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Thread: A Peculiarly Dutch Summer Rite: Children Let Loose in the Night Woods

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    A Peculiarly Dutch Summer Rite: Children Let Loose in the Night Woods

    New York Times

    AUSTERLITZ, the Netherlands — Shortly after 10 p.m. on a recent night, a car came to a stop at the edge of the woods. The door opened to release three children: towheaded boys of 12 and 15, and a 12-year-old girl with dark pigtails and an emoji-covered backpack. Then the driver threw the car into gear and sped away, gravel crunching under its tires.

    They were tiny figures at the foot of the forest, miles from the summer camp they were attending, with only a primitive GPS to indicate the right direction. Darkness was falling. And they were alone.

    They peered into the night: Was this the path?

    “Could be,” said Thomas, the 12-year-old team leader.

    And then, because there was nothing else to do, they plunged into the woods.

    This is the Dutch scouting tradition known as a “dropping,” in which groups of children, generally pre-teenagers, are deposited in a forest and expected to find their way back to base. It is meant to be challenging, and they often stagger in at 2 or 3 in the morning.

    (...)
    Rest at the above link.

    I have to say. I was reminded of my dropping was pretty fun. From what I remember a part of our route back was over a cemetery, or a park close by. But it did made a nice setting for telling each other 'scary' stories. For the rest I wonder if the journalists and editors of the NYT realise how big our forests are. Or what kind of wildlife lives there. Also not every child is a member of Scouting.

    Also this NOS article contains a few English language tweets of people responding to the piece published by the NYT.
    The sense of honor is of so fine and delicate a nature that
    it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble or
    cultivated by good examples and a refined education.
    - Sir Richard Steele

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    This tradition was maybe possible in the past, maybe, but nowadays it is a bad tradition, It is very naive. People should stop doing this tradition. There are many criminals in the world, and children need to be protected from criminals.

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