While I sometimes curse that my 18 year old is too independent, I think it is important for parents to raise children who know how to live and move without their parents around to tell them how. To that end, the oldest five of my six children – the youngest to some extent also, have been allowed to travel with church and school and sport groups whenever the trip is financially feasible for the family and the child wants to go. Forcing a child to go on a trip does not make a responsible nor an independent traveler.
My oldest went to St Louis for the National Catholic Youth Conference and then to Indianapolis two years later for the same event. He has also been to various week programs but the only “out of the country” event was to World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002.
The twins also went to Indianapolis for NCYC. They both went to World Youth Day in Toronto. He has also traveled to both Denver and Chicago to the national TSA convention.
Number four is the only one to have gone to Europe. Most of her travel has been due to soccer. The European trip was a week in Paris and London to play soccer. She has also traveled, both with and without me, up and down the east coast playing soccer and went to Toronto to World Youth Day in 2002.
The next one upis now just 16. He has been to weekend trips for competitions in science. He has done a five day trip to Bloomington, Indiana for National Science Olympiad competition. He attended NCYC in Atlanta two years ago and is planning on attending the one in Columbus this fall. He leave on Friday, rather early in the morning, for a three day competitive band trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. There are approximately 80 student-musicians travelling with the group. Three different performance groups will compete in an adjudication. To make the trip a bit more attractive to the student-musicians, they have chartered a tall ship for two hours on Friday in Norfolk. They will do a candlelit tour of historic Williamsburg after that. They will spend Saturday, after adjudication, at Busch Gardens. They will have a three hour stop at the National Mall in Washington, DC on the way home.
Basically, my thought is that we have to give our children wings while they are still with us so as to test and be sure they can fly.