Thursday, March 12, 2009

Helping Youth Near You..

Thanks for another post from Youthful Prepper, Shatai, In Virginia...

I'd like to offer thanks for the warm welcome my last post received and yet another thanks to those encouraging comments to my post. Thank you all. Shatai
Helping Youth Near You
Now, with the formalities and niceties observed, I'll get on with things.
Previously I talked about reasons for having a youth in your group, now I wish to express my opinion on how to help and meet those same youths.
This is harder, much harder in fact, to discuss. There are so many laws to follow and too many sue-happy people to be weary of to just walk up to people and say
"Hi, would you like to learn how to garden/can/hunt/etc.?"
Plus, that's a bit too straight forward for most adults I spend time with, let alone a teenager you've never seen before. But, there are ways to go about this.
Ever walk through a grocery store and see someone who appears to be just out of the parent’s house looking at items on a shelf with a look of utter horror on their face? I have. (For that matter, I've worn that same look more than once) One small gesture you could make that would help them, and yourself, immensely would be to walk up to them (please don't startle the sheeple, it makes this even harder) and ask if they need any help with anything. I know this sounds odd, but you might be surprised at what responses you can get. Anything form "Yes, please." too I just moved out on my own and have no idea what to buy. I'm trying to stock up on some items, but everything is so expensive! Of course, you could just as easily be told to buzz off, but what’s the point in not trying? You would have just left them alone anyway, so go for it. If they want your help introduce yourself and offer just enough information about yourself so they know that you've been in their shoes and just want to help. Please, don't bore them with old war stories just yet (although I bet some of you can spin a good one I'd like to hear), as this just drives them away and makes you look like an idiot. People are more responsive to a kind smile and a helping hand than a stack of figures and a slew of words they can't pronounce anyway. Don't believe me? Just ask a high school teacher and they will tell you what youths respond better to.
After the song and dance are done, just offer small tid bits of information on storing or stocking food, and maybe even a place to go for better deals. This information is always appreciated by people fresh out and on their own. We don't like ramen and hot dogs any more than you do. If all goes well just let them know that you're more than willing to help again if they ever need it. If they act like this is a good idea let them know a little more about what you do and offer a means to contact you if they need to. Don't ever push though, we youths can be rather defensive if we think you're out to "preach a sermon", that's why we don't live at home any more.
Now, I know that example seems like a long shot, but it worked on me. I knew about being prepared before I moved out, but it never sank in until I was stranded, broke, and down on my luck. I will never forget the woman who saw me in Food Lion and stopped to talk with me... To this day I chat with her every time I see her and thank her for her kindness. So trust me, it works. And even if you try it a hundred times and it only works once, well, you've made a difference in someone's life. Isn't that worth all those failed attempts? I think so. And even if the person never sees or talks to you again, you tried to help, and maybe you even managed to point them in a direction that will help them get started on their own or lead them to another prepper who can help. And that's what we're all about isn't it?
Another, smaller, example of a way to help some youths is to contact your local boy/girl scout troop. Ask the scout master20if they would be interested in having you come and "teach" a small class on preparedness. After all, their motto is "Be prepared", the same as ours... And the fact that everything seems to be a merit badge doesn't hurt your chances at being welcomed, either. (At least, that's how it was when I was a scout) Also, remember that boy scouts in particular tend to be around the ages of 15-18 years old. Those are minds very open to what we offer. And the fact that many of their parents would be their as well is a bonus. Even if the scouts don't quite grasp what you have to say, chances are their parents will. And a single parent opened up to the prepping world is another person to help guide our youths down the right road.
I know it's not much, but that's what I have to offer on the topic. I could go on and on with more ideas, but I don't want to write a book or sound like I'm drolling on. Please remember though, when I talk about youths I never mean people as young as or younger than 16 or 17... Those youths are still under the tutelage of their parents and don't need another person "telling them what to do". One must always remember to practice restraint as well as sensibility in these matters. (Plus I'd hate to think I involved a single one of you in a needless lawsuit because you felt the desire to be charitable because of my post) That’s all I have to say today... Take care and keep prepping!


  1. Shatai,

    Welcome to the Virginia Prepper's Network blog. Nice to have some fellow contributors - especially on weekdays like today when I'm completely overloaded with work and don't have time to write a post.

    Where in Virginia are you? If you are in or near Loudoun / Fairfax / Winchester there are a bunch of us prepper types starting to meet. Plus our West Virginia Prepper neighbor is not too far (works in/near Winchester and lives in part of WV near Winchester VA)

    Dr. Richard

  2. Welcome Shatai, glad to have you aboard. I haven't been through VA lately. But normally do run 81 at least couple times a month...We should all hook up sometime next time I come through.

  3. Great post: and very useful info that all of us old geezers should pay attention to. I think that sometimes we just don’t listen enough to the younger generation. I know that after reading your first post on APN and now this I am going to re-evaluate the way I communicate with my own son. We are often to set in our ways to listen. I sure hope to see more from you here Shatai

  4. Thank you for all your kind words. I am located near the Winchester area just off of 81. Thanks again for your help and generous comments.

  5. I think everyone is close enough that next time I run through VA we can hook up at the Flying J truck stop in Clearbrook, VA

  6. AP
    Works for me just let us know when

  7. Great post. Glad to have you on board the network. Ditto Ditto AP let us know when you'll be in the area.

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