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17 April 2012 @ 04:21 pm
50 things  
The National Trust has created a list of 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾. Here's the list, with the ones I've done in bold:

1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree

10. Play conkers [I had to look this up, and I think I'm off the hook for this one due to regional variation in greenery]
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream

15. Go sledging [I had to look this up, and I might argue that inner tubing, which I have done, is a fair stand-in]
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you're flying in the wind

25. Make a grass trumpet [???]
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall [<3 <3 <3]
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs

32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals [... not particularly well, mind you]
35. Discover what's in a pond

36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting

44. Light a fire without matches [I presume this includes lighter, torch, etc.]
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on April 17th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
I bet a grass trumpet is that thing some people can do where they hold a blade of grass vertically between their hands and then somehow make it make noise! (Also, that is kind of a great list!)
ruthless compassion: smiling uparoraborealis on April 17th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
Ah! That makes sense. I have TRIED to do that, but never succeeded.
harimad on April 17th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
The list specifies making a grass trumpet, not blowing one and making a loud blatting noise.

Apparently the list is only for people born after 1988 because geocaching didn't come into existence till after accurate GPS became available in mid-2000.

I've done most of these. I haven't caught a fish in a net that I remember, played conkers, set up a snail race that I remember, or raised a butterfly. I had not done all these things before I was 11.75 yo.

Starting a fire without matches or petrochem is a lot easier than described. The American Museum of Natural History, in NYC, used to have a fire set in the kid's room; kids would fight over who got to light the fire next.

ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on April 17th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
Apparently the list is only for people born after 1988 because geocaching didn't come into existence till after accurate GPS became available in mid-2000.

I thought this was pretty clearly labeled as a list for people under 11 3/4. But, yes, you've sussed out that age bias in the categories.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on April 17th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
Ditto. I also can't make an acorn cap whistle!
Bad Rabbitzzbottom on April 17th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
I make a completely rocking acorn cap whistle.
Words of Fire on the Surface of the Worldinfinitehotel on April 20th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
I vaguely remember there even being a television infomercia on New England UHF on how to make an acorn whistle when I was a kid. It worked reasonably well with a bottle cap iirc.
Bad Rabbitzzbottom on April 17th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)

I am guessing a grass trumpet is that thing where you hold a blade of grass taut between your thumbs and blow through them. The grass becomes a reed and the vibration creates a sound that is vaguely trumpet-like.
m.entrope on April 17th, 2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
I want to go do all of these things RIGHT NOW THIS VERY MINUTE.
metagnatmetagnat on April 17th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
I'll come with! I've done many before, but I think they're probably worth doing again!
heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 18th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
Yes, this.
Yagayagagriswold on April 18th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Me too! Er, four!
phoenixamber_phoenix on April 17th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
i'm surprised by your lack of tadpole and fire starting experience! (you're still way ahead of me, but i'm working on it.)
blk: treeblk on April 17th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Getting sidetracked: 11 3/4 is such an odd age marker. I wonder why they chose that? :)

I have never camped outside not in a tent. I really should do that sometime!
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on April 18th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
I don't know if this is related or a coincidence, but the train for Hogwarts leaves from Platform 11 3/4.
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on April 18th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
My bad, it's 9 3/4.
heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 18th, 2012 01:10 am (UTC)
Er, actually the Hogwarts train leaves from platform 9 and 3/4.

And there was the edit in between me reading the comment and hitting 'post' on mine. Oops!

OP: Since this is a UK thing, maybe there is some educational or societal thing that happens in the UK at age 12? Like, you go from elementary school to primary or get an official SSN (or UK equivalent) number or insurance coverage changes...or something?

Edited at 2012-04-18 01:11 am (UTC)
Stable Strangeletcuthalion on April 17th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
So, about that butterfly...

Delores: swandebsquared on April 18th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
This is a hell of a lot nicer concept than a "bucket list."
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on April 18th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)

Also, I think this list takes on a new meaning for me with a daughter 10 and 1/4 years away from this deadline...
heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 18th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
I wanna be an elite ranger! I'd be...

Chancemiss_chance on April 18th, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
huh. Having grown up an urban child, I had a very different list of amazing experiences before 11 ¾, but many of them wonderful just the same!

I'd rank pretty high among my top 50, spending an entire day from opening to closing with free reign in a large Museum of Fine Art. :)

Edited at 2012-04-18 03:13 am (UTC)
Plan for Pandemoniumroozle on April 18th, 2012 11:56 am (UTC)
I had a similar reaction. What's here for city kids was what I thought.
Chancemiss_chance on April 18th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
I'd say learning to find my way across a city with a bus-system map, schedule, and a watch at that age, was probably at least as empowering as finding ones way with a map and a compass. :)

It turns out that I really enjoyed making my own list of things for city kids in response to this post!

Edited at 2012-04-18 02:34 pm (UTC)
ruthless compassion: pouncearoraborealis on April 18th, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'd love to see your list if you're interested in sharing it!
Chancemiss_chance on April 18th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Sure! I had started to make a list in my first reply to this post, but then I thought better of it, thinking I was "hijacking," and deleted it.

A few I came up with were:

-[the one I did mention] Spend an entire day in a museum of art
[but careful, I did this a lot as a kid and look where *that* led to! ;-) ]

-get a library card

-volunteer at the library

-tour a factory to see where a favorite food is made (makes a good companion to the agricultural-based ones on the Trust's list, to give a more complete food-picture)

-watch a movie from a projection booth

-see a orchestra from the front row
(many college have free or very inexpensive performances, and open rehearsals for city orchestras also help make this accessible)

-stay afterward to shake the conductor's hand

-learn to score a baseball game

-learn to navigate with a bus-system map, a schedule, and a watch (or, you know, updated to contemporary technology)

-ride a cross-city bus from one end of the route to the other and back and watch how the neighborhoods change

-watch a house being built (come back at frequent/regular intervals)

-tour the city legislature building(s)

-shake the hand of your mayor, representatives, and senators and introduce yourself by full name.
[I had to practice saying "hi, my name is ____, I'm ten years old and I go to ____ school," so I wouldn't freeze up on the spot.]

-have a lemonade stand

-make holiday cards by hand for your neighbors and hand deliver them even (especially) to the people you don't know

-play a game in a park with kids you don't know


Of course this it pretty much off the top of my head and unedited, but these are some I could think of. I mean, nothing against the others, and a lot of the good nature ones on the Trust list work in an urban environment, too (climbing trees, looking under rocks, etc.).

Just last night I was having a conversation with someone about my art work and how I'm trying to understand connections and disconnects between assumptions people make about urban life and rural life, and I was talking about how easy it is if we're not careful, to essentialize one's own experiences and exoticize others' until we totally lose understanding of each other!

heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 18th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hmm...an interesting thing I see here. And, I'm not sure I can word it correctly; I certainly do not mean any kind of offense or argument, I'm just navel-gazing here.

It seems like about half the things on your urban list are things that I, growing up in a poor rural area, completely associate with "education". Now, that might be more that it was a poor rural area more than *just* rural. But I only ever got to experience museums or orchestras if it was a school trip.

And, the *vast* majority of my peers at age 11, sad to say especially the male peers, pretty much hated doing these field trips. (At least right up to the point they got off the bus and were told to be quiet and listen, up until then field trips were the best thing ever!) I honestly remember how miserable field trips could be because of how badly the students who thought it was 'lame' would act the whole time.

And so, most of the kids I went to school with would not likely choose to do these things on their own. And definitely not during their summer break. Because museums and libraries and orchestras were for nerds and geeks.

The Trust's list does have very educational things on it; raising up a butterfly, looking at rock pools, finding fossils...but they are also things that those "museums are for losers" kids I grew up with would likely do all on their own without any kind of prompting, all during their summer vacation.

It's interesting.
Chancemiss_chance on April 18th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
This is intersting!

I was struck by "But I only ever got to experience museums or orchestras if it was a school trip," especially because for me a city kid, the only way I experienced apple trees, camping out in the "wild," seeing a farm, planting anything, cooking on a campfire, and a few others on that list was as a school trip or "city kids should see nature/farms/ etc" kinds of outreaches.

So it seems that we had similar, mirrored experiences, which might shed some light onto my emotional response to the list. I went to farms and camps as a school trip, but to museums and concerts under my our autonomous power and by my own choice.

Such an interesting observation!
Chancemiss_chance on April 18th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
Looking over your comment a moment longer I realized, too, rock pools, places one could even half-plausibly look for fossils, would have required an adult with a car to get to place to do, whereas I could walk to the Museum of Art, the local library (which was air-conditioned, so *everyone* wanted to go there at some point), and local university with out-reach concerts for local families, or take the number 22 bus to the big main library full of art.

So again it might have been about what I could do on my own vs. what needed an adult and a special trip to do.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on April 18th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
So again it might have been about what I could do on my own vs. what needed an adult and a special trip to do.

I think this is the distinction that stands out to me. As a rural kid, I, too, only went to museums and such in a car and under supervision. Looking for fossils just meant grubbing around in the yard.
heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 18th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Wow! This is neat.

So...did your peers think the trips to farms or camps were lame or boring or and disliked them? And regular visits to museums were cool? Enjoy both equally? Dislike both equally?

I, obviously, did not feel an emotional response for lack of urban activities, but I did feel a bit put out by the beach related activities. Where I grew up, beaches were for rich people! And of course I want to say I did as many things on a list as possible (hello silly ego) but I was all "but wait a minute, it's not fair to say I missed out simply because of where I grew up" feeling.

Chancemiss_chance on April 19th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hmm... I've been thinking about your question, and I'm not sure.

Did kids think field trips to farms & camps were lame? Well, any trip that involves getting on a bus, and having ineffective authority figures try to quiet a bus full of kids during what isn't classroom time has its own inherent value, right? I mean I suspect that crosses a lot of demographic categories.

And then kids, when arriving at the place they're supposed to be amazed by because they're told to... maybe kids breaking into noisy groups of friends and ignoring the instructions to pay attention to the so-and-so... I think I remember this equally from going to farms or museums as school trips. I think that might be more about being herded someplace than about what that place is.

As for what other kids did during summer, I guess I don't really know. I mean I went to the library, and met the other kids who went to the library and joined the junior-librarian club, so I don't know what the others did. Mostly it was my sister and I who went to the Baltimore Art Museum together on our own, but we had friends who came with us sometimes, too. It was cheap for kids and less than a mile away and air-conditioned. I remember playing games where we would walk into a gallery together and each of us try to guess which was the most expensive piece (I'm not sure why the museum had what I now assume was either the acquisition price, or assessed value, printed on the tag... what an odd choice!). Or we'd see who could sit most like The Thinker for longest. Or do "interpretive dances" of the abstract impressionist pieces.

I'm sure this would have been lame and stupid to lots of other kids, but then they wouldn't have been there with us to see it.

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing from what you wrote of what other kids did and didn't like, that it's possible that one thing for me about growing up in the city was that my sister and I found like-minded peers to hang with, and maybe in a rural area we might have fewer options of kids so that what the ones who didn't like what you did mattered more? I'm just guessing here.
heinleinfanheinleinfan on April 19th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, there was definitely some small town syndrome where I grew up.

You did, in fact, know what everyone did on their summer vacations because you knew everyone and were either doing it with them or doing something alone, heh. I did not have many like-minded peers for the "nerdy" things, but did have plenty of like minded peers for the outdoorsy things.

And the peer groups were also divided by racial lines, especially over the summer, making the groups of people you might hang out with even smaller.

Plan for Pandemoniumroozle on April 18th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
The thing that first came to me was getting a library card, and then also memories that related to being self-reliant about transportation.

Misanthropic extrovertdbang on April 20th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
I had a different reaction. I moved a lot growing up, so I've lived in urban, suburban and exurban areas; desert, mountains, plains and New England; areas with and without public transit. Plus I've lived in middle and lower socioeconomic strata. so in theory I have at one time or another had access to all the things on both this list R posted, and your list.

And *still* felt a sense of disconnect!

I lived my life a lot inside my head, and enjoyed it there, and hope my kids enjoy their times in their own universes. Neither museums nor wild-animal tracking held as much appeal for me as reading, fantasy and relationships.

so my list would include a lot of stuff not tied to geography at all:

- draw a map of a fictional country

- hide something from yourself, forget where you hid it, and find it with delighted surprise months or years later

- read a single book so often that the pages start to fall out

- share a holiday meal with a friend's family that celebrates a holiday not from your own tradition

- read a book under the covers with a flashlight when you are supposed to be asleep

- play air guitar (or air violin or air drums or some other air instrument) with complete abandon when no one is watching you

- wake up before anyone else in the house, watch the sun rise, and hear the sounds of "silence" (which could be frogs and crickets if you live in the country, or trucks and sirens if you live in the city)

- make up a secret language only you and your friend(s) know

- steal a cookie and don't get caught

- steal a cookie and get caught

- keep a diary (even if only for two days)

- eat something that isn't food (a bug, a worm, grass...)

Misanthropic extrovertdbang on April 20th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
Dang. And here I got to this list 7 months too late to save my older children from whatever Dire Fate awaits those who don't fulfill the list.

(What does it mean if a kid has absolute zero interest in some or most of these activities? While it is technically not too late to save the littlest from the Dire Fate, I doubt he will be at all cooperative with my attempts to save him.)