it would be much easier if they were numbered

I had the first proper meeting of the new Bronze DofE group tonight, the one where I shock them by telling them that no, there are no toilets in the big outdoors and yes, they will have to walk through fields with cows in them. Rather than just give up and go home that is. I particularly enjoy the bit where I tell them that they will not necessarily have a mobile phone signal everywhere they go, and therefore they need to know how to deal with the occasional emergency themselves; teenagers just do not believe that there is anywhere on the Earth where they will not have a mobile phone signal… and they find it hard to conceptualise coping without one.

We discussed the Scottish Access Code tonight, which is mainly common-sense and good manners. Luckily most of the teenagers I had in tonight had both of those, so we got through gates, litter, farmer’s fields, rights of way and other people on your footpath scenarios quite quickly. I think this group is going to be just fine, although my life would be much easier if there weren’t so many duplicate names within my thirty kids. When registering them I was tempted to allocate numbers – Fred 1, Fred 2, Fred 3; Linsay 1, Lindsay 2, Lindsey 3 and so on, but I settled for ‘Are all three Marys here?’. Unfortunately I have already mentally tagged them as red-haired Alice, small Alice and tall Alice, so I really do need to be careful not to call them that out loud.

Needless to say, none of my new Bronzes are called Fred, Linsay (any spelling of), Mary or Alice. Although one of them has a wonderfully Welsh name with many Ms and Ys in it.

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