My son likes to play airsoft – essentially playing war with low-speed BB guns. Over the last several years, he has become good friends with someone several years older from his high school. This friend just graduated this year and was admitted to one of the national military academies. Over the Thanksgiving break, my son was planning a weekend airsoft trip. Apparently, there is an abandoned resort in Pennsylvania that leases a property to a group of enthusiasts.
During a conversation about his plans, I asked if his military academy friend was going. My son said his friend wanted to go, but could not afford the trip. An answer to my RAK prayers! An opportunity to help what I consider one of the finest young people I know. Without hesitation, I told my son he could not go. I wish I could have taken a picture of his shocked face! I explained to my son that I had assumed his older friend was going, and that without a responsible adult in attendance, there was no way he was traveling out of state to an abandoned resort. My son was very upset! He had paid a good portion of his lawn mowing money and would not be able to get a refund.
“Too bad,” I said. “We should have discussed this first. What would it take to get your friend to go?” My son said again that he can’t go because he can’t afford it. I told my son to call the friend (text, skype, whatever they do) and let him know that if he does not go, you are not going. Since you have already paid, I will fund the friend as a chaperone. My son said his friend would not allow us to pay for it. I said, “Fine, then you are not going. Find a way to get him to go.”
Long story short, my son and his friend and a few other boys went to PA for 3 days and had a fantastic time. I slept at night knowing that my son was being chaperoned and that the chaperone and a future defender of our freedom was having a great time too.
– Steve Murphy