Entertaining the old-fashioned way

Earlier this year I attended a Boy Scouts camp fire evening. The event was the culmination of my younger daughter’s PLTU (Patrol Leaders Training Unit) course, which is an rigorous outward bound course over 10 days.

Scout camp fires consist of songs and stories, all done around a large camp fire with lots of audience participation. For kids and adults alike it was a thoroughly entertaining evening, and it got me thinking how our western-based society has lost this old-style form of entertainment. Events like this bring people together in a way that modern TV-oriented entertainment can never do, and it’s sad that people seem to be losing the old ways of entertainment.

In early 2008, many South Africans had to re-learn how to amuse themselves when the country went through a few months of “load shedding” (power cuts by Eskom, our one and only electricity supplier) necessitated by a lack of power generating capacity. At first I considered evening black-outs a problem, but it became quite pleasant as we discovered how to entertain ourselves as a family – reading, studying or playing games around one table in our candle-lit kitchen.

As a proud father, I have to announce that this PLTU was for girl scouts only, and there were 32 girls on this course; and my daughter was awarded the best scout of the course.

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