Sunday, 30 March 2014

Survival skills in the rain

This past weekend a few of our children were away for a survival weekend with the "air cadets".  Although the weather had been great all week as luck would have it a major rain storm started about an hour before they arrived and ended just as they arrived home.

At this weekend camp they either taught classes or participated in classes depending on their age.  The classes included wilderness first aid, orienteering, shelter building, radio communication and much more.

Programs like "air cadets" provide wonderful opportunities for children.  Over the years we have had many of our kids go through this program.  This program has also been great for our children with FASD.  Air Cadets is a very structured organization, each weekly night is set us in the same way.  This is huge for people with FASD, autism, anxiety, etc.  as it maximizes predictability.  The rules are black and white - if you do this then that will happen.  Children that struggle with social skills also benefit from this program.  While at cadets they are kept busy, which helps limit the social struggle, but gives them a sense of belonging.  They are also taught respect for example when addressing their superiors they use the persons rank and last name or sir/ma'am.

During the many years our children have been in cadets one son obtained his glider pilot and private pilot licences, all have been given the opportunity to go flying, many of them have participated in the band and taken extra training in music, learned first aid skills, learned wilderness survival skills, taken training to become athletic instructors, etc.  They also volunteer in the community helping various organizations.  While learning the above skills they are also learning leadership skills, being taught to teach cadets younger than them and learning public speaking skills.  They have also had the opportunity to attend summer camps for additional training or been employed at the summer camps.

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