1 Nov 2012

Schoolies 2012 .... Here We Go Again !

November 16th .....

This date has me in a tizz. Only 15 days left until this mum becomes a blubbering mess once again. Its time for son number two, to hold his head high with pride and look towards his future. It's time for him to graduate Grade 12. 
The suit and graduation ring has been ordered, the formal tickets purchased, and mum is getting a tad emotional ......
He is my baby, and he is now all grown up !

Graduating is a HUGE deal, but at the moment, the main conversational topic in our house, is of course SCHOOLIES !!
I know that we have been through this before, but no matter how many children you are blessed with, it never seems to get any easier to let them grow up and explore on their own. 

Each year thousands of Year 12 Students descend on their chosen schoolies destination to celebrate the end of their school years and enjoy what is now known as the "ultimate teenage Summer holiday" It's great fun for the graduating students. Its a time for them to let their hair down, celebrate, and just plain old enjoy themselves.
At the same time for parents and guardians, it is nerve wracking, a "stress fest".

My son will be joining in the festivities at Airlie Beach in the beautiful Whitsundays (an hour and twenty minutes from home, and the same place his brother went, back in 2010) security in Airlie Beach for Schoolies week is top priority, and this makes me as a parent VERY pleased. As you can imagine, I am at the moment bomb barding my son with information concerning his safety plain and simple I am bugging him so much he is sick of me but that is of course my job !!
Thankfully, to ensure the safety of all "teens" the team at schoolies.com have a number of safety measures in place, to make sure that this next generation of adults, stays safe.

A  team of volunteers called the "Red Frogs" have been a part of schoolies for the last fourteen years. At least 1200 "Red Frogs" patrol the streets supporting the young people and providing a positive presence. They specialise in walking young ones back home, cooking pancakes, controlling trouble, handing out sugar (hence the name "red frogs") and most importantly offering emotional support through what can be a challenging week.
The site also encourages that the "party goers" add emergency numbers to their mobiles including the Police, their families, friends, and the number of the place that they are staying.

Besides going through what the schoolies.com site recommends and talking about the importance of the " Red Frog" organisation, I have also been drumming into my son that he should always stay in a group and never wonder off on his own. To avoid all offers of drugs and alcohol (he is only 16) and to never leave his drink or food unattended.
I've recommended  that he always carries some cash and his ID on him at all times, and try his best to avoid confrontations.
And though it may seem a little weird, I've also talked to him about the dangers of to many people gathering on balconies. There are to many incidents reported on the news about tragic circumstances surrounding balcony "injuries" and or "deaths" for my liking, and as a parent I feel its my duty to cover as much as I can possibly think about to keep my son safe.

Besides all the doom and gloom, I also have told him to go out and have fun, he has has a tough year, and deserves a little R&R before turning the next corner in his life.

He is sensible, and I trust him, but I don't think that as parents we can ever be to careful.

If you have a son or daughter attending schoolies this year, I would love to hear from you and hear your personal thoughts on schoolies week, and how you have prepared your teen for their ultimate experience.

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