Kiana, 10, heading to camp & Rachel, 18, headed to Dartmouth in September My 10 year old daughter will be headed off to camp this summer, and I was wondering what skills we have taught her to prepare her for being without her parents. Also, this is the summer before the high school graduates head off to college, and I am curious as to how prepared they are when they leave home. I know technology has put information immediately at our hands with our cell phones, but I do think there are basic skills that we should be actively trying to teach our kids. I’m thinking that it would be great if every young person could do the following: DOMESTIC SKILLS Cook a traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not out of a can) Wash and iron clothes without ruining them Replace a button, fix a hem, and polish their own shoes PRACTICAL SKILLS Drive a car including one with manual transmission, and maintain it properly Change a flat tire SURVIVAL SKILLS Know basic first aid and maintain a complete first-aid kit Know what to do if you get sick, especially if you’re alone Know when to defend yourself Know CPR ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS Create a budget Balance a checkbook even if you bank online Set up a filing system so all of they paperwork in your life is in one place SOCIAL SKILLS Carry on a conversation for fifteen minutes with a person you don’t know Speak before a small group of friends for a few minutes Tell a joke Learn basic ballroom dancing skills HUMAN SKILLS Care for a dog, cat or other animal including when they are sick Baby-sit for children ranging in age from 6 months to 6 years old. Aid the elderly or handicapped people ORIENTATION SKILLS Get around the city on a bus or train even if you typically walk or drive Know what direction is north, south, east, and west (without a compass) whenever you’re outside Read a map PHYSICAL SKILLS Throw and catch balls of all sizes without breaking your fingers Swim half a mile, tread water for half an hour and float for an hour Ride a bike with confidence HANDYMAN SKILLS Hang a picture straight without making extra holes in the wall Paint neatly including cleaning up the mess Know which tools perform what functions and how to use them around the house Sharpen a knife without cutting yourself OUTDOOR SKILLS Hike with friends all day without getting lost, bitten or covered with a rash Bait a hook, catch a fish, reel it in, remove the hook, then clean and cook the fish RECREATIONAL SKILLS Play a team sport Maintain a fitness regiment Learn a game (like chess) you can play with friends for life ARTISTIC SKILLS Draw an illustration at least well enough to get your point across. Have confidence to sing aloud Know how to play a musical instrument Challenge: Do the young people in your life have command of the above skills? Are you up for teaching them as life lessons?