Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
I have 3 kids: 10, nearly 8 and 5.
I’m also a “grand chef” (by accident) in the Belgian Scout movement, with nearly 500 kids under my (shared-thank F...) guidance.

I have my personal bias as to what I think I should be teaching the young uns, but I’m suitably worldly to know what I think and what I should be doing aren’t the same things.

What dying skills should we be worrying about, and making an effort to keep alive?

At a practical level, not even my own kids know how to get a coal or wood fire going. The oldest is in the Scouts, and I known he’ll pick that up.

Fishing - I was never the best, but I do know one local family that regularly visit a fishing pond, and even had their kid’s birthday there. My 7 yr old was “hooked”.

Shooting. My kids are a bit too young to shoot, but at least here in Belgium I can get them in a club and they will learn the basics of weapon safety.

Farming. I grew up a semi rural townie, plenty of mates were farmers kids. Kinda hard to explain to my semi rural kids that they should “listen and learn”, since their farmer friends now never actually work on the family farm.

Mechanical stuff. Not one single adult I know in my wife’s circle of friends has the ability to open the lid of a car/boat/aeroplane and figure out where problem could be (apart from “this costs me 200 a month in maintenance”)
I'd say that wasn't a bad collection.

Getting a wood fire going will also work for a charcoal BBQ.

In the context of mechanical, then the basic principles of mechanics are worth doing as they'll help with diagnosis and using sensible tools for any task.

I'd forget farming and look at a vegetable patch in the garden, much more hands on.
My kids are 15 and 12 - Scouts has been great in getting the older one to learn about knives, fires, backwoods cooking, bivvying and through the DofE a certain amount of independence. Rugby has taught him team work.
My daughter has recently started all of the above in the Guides and recently through playing netball.

Prior to learning new skills, I think what kids need is to be separated from "risk averse" parents, put in situations outside of their comfort zone and learn how to make decisions and deal with the unknown. A child's comfort zone will vary considerably and being able to gauge this is key, but a gentle push in the right direction works wonders for their self esteem and confidence.

Once they have an inner confidence I believe they will then be more open to any of the challenges you mention and embrace them with an open mind rather than a fear of failure.
The reason I’m (a Scotsman, with zero background in Belgian Scout stuff) kicking off, not just with the lot who are under my charge)

also because I genuinely give a sh.., , there is a whole bunch of stuff I think I should be good at, but “irnae”
OCB wrote:What dying skills should we be worrying about, and making an effort to keep alive?

How about deduced reckoning? :shock: :lol:

On a serious note; I sometimes wonder if the fixation with teaching old ways is driven more by emotion than meaningful practical purpose. There are of course exceptions, however progress IMO should not to be marginalised, particularly with young developing minds. :D
I was taught a great deal by my father and read up up on a lot more, so I'm generally pretty practical and handy about the place.

The other thing on the teamwork, self esteem etc is music. If they show an inclination to play or sing get 'em lessons and stick 'em in youth orchestras and choirs.
PaulB liked this
Umm.. idea was to talk a bit about “lost skills”, not basic skills.

Shooting as an example. I learned to shoot from friends and family, went on to shooting in private clubs and at Uni before they got banned. I am fortunate in that I can teach my kids shooting here in Belgium.

I can’t honestly imagine my childhood without some sort of target sport.

Is it a skill I really should pass down, or just give up?
... what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare ...

Rob P :guns:
johnm liked this
Baking from basic ingredients is an increasingly rare skill. Sourdough breads especially.

(Brining and) smoking food lends itself to doing on camp and is a very rare skill nowadays.

Or just cooking on wood.

Making paper?

Making and using a bow and arrows.


Knitting !

Other ways of making your own clothes.

In the modern world we seem to have lost the drive to “invent things” . Judging by current and past threads, we need to buff up on self sufficiency, boat building and how to handle a pony and trap ! Indeed, when I was a lad that’s exactly how it was - money, no object, meaning - we didn’t have any.
johnm wrote:I'd say that the basic skills would be answers to the question:

"Could you feed and clothe yourself and keep yourself warm, without recourse to shops?"

Maybe because I was back in sunny Lanarkshire a few days back, I know a fair few who would respond “aye, just break intae the neighbours like usual...” :oops: