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The Rainbow Path to Responsible Parenting
or: The Rainbow Path to Child Safety
Welcome to the Gathering. This is a wonderful space to be in. It feels very free and safe. We want to maintain that feeling, yet at the same time it is necessary to be sensible in order to keep our children safe and healthy.
As times change, society in general has developed more problems and illnesses. Some of these, unfortunately, can carry over into our safe haven here. To ignore these problems is not sensible. They do exist, therefore we as a family must take measures to prevent them.
Here are some helpful ideas that work, and we strongly suggest you take them to heart for the sake of all our precious children . . .
Please keep track of your children. Know where they are and when they should be back to your camp sites or meet you.
If someone else is caring for your children please make sure you really know who that person is and that you have spent time with that person. Sometimes, unfortunately, those persons who would harm our children have a facade that “feels OK” and a very trusting pleasant personality. This is not to say don’t trust your feelings or other people, please, just take some time and extra care — our children deserve it.
Don’t just drop your kids off at Kid Village and leave. Become part of the scene. Get to know the other parents. If someone agrees to watch your children while you go off and enjoy some personal time, let them know where you are likely to be found, and when you will return. Make contingency plans in case you are delayed and/or they must leave Kid Village, so you know where your child will be and who they will be left with.
Older children need to know how to find their “home camp” and parents. They also should be shown safe areas (Kid Village, Info Centers, kitchens,) to go to if they are in trouble, lost, or hurt. They should know how to describe you and your camp area verbally. For younger children who cannot talk well and might wander off, use tags — pin a piece of paper to their backs (so they can’t pull it off) with their name, your name, and directions to your camp. Use safety pins or tape.
If your child gets separated from you or lost, please don’t wait long to act. If after a search for your child in the immediate area they are still lost, immediately find a person with a radio and tell them your child is missing and you need help. This needs to happen quickly so we can do the best job, especially if it is close to nightfall. Better safe than sorry.
We are all responsible for our children. If you notice anything that looks or feels “not quite right” or a child that looks distressed or frightened, please don’t look the other way. It’s better to check it out than to let a tragedy occur. As parents, please keep in mind that if someone cares enough to interfere and asks questions about your child or your parenting that it is coming from the heart and is meant in the interest of all our children’s best welfare. Please try to be understanding.