By Dr. Rita Argiros, Program Director
The New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams holds a combined federation training, or COMFED, once each year in the fall. Three Family Foundation School employees, Dick Szczesh, Jennifer Culver and I, are members of the host teams we will be taking eligible members of the Dog Corps with us.
The boys are excited. Now is a good time to practice the 7 P’ s—proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance—in class we will be working on a punch list of things to pack. The dogs need to be clean and presentable. Wednesday will be bath and nails day. Between Jen, Dick and myself there will be 7 SAR dogs to groom. There is a trailer full of equipment to be checked out and packed: ATV, Boat, batteries, a dozen dog crates….. We are also discussing how to keep our principles up. For all these boys, 4 days will be the longest time they have been off campus yet. I expect them to be good workers and to perform well when there is a clear job to be done. But there will be some down time. Can they be polite and helpful, finding productive things to do in the absence of clear direction? Can they keep fooling around to an appropriate level? Some of the boys are shy. Can they make eye contact with strangers and introduce themselves.
One of the hardest things for our students to do is to keep up their spiritual lives outside of the school . Without drawing attention to ourselves, we will find time each day, morning and evening, to mediate and pray.