A valuable lesson about being part of a team learned at Virginia State Parks
Summer fun cooling off in Bear Creek Lake
Each and every day, our old dog Junie B jumps up to the top of our sofa and I tell her to get down, to the point of yelling "GET DOWN ALREADY!" and each and every day she does it again.
Why she is not allowed up there
We have visitors who are allergic to dog and cat dander/fur. If she goes up there, and sheds like a snake, like she always does, then when we sit there all that white fur clings to us. We needed to have one place, just one safe place in our home that was immune from Junie fur. I know all you non animal people are saying "What a pain! Why go through all of that?" But it is part of what we deal with to have a family dog. We take the good with the bad, and sweeping up a hamster-sized pile of fur every day on our hardwood floors is the bad.
Sweet Junie has a specific "authorized" place on the other sofa with a blanket, her toys, and her chew things. We sit with her there, and play with her and love on her. But because I say no to that one spot, she tries again and again to sit up there.
Here is another true story (but not about a dog this time)
Here's a story about the little girl who could
Why is it that when we are told no we are that more eager to do it? As a parent I can almost guarantee the quickest way to get a kid to do something is to tell them they can't.
I remember back in 2008 which is not that long ago to you and I, but to my little niece who is a beautiful young lady in high school right now it would have seemed like an eternity. We had the opportunity to go to cabin 4 and had the best time ever that summer. Each one of our daughters brought a friend and my niece flew out from Washington State.
It all began with unloading of the vehicle
After the long drive, the kids wanted to run around, go swimming and exploring but we needed all hands on deck.
If you have ever been away for a weekend you know how much stuff you bring, so multiple that by 7 nights and add in a few extra young ladies making the total up to 6 females, not including the dog. Our super-sized Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab was barely big enough to haul everything we brought. Not forgetting all the outside play stuff like bikes, kayaks, and games.
Little spunky Marissa
She was a feisty little thing and oh how I loved her. Her Mother (my sister) told me to not be shocked if we heard a few "older teen" words come from her mouth as her sister was quite a bit older and she liked to hang out with them. But in our group she was indeed to youngest and smallest of the bunch of campers, except of course for the dog, Junie B.
She was cute, sprite and funny. She fit so well into our cabin camping group that week as she brought on fits of laughter from all of us. Except for one thing… when we began to unload the truck she said "I am too small" and "I can't carry that stuff Aunt Shellie!" and walked away.
As we all formed a line to the porch with the goods, she soon saw that she was the only one not helping. I told her in my auntie wisdom "You are probably right, you are too small to help so you better stand back out of the way and let the other girls do it."
That lasted about 2 minutes before she jumped in and began hauling not just one gallon, but two gallons of milk! She saw the benefit of being part of the team, and the benefit of helping and pulling her own weight. Another fine reason people love to camp, go to cabins, be involved in girl and boy scouts, etc.
Being told she was right and probably couldn't do it was a quick motivator to help
Being part of a family is being an important part of a group
Helping unload groceries and gear at cabin 4 Bear Creek Lake State Park
Ready to reap the dividends
Summertime at Virginia State Parks can't be beat!
It's great being part of a team and yes hard work does have its rewards
Fun in the warm sun at Bear Creek Lake State Park
The real moral of the story
So while it is not easy for an old dog to learn new tricks, which was a Proverb said way back in 1721 by Nathan Bailey meaning "It is impossible, or almost impossible, to change people's habits, traits or mindset,"I think the moral of the story is to teach them while they are young pups. Don't let them get old and think they are unable to automatically jump in when help is needed.
The synonyms are:
Old habits die hard
The antonyms are:
It's never too late to mend
You're never too old to learn
This is part of what going to a Virginia State Park is all about
Parents, don't pack it all up, unpack it all, and do everything while the kids just run free. Let them earn those s'mores; you will be surprised at what great helpers they can be, and how happy it makes them to be part of the team. It won't hurt them; in fact it will build strong character.
Many of the lessons we learned growing up were from camping. As part of a family unit or team you were given the opportunity to grow and become the person you are today in the work force and at home.