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15 year old going to the Edinburgh Festival

(20 Posts)
Winetimeisfinetime Mon 27-Jul-09 13:28:25

My {just} 15 yea old ds has recently joined a theatre group and has been involved in a production that has toured locally and is due to be performed at the Edinburgh Festival in early August.

My dh and I have concerns about him going to Edinburgh and wonder what others with teens think.

We have had no details about the trip from the theatre group yet, despite asking them so only have minimal information to go on. At present we know they will be gone for 4 days and camping, neither of which ds has done before. Ds has always been a bit of a home bird - has been HE for the past few years { goes to an online school now } and is not very street wise. He only joined the group at my insistence that he needs to spread his wings and has really enjoyed being involved.

My ds will be one of the youngest of the group and as he is still relatively new and a bit shy I worry he may well be left to his own devices and may not cope. I appreciate he needs to get some experience under his belt but wonder if this sort of trip would be better left until he has been a bit more accepted into the group.

My dh has also just come down with what could be swine flu - although thankfully a fairly mild dose and it has added the worry of ds potentially getting it too whilst he is miles away from home.

I am a it of a worrier about things { slight understatement there ! } but my dh, who is the most laid back person imaginable also has his doubts about him going.

optimisticmumma Mon 27-Jul-09 14:32:37

Does he want to go? I would find out a bit more but basically I wouldn't have a problem with it and would actively encourage it if it is well supervised. Presumably someone is in charge of the group and will keep an eye on him. It's a great way of getting to know the group but obviously only if he wants to go himself. Also, presumably he has a part in the performance so could you pull him out? The swine flu I wouldn't worry about - he can always come home.
Hope this helps!

midnightexpress Mon 27-Jul-09 14:37:22

I don't have teens but I would worry if, for example, the others are all old enough to go to the pub and he would be likely to get left out of all that and not have any company of an evening. But if there are some others his age I wodld certainly consider it (and I to am a worrier).

But otherwise, what a great opportunity - the festival is just brilliant.

Tortington Mon 27-Jul-09 14:39:56

hes going away camping with a group of people

i did that age 12 with a youth club

meh - let him go fgs. hes 15

its not like he and a mate decided to go to the edinburgh fest - which imo is completely diff.

mumeeee Mon 27-Jul-09 15:31:53

He will be fine. He is goung camping with an organised group. They will make sure he is not left out of things. Let him go.

Winetimeisfinetime Mon 27-Jul-09 16:20:52

Thanks for all of your replies.

My concerns are that as he is so new to this group, I haven't had chance to get to know any of the adult supervisors { I have tried but they have been too busy with the performances } and I have no idea what, if any, supervision there will be outside of the times they are rehearsing/performing.

The point you make. midnightexpress about the older ones clearing off to the pub and leaving ds alone is one that I am concerned about.

I agree that going with an organised group would be fine - trouble is I am having problems finding out any details of how organised it will be. He does want to go - which is great so I think I will have to try and get some more info but after asking if we can talk about the trip and being put off as they were too busy and 2 emails by ds asking for info, which were ignored, it begins to feel like we are being fussy needing to ask questions.

BodenGroupie Tue 28-Jul-09 11:09:13

DD, also 15, went off on a Sea Scout camp last year. It was far less supervised than I would have expected but she had a fantastic time and came to no harm.

I think it's important to encourage real hobbies/activities at this age as the alternative seems to be just hanging around parks etc.

I'd try again to get in touch with the organisers. Presumably you'll need to sign consent forms because of his age and they will have contact phone numbers.

Drama activities DDs have been involved in seem to have been much better organised than outdoor stuff so it should be good. Also, if he's shy, it's a great confidence booster to do something like this.

AMumInScotland Tue 28-Jul-09 11:30:22

I think for me it would depend if it was a "youth" theatre group, with a lot of under 16s, where you could reasonably expect them to have planning and supervision etc high on their agenda. Or a mainly adult or older teens group, which happens to allow 15yos to join, but really aren't thinking about how to look after them.

If they aren't geared up to supervising 15yo, and he's not the most self-reliant lad, then I'd have concerns that either he'd be left alone, or would go along to the pub and some of the older lads would buy him loads of alcohol as a laugh.

mumblechum Tue 28-Jul-09 14:09:51

I think it would be really good for him from what you've said. If everyone's going to the pub, he can go too, he just can't drink alcohol.

Winetimeisfinetime Tue 28-Jul-09 18:55:44

Thanks again for the further replies.

Because he has joined fairly recently and partway through rehearsals for a fairly ambitious project, it has been a frantic shedule and the group leaders seem to have had no time to talk to us, which I think would have helped to reassure me as I feel that I don't know them at all. I also don't know the answer to your point AMIS - and it is something that would help me assess how supervised the group will be.

I have emailed them again today and will see if we get a response to our request for more info. It does feel though that they don't expect parents to ask any questions as they certainly haven't proferred any info about the trip, other than the dates and destination and I just wondered if other parents would feel uncomfortable with this.

mumblechum Tue 28-Jul-09 22:13:00

I think as the children get older, people organising trips away just assume that the parents will be laid back and trust them to get on with it.

My ds goes away sometimes for two or three nights to rowing events a couple of hundred miles away. The information I get is the name of the guest house and a request for a cheque. At first, and certainly after primary school type events which were organised down to the last detail I felt a bit uncomfortable but really at 15 (my ds is almost 15 too), they're treated as young adults and I think rightly so.

Winetimeisfinetime Wed 29-Jul-09 10:52:59

Yes I'm sure that's the case here, mumblechum - they are just very laid back about the arrangements but we are finding the lack of info a bit concerning as we haven't had chance to build up any trust with them yet.

They have, apparently taken groups abroad with no problems that I am aware of so this trip to Edinburgh is probably just a walk in the park for them and we must be coming over as very over protective with our requests for more info.

I want him to go and know that I will be a bit worried whilst he is away anyway but some more info would certainly help to reassure me.

optimisticmumma Thu 30-Jul-09 09:06:23

I just wanted to add that when my DD has done dance shows in the past the under 16s have had to have 'chaperones' at the theatre which has been quite a problem. This is a legal thing I think for theatre insurance and they have to be CRB checked. I'm sure it must be the same for your DS. Sorry this sounds so vague but thought it might help.
BTW I totally agree with Mumblechum. The lack of information when my DS ( nearly 17) has been on trips before has been very limited. You have just to trust all will be OK. Make sure he takes loads of credit on his phone and his charger with him for you to text him. ( I'm sure he will be able to find somewhere to charge it up).
When does he go?

Winetimeisfinetime Thu 30-Jul-09 12:14:07

He is meant to be going next Thursday, opyimisticmumma. He has already done a tour with this production in several theatres and there was no mention of 'chaperones' although tbh there was no mention of anything - no info about transport etc. We had to ask how they would be travelling to get an email that sounded like it had been sent with a sigh { this was the first thing we had ever questioned with them } to say they would be going on a minibus driven by one of the group leaders who had been crb checked. When I dropped him off the minibus was full and he was loaded into the car of some bloke who I didn't know. I was a bit worried about this as it was an old car driven by goodness knows who and the venue was a couple of hours away.

We still have had no info about the arrangements for Edinburgh { no reply to my email on Tuesday } so don't know if they will be travelling up to Edinburgh in the same fashion { Wacky Races style as my dh calls it }

I know that I am a worrier but even my dh { so laidback he's horizontal } isn't at all happy for him to go.

optimisticmumma Sat 01-Aug-09 10:14:01

In that case maybe you should trust your instincts....
I've just seen- off DS1 with mixed group of 6 on their first 'holiday' - well 4 I do know how you feel. smile

Winetimeisfinetime Sat 01-Aug-09 14:12:02

Thanks again for taking time to reply, optimisticmumma. It has helped a lot hearing other people's experiences of these trips as we are complete novices and don't know if the way this group is operating is the norm,

We still have had no reply about arrangements - have left a phone message as well but nothing yet. So I think we might have to say no to him going on this occasion. My head is saying we would be irresponsible to let him go in the circumstances but my heart is feeling sad that he will miss the opportunity - he is being great about it all and very understanding, which almost makes it worse than if he was sulking and stropping.

Hope your ds has a great holiday and that you enjoy the break too.

deste Mon 03-Aug-09 21:01:50

My Dd has done the Edinburgh Festival a few times. The youngest when she was 11. They were so busy they did not have time to be bored or go to the pub. It was the best time of year for her in her acting experience. If they are going to the festival they must be really good. The organisation for these things takes months and if he is in it, they must need him. They will probably have a meeting nearer the time to give you details. You could always go and see the performance if you are really concerned and you will probably find they are really well looked after. When children go away together they do bond very well and this could help him later on. I cant believe you are considering not letting him go, he is 15 not 5. Cant you go to one of the rehearsals and ask someone.

branflake81 Tue 04-Aug-09 09:50:07

If he is 15 surely he doesn't NEED supervising that much?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Aug-09 11:46:38

Message withdrawn

MuffinToptheMule Wed 26-Aug-09 18:15:47

Was just wondering if your ds went to the festival and if he had a good time?

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