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Young & Spirited but no resources...what to do.

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Tevin, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    I'm posting this as a spinoff topic of You May Be Strong . . . But Are You Tough? | Survival Monkey Forums

    Everyone has mulled over how they would handle, for lack of a better word, moochers, in a SHTF situation. That topic has been beaten beyond death in prepper forums, so I'm not "going there".

    The twist I'm putting on it is this: What about those who have very few material resources, and probably have not developed good technical/practical skills, yet they have that certain "it" factor? I'm talking about people who may not have much of a resume as preppers but have a good attitude and give an intangible positive vibe that just screams, "take a chance on me!"

    Here are brief profiles on two real people I know very well and have grown to sincerely love. For the record, neither are relatives:

    Chris: Male, 17 years old. Athletic and in A+ physical shape. Doesn't mind "dirty work." Very honest. Math whiz, exceptionally intelligent. Well mannered, polite, respectful. Has some experience hunting. Can be trusted completely with firearms. Shows leadership potential. Is very likable and pleasant to have around. The downside: Can be moody, withdrawn at times. Needs constant pressure from a strong male role model to keep him on task. Although he's mature for his age, he is after all still a teenager and sometimes it shows at the worst possible time.

    Andre: Male, 24 years old. In good but not great physical shape. Has fortitude, is not a "quitter". Adapts easily to night work and changes in sleep patterns. Religious. Speaks flawless Spanish. Is very intuitive, can read people ("street smart"). Has a calming manner and empathizes with others' problems. A good organizer with attention to detail. Takes directions well. Respectful, cooperative. The downside: Very few practical skills. No experience with firearms but is willing to learn. Underestimates himself.

    Both of these individuals bring little to the table in terms of technical expertise and physical resources. Yet, they are mentally tough and have a good attitude. I see special qualities in each of them that tells me keeping them in my circle is a winning bet.

    So here's the questions: Almost everyone has their own version of Chris and Andre. How do you fit them into your prepping plans? Or do you not fit them at all? Do you place any value on abstract personal qualities, or do you insist that everyone be able to "do something"? Is SHTF a bad time to "invest" in inexperienced but promising young people?

    Since I've already decided that I'm keeping these guys around, I'm looking more to see what others think as opposed to trying to resolve an issue for myself.

    Please discuss...
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
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  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    If keeping them around is practical, so is teaching them the basics that don't require money. Maybe you can't expect them to contribute to stores (yet) but you can show them how to make do, and let them see the advantages of spending the extra when available in a prepper way.
    Mountainman, Tevin, JABECmfg and 5 others like this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    A good attitude and a strong work ethic are just as important as having a lot of skills. You can teach one to fish... but he has to want to learn. Same thing goes for most any survival task... if you want to participate, learn and be a productive member of the team.... then I would want you on my team. Let me worry about how to fit you in, just contribute with a glad heart and everything else will work itself out.
    Mountainman, Tevin and chelloveck like this.
  4. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    My own initial sheltering plans extend to few individuals outside of immediate family; but I imagine that any of us who have worked to prepare and to develop useful survival skills will end up being a teacher/mentor/facilitator to many others in a post SHTF environment. We are the only family within our rural neighborhood who raise animals or raise a garden, and I have no doubts that in the event of a societal breakdown, many of my neighbors will eventually be stopping by for assistance in those areas. So whether we can currently identify particular individuals, such as those mentioned in the original post, or not; we will all eventually encounter those individuals.

    I imagine that most of us will give what assistance we can, to those deserving of that assistance. Those who are willing to learn, and to work hard, and play well with others, will be welcomed. Those who are not, will be shown the road.
    Tevin, JABECmfg, chelloveck and 2 others like this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Woodsman skills cost nearly nothing but time and practice. Start them on being self sufficient now. Hunting and prepping have many over lapping skills.
    Tevin, tulianr, oldawg and 1 other person like this.
  6. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    worse come to worse they can tote and fetch and hold the tools while you do the work...

    everyone is ignorant just on different subjects.... who knows you might learn something...
  7. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Far as I'm concerned, if they bring a strong back to the party then they're not moochers. :D
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Tevin, make then get Licensed as a first test, of their willingness to learn.... They can always monitor Comms, while they work on the rest of the necessary SkillSets. Next work on Weapons proficiency, starting with .22's. Reading of good Prep'er Fiction can teach a lot of folks, while the stories entertain their minds. See if they have some mechanical aptitude, and build on that, if it is there. Any fool can do Grunt Work, but young folks that are willing to learn, can become a Great Asset, when given the chance. None of us were as good at this when we were that young.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
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  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    You just want a strong back to carry your bacon....:D
  10. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I might be willing to share my bacon with a strong back that comes with a shut mouth. :D

    With regards to the OP tho (before I merrily hijack the thread with bacon pr0n)... skills can be learned, physicality can be dealt with, but the biggest thing for me is whether or not we can get along. I recently left one group because I absoeffinglutely could not stand one of the members and it was becoming clear that person was about to wind up in a position of leadership. If I can't handle someone in normal times, there's no way I'll tolerate them under stress. I'm just not that charitable. I'd rather someone I like who is clueless but willing to learn, over a survival guru that makes me want to kick their teeth in every time they open their mouth. It seems to me that if Bill and Ted Chris and Andre are ready for their Excellent Adventure and you get along well with them and don't mind showing them the ropes, then you're already a step ahead.
    BTPost, tulianr, oldawg and 6 others like this.
  11. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I have the suspicion, maybe incorrectly, from the initial comments that you have come to "know very well and have grown to sincerely love" these two young men that the feeling may be mutual. I don't know what other significant leader figures may be in their lives, but embracing these guys with challenging training, instruction and contribtion to the cause, especially at this age, could be one of the most important preps you'll ever make.

    Research has shown there is a very significant correlation between the severity and magnitude to the rite of passage into a group and the loyalty that member will have to the group. We see this with college fraternity hazing, military units, gangs, etc. So if you challenge them, give your time and love to them, motivate them to volunarily (that is a key too) work their butts off showing their desire to join you, then down the road you may well have two young men with whom you can easily trust your children's and grandchildren's lives. This may be far more important than any particular skills they bring to the fold.

  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    One of my co-workers has recently aquired a new girlfriend that has a pair of adolescent sons that have absolutely no teaching of self-sufficiency. Nolan spends time teaching them how to hunt, fish, dress game, cook, all the essential things that seem to get neglected in this PlayStation 2 world. A battery has potential energy stored for use, if never used will deplete, corrode, and be totally wasted. Think TEACH.
  13. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    Sir, your intuition is 100% correct. Both these guys admire and respect me.

    As I mentioned in my original post, I've already decided to find a place in my prepping for them, so it's not a question of "keep 'em or dump 'em".

    Chris' dad has been my close friend for 20+ years. He is a very hands on, goal-oriented old school parent who suffers no fools. He demands --and gets-- excellence from his kids.

    Andre's parents were not abusive or neglectful, but they also weren't very involved and gave him little guidance. An outside observer would say Andre is a disadvantaged Mexican kid from the crappy side of town (technically, he is). Now his life is on a very positive path and he is pulling himself out of his background. I think he's already a survivalist and doesn't even know it. This is the part of him that I want to channel.

    As you may guess, Andre needs the most help. I need to find a way not only to teach useful skills but also build up confidence and make both these young men feel like they can make a difference.
    tulianr likes this.
  14. techsar

    techsar Monkey++

    I'll be blunt. You may wish to reevaluate Chris...or how you evaluate people.

    You make mention of him having leadership potential, and then give faults that indicate otherwise...ex: a leader should not need to have a strong male role model to prod him along, nor should he be "moody and withdrawn." Times are somewhat normal and he is this way. How bad will he become if/when times deteriorate?

    Throw out the emotions and look at your candidates without the rose-colored glasses.

    Andre sounds like he needs the least help - he is already working to improve his lot in life. Chris - is likable and pleasant to have around.

    Sorry to sound so harsh, but I've seen too many self-appointed surrogate parents really mess things up. I truly hope this doesn't occur in your case.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Chris is a teenager. Hormones are his forte, not to be confused with lack of potential. Both of them will benefit, maybe in different ways, from proper leadership and mentoring. This prepper business is not the military, one size does not fit all.

    They already bring something to the table, if not ability or talent (yet) if willing to pitch in. They can easily serve "apprenticeships" to learn from, even if it happens tomorrow.
    Tevin and BTPost like this.
  16. Mechwolf

    Mechwolf Monkey+

    Everyone is looking at what skills these young men have. What matters most to me in my group of friends is loyalty. Skills can be taught everyone of us has our pro's and con's i.e skills we are good at and skills we haven't yet mastered. If you work well with them and you can TRUST them both would be good to go in my group.
    chelloveck, tulianr, Tevin and 3 others like this.
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