Showing posts from November, 2013

Schoolies Festival 2013: My experience at Victor Harbor, South Australia

If you read my Facebook or Twitter posts over the weekend you would have seen that I attended the Schoolies Festival 2013 at Victor Harbor, SA as a VIP Guest and had been invited by Encounter Youth, the organisation that puts on the event in that state. When they first offered me the opportunity there was a part of me that hesitated - was this really a place for a man of my age to attend (apparently we're called 'droolies' - over 25s who attend Schoolies!) and would I be intruding on what really is a young person's event? When I was told that they run a VIP Tour for sponsors and other interested parties prior to the evening starting to show how the weekend festival is organised and rolled out, I knew I had to be a part of it! Before I go on it is important to let you know who Encounter Youth actually is ... this is how they describe themselves on their website: "Encounter Youth is a faith based, non-profit charity, who respond to community needs because of the

They're just doing what we did: Are young risky drinkers really drinking like their parents did?

One of my favourite lines from a parent usually comes up when they approach me after a Parent Information Evening. They start by thanking me for the talk and then the conversation wanders a bit and you can tell there is something they want to get off their chest ... there was something about what I said that they didn't agree with. You can almost see it bubbling up inside them ... the desperate need to say, "but they're only doing what we did!" Now I have always made it very clear that I didn't drink alcohol as a teenager, it simply wasn't a part of what my social group at school did. Adding to that was the fact that neither of parents ever really drank and I honestly can't remember ever seeing a bottle or can of any alcohol in our family home at anytime, apart from when they held a party or barbeque at home for their group of friends (and even then I don't think I ever saw any real excessive drinking). It simply wasn't a part of my life! Now I k

Would you ever consider hosting a teenage party? If so, is there anything you can do to keep it as safe as possible?

This week a letter was published in the UK's Guardian newspaper by 16 year old Lizzie Deane. The letter was written in response to the national coverage that a daughter of an owner of a centuries-old British stately home recently received after she issued an open apology for throwing an 18th birthday party for a friend, disturbing nearby residents who claim the music went on all night. Lizze's letter is printed under the title - Teenagers will have rowdy, drunken parties. So why not let them? Take a read - it's an interesting perspective and she certainly raises some valid points (although I challenge some of her 'universal statements' - "Teenagers get drunk" - some do, not all!) particularly around parents having more control when they're actually involved in the process ... Letting a teenager have a party provides parents with leverage, more control over guests, timings and whatever else: it may be a risk but it's either that or waiting un