Saturday, February 25, 2006

Habitat Day

We went to an event this morning put on by our local waterfowl association. It was titled Family Habitat Day. The event was held at our tiny mall and the children were able to build wren, bluebird and wood duck houses for free. (I still don't know what a wood duck is -- next stop, googling wood duck.)

The event was fantastic with a great turn out. There were unattended kids everywhere. I was surprised at the amount of parents that just dropped their kids off. Both my husband and I stayed with our son.

Now for the gripe. I always have a gripe, it seems. We get there five minutes before the appointed starting time and of course they had started already. People everywhere. We found the registration line and waited a good ten minutes to sign up. After that, good luck. There was absolutely NO organization to this event at all. A bunch of the disgruntled parents formed a line to try to get some organization. When we finally got to the front of the line, one of the volunteers handed us all the wood and told us to go to a specific table. He even walked us over to the table. My son put his wood on the table and the volunteer running the table screamed -- and yes, I do mean SCREAMED, "Get back, there's not enough room here, only TWO at a time." He shook his head in disgust. We went back to the front of the line and warned the people behind us about the madman there.

At this point I had had enough. The registration line was gone so I went to talk to the lady at the registration table. I told her of the need of someone organizing the masses. I told her people were cutting in line, *parents* were going out of turn, volunteers were screaming. Her response? This is the way we do it every year. Okay. Thank you very much, this will be our last year attending then. I don't come to an event to get screamed at.

A majority of the parents stayed were the "me first" type. They were pushy, bossy, and rude. The volunteers didn't know what was going on. It really saddened me to see that -- but it's nothing new. Kids seem to understand order, patience and fairness better than parents do.

I am going to write a letter to this organization thanking them for putting such a wonderful event. In that letter I am going to tell them to do two things. One, have a volunteer to direct people where to go -- show them which line is for which bird house. Two, have that volunteer watch and control three lines -- one for each bird house. It's that simple. It would have made the event so much better.

Both my husband and I were really ticked off about being screamed at. My son was hurt. We did not go back to that table and brought the wood home to make that kit here. The other volunteers were all more than helpful, though.

In the end, it was mostly a good morning. I just don't understand why people that take the time to put on such a wonderful event do such a piss-poor job of pulling it off. I know those men spent hours of their free time cutting out the wood and getting it ready. It is just such a shame that they can't think ahead a little to have some organization.


Almost Lazarus said...

I will assume this was a general event, and not organized strictly for homeschoolers. What you saw were parents spending "quality" time with their kids - the same parents who chaperone public school outing to museums and zoos, where the children run berserk and the parents assume that its normal socialized behavior because everyone else is doing it, and it's exactly like they remember public school being....

We have lovely wood ducks that come up and eat out of the chicken feeder every day. I know I've taken some picture of them, I'll look around. They're the ducks that look like wooden carvings, with the big colorful heads and the peak on the back of the neck/head.

Becky said...

Yikes. Sorry for the way it worked out, Frankie. I hope the organizers can be mature enough it to take your advice for next year, though I'm not holding my breath lol.

I laughed when I realized you had already been out of the house, had your activity, and blogged about it, and here I'm just getting ready to pick up dd from her Brownies sleepover. I've been enjoying a quiet house (our activity this morning is the boys going with Dad to build their uncle's shed. No screaming unless kooky auntie shows up rofl).