I'm not an overly anxious person. I'm... Oh for godsake. Who am I kidding. I'm an incredibly anxious person. Let's start this again. With honesty.
I'm an extremely anxious person. Always have been, probably always will be. However, I've worked very hard over the years to manage my anxiety, particularly in relation to my children. It's not my kids' fault they have me as a mum. It's bad enough they're going to be stuck with a genetic predisposition to anxiety; I don't want this excacerbated by the additional burden of anxious parenting.
So I try to stay relaxed. I don't wrap them in cotton wool. I let the older kids ride their bikes around the neighbourhood by themselves. I leave them in the house for an hour alone while I go to the casino (okay, the shops, fear not, I was just testing you). I try not to worry when they're out in other people's cars. I try not to panic when the phone rings in the middle of the day and it's the school nurse (or worse, the teacher, or worse than that, the principal). I refuse to let my mind wander to all the terrible mishaps that can befall a child in this dangerous modern world (which is no doubt safer than the dangerous ancient world, but still...).
But this.... This is really stretching my limits.
My son is going on a school camp this term. Now, he's been to school camps before, as has my daughter. But this one is different. This one is Death by Camp. This camp has the Disclaimer to end all Disclaimers. And I'm scared.
Take a look at what I need to sign:
I acknowledge that the activities may be of an adventurous nature, often in remote bush settings.
(REMOTE??? Why REMOTE?? Aren't there any 'nearby' bush settings' they can go to??? Can't they just camp in a playpark?)
I am aware that these activities involve an altered or increased risk of illness, injury or death arising from an accident or event occuring during an activity or within the camp environment.
DEATH? NO! I'm not aware of an increased risk of DEATH. Illness I can take. My son comes home with a cold. Big deal. Injury? Well, a sprained ankle wouldn't be ideal, but it's not the end of the world. These things happen. But DEATH? Uh uh. No way. I'm not sending my son off to Lethal Camp of Schoolboy Doom.
I understand that all hazards and dangers associated with these activities cannot be forseen or may be beyond the control of Camp X, its instructors or staff.
NO! I don't understand! Isn't it your JOB to forsee all hazards and dangers associated with these activities?? I mean, isn't that kind of why you're THERE? If you can't handle the heat, instructors, then get out of the remote bushland, and find a job somewhere hazard free. Like in a typing pool. If they still have them. Which they probably don't. But it was the most hazard-free thing I could think of.
I agree that if my child suffers injury or illness, Camp X can, at my cost, arrange medical treatment and emergency evacuation services as Camp X deems appropriate.
Fabulous. Not only are you possibly going to maim or infect my child, when you do, you're going to make me PAY for it??
But I'm just being anxious. I'm sure the camp is all perfectly safe. The Disclaimer is just a piece of paper. It doesn't mean there's really any danger. Right?