Sunday, March 30, 2008


How do you spend a long weekend off from work?

Well this past weekend (Thursday-Saturday) I spent it with my daughter as one of the school chaperone's for the State FCCLA Leadership Conference.

I am happy to say that I survived.

The school took 16 kids who all had different events that they were competing in*. They also had leadership seminars to attend and a dance on Friday night. I can honestly say that our kids were very well behaved and for the most part respected others while on this trip.

The only issue that I had was on Saturday morning when it came time to give the instructions on how the rooms should be left before they would be given their ticket for breakfast. The rules are as follows: All garbage must be picked up and put in, or at least next to the garbage can. All towels must be put in one pile in the bathroom. All suitcases must be taken down and loaded on the bus. It became my job to check rooms and hand out the meal tickets.

Not too terribly difficult. I wasn't too worried until I got the complaint from one room:
Motel staff “get paid to pick up garbage”.

The ones that reply “it is the maid’s job to pick up the garbage and clean” are the ones that you should watch out for. Should I have known this? Probably! Did it really register? not really. Knowing the kid who said it first, I really should have been paying attention.

I did respond with; their job may be to empty the garbage but not to pick up all your garbage. Some high schools will be leaving their garbage all over their rooms but our school will be showing respect to the hotel staff by picking up after ourselves.

I proceeded to check the rooms. There were six rooms to check. My own kids room was one of the first ones that was ready to be checked which is a surprise. Considering how she keeps her own room, not necessarily a neat freak, her own room was extremely neat. Only had to make them make one adjustment. The boys room was one of the last rooms to be ready to go. One room of girls had all their towels (their towels from the pool and the shower) all piled in the bathtub. A couple of the kids even took the sheets off the beds. One group of girls assured me that the few items that were on the dresser would be taken care of.....they were not.

I put them into a bag and brought them to them at breakfast and grave them to them to deal with.

They were not happy with me and claimed that they were not theirs.

It comes down to respect...respect for the rules provided...respect for workers....respect for leaders, chaperones, and other adults.....respect for the organization that they represent.....and overall respect for themselves.

I wonder today if we teach our kids enough about respect and all that that one word encompasses. I certainly hope so. It was obvious from this weekend that some get it and some just plain don't care.

*as a side note my daughter did qualify for the National Leadership Conference in July which is being held in Orlando, FL.

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