This weekend past, 29 and 30th April 2017, I led my group of guest paddlers and Members along the Dorset coast launching from Swanage. The weather was good with a little broken cloud and a light breeze and so we enthusiastically set off. The day turned into hours of wonderful paddling in bright sunshine along the rocky coastline with good paddling conditions. A couple of hours spent on the beach with a hot brew, some food and a stretch, we moved on into Studland Bay.
The wind picked up and with the ebb tide, so did the sea, forming perfect rolling swells and fun conditions for this group. We landed at the far end of Studland Bay and scouted for a campsite amongst the sand dunes. With our campsite set up, a warm meal and a drink in our bellies and after a few hours around the fire, we retired to our tents, tarps and bivvy bags.
Around midnight and there's a rumpus outside our tents, six teenagers turn up, invade our campsite and set about pitching their tents and building a fire, neither of which they could do! The following morning, sitting around our camp stoves and preparing coffee and breakfast, they wake up and immediately start another rumpus, this time packing up! So here's the rub; these little twits dump all their gear, wine, two cases of beer and numerous other crap and scarper leaving the lot, including their litter, spread across the beautiful dunes of Studland..
My response was to jump up and chase after them, threatening serious physical harm, verbal abuse whilst throwing their used beer bottles at them! They disappeared into the brush on their way to the car park at the back end of Studland. So what's the point of this story? Well, in my opinion, this behaviour by our young people (teenagers) can and often is witnessed across the country in all forms, from littering, loutish behaviour, abuse of young girls and the list goes on. This never used to be the case so why has this happened? I have my own ideas on this and most average citizens would and often do agree with me but this forum is not for my opinions.
Having said this, had I not been present and taken some action, would any of my (adult) group have done or even said anything? Somehow I doubt it. And hence the problem grows as we the adults who bring these little shits into this world and are responsible for raising them whilst adhering to our values, systems and social norms....do absolutely NOTHING! Now I know we all fear our ever-loving police and legal system that persecutes reasonable law-abiding citizens just trying to do the right thing but if no-one stands up against unacceptable behaviours then it just gets worse.
So next time you see bad, loutish behaviour, confront it and stand up for the values that maintain a respectable society, YOUR society! Don't just sit there with your head up your arse, be an adult and make a stand and let's start turning things around and make this a lovely country to live in again.