partially blind teens. He loved it but he actually wanted to go and despite being hooked on computers, also does Scouts (now 15 coming up 16) so does other adventure type stuff. I don't think you could make an 18 year old do anything he didn't want to do. I'd imagine the girlfriend thing would curb his enthusiasm for getting away for a week or two.

SunnyL Sat 20-Feb-16 12:27:10

Quick question - going back to your OP how does he afford computer games and a social life? Does he have a job? If not the solution to your problem is staring you in the face.

lljkk Sat 20-Feb-16 12:45:26

The staff are paid... no? Not exactly conscripted.

I just wouldn't want to pay a lot of money & have my son come home having gained nothing. A well-supported jolly may not achieve what OP wants. At similar age my mother stuck my brothers on an aeroplane to destination 500 miles away. Gave them money, maps & bicycles & told them to find way home.

Only problem is they were back in 2.5 weeks. She often moaned she should have sent them 1000 miles away instead.

CalicoBlue Sat 20-Feb-16 16:11:14

He has pocket money, £40 a month. Most of his friends are still 17, so going out means hanging out at each others houses with beer.

He is applying to join the merchant navy, but is not showing much real motivation for it, even if he does pass his A levels. That is why I thought the Tall Ships adventure might be right for him, as he has never really been to sea. If he does get into the merchant navy he will be away from his gf and I am convinced she is trying to sabotage his A levels - but that is a whole different thread.

I do like the sound of the ICS projects. I would have loved to do something like that as a teen.

I will see what he says, obviously I am not going to make him go if he does not want to.

specialsubject Sat 20-Feb-16 17:29:43

joining the chorus - have seen many paid-for gappies on various adventures, you're wasting your money paying for him. He will also immensely annoy those who have paid for themselves and are motivated.

He gets a job, works and pays for it himself.

solution is closer to home - a good talking to and a kick up the arse. Warn him that he's going to fail and of the consequences if he does - then follow through.

SunnyL Sat 20-Feb-16 18:34:05

Staff aren't always paid. Often it's folk who are desperate for work experience who take these jobs and don't have rich parents who will bank roll them

In my first year I got room and board and 500 quid a year. In my second I got 1,100 a year.

In return I worked from 5.30 am to 8pm 6 days a week for 10 weeks at a time. Even when I wasn't working I was fully responsible for the health and safety of the students. This included being wrenched out of my bed at all hours to treat their illnesses and stupidity (i.e. one lad buried a machete into his foot because he couldn't be bothered putting shoes on before cutting some firewood)

lazymum99 Sat 20-Feb-16 19:28:01

Projects Abroad are good. DS2 went to Peru. But it was his idea and mostly his money. Once there he worked on an archeological site and helped in a nursery school and with sports coaching.

Best thing he learned was how to hand wash his clothes!!

Travelledtheworld Sat 20-Feb-16 21:57:16

If he wants to go into the Merchant Navy shouldn't he join th sea cadets or something similar ?

CalicoBlue Sun 21-Feb-16 09:33:48

He has never been interested in cadets or similar. He has only decided on the Merchant Navy in the last 6 months, so it is a bit late to join the sea cadets and will not make a difference to his application at this stage.

He is very good at one particular sport, it is unusual and he represents the county at junior level. So his applications do show that he can work in a team and be disciplined. It only takes up about an hour a week, if that.

I was more hoping that doing something different and out of the home environment would open his eyes, give him some motivation and help him grow up a bit.

I have mentioned the tall ships and he does like the look of it.

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