Laura Morton, Woodbury Reports recently posted an article Luggage Checks detailing the need for parents to be mindful of the personal belongings they send with their children to wilderness or emotional growth therapeutic school or program.

Since a Transport Team is often the conduit for a family to be able to move their teenager safely to the destination program the same principle applies. If a Student is required to bring clothing and personal items to their new destination we request that Parents be responsible for packing and specifically request that no items be removed from the Student’s room or bathroom prior to the arrival of the Transport Team.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. Our Transport Teams are amenable to collect any personal items needed for travel that may be in the Student’s room on the morning of the transport. Parents need only to present the Team with a short-list when they arrive.
  2. It takes much less time for our Transport Team to make a quick search of luggage containing new or freshly laundered clothing packed by Parents than to search items that have come directly from the Students room.
  3. When Parents remove their teenagers clothing or additional personal items this will most likely alert the Student that something is awry in their world.

Not too long ago I discovered contraband in film canisters in a Students room. Upon arrival at a family residence the parents handed me a short-list of items to be obtained from their son’s room. On a short list was the Student’s camera and film. The parents admitted this may be a bit unusual, but since the program said he could have his camera and since we had a distance to travel they requested we allow him to take it. After the usual introductions and the parents had gone the Student said that he needed to take his camera and film. We let the Student know that was not a problem and he began to get dressed. As I reached out to pick up his camera and film which was sitting on top of his dresser, I noticed his new digital Canon EOS had an old Canon strap with elastic bands containing film cans. Since I knew this model camera only shoots digital I suspected the film cans probably did not contain film. Investigation of the film cans did reveal contraband. At this point the Student did not want to take his camera.

A phone call back to the parents later alerted them to the contraband in the film cans and the Student’s decision to leave the camera behind. I supposed the parents just didn’t make the connection that their son’s digital camera shoots only digital, so he must be carrying the film cans for another purpose.

For more information about preparing for emergencies during the teen years refer to the Hunter Investigations page on Parents Action Crisis Kit.

For information regarding Adolescent Transports call Holly Hunter: 770.667.7467.