By: Blonde Two

Dartmoor doesn’t have any mountains but I made a decision a few weeks ago that I would use today’s Festive Blondespot to preach a Christmas message.  I make no apologies for this, feeling that I have earned the right to do so after (very nearly) a whole year of blogging.  I even went out the other day (luckily not the “day of wetness”) to find a suitable Dartmoor pulpit from which to proclaim my word.  I would like you to give it your attention, maybe even whisper it in a few places.  Close your eyes for a minute, imagine that you, all of you, Welshmen, Rescuers, Dartmoor Leaders, DofE Bods, Clever Guys and Family are congregated around this beautiful spot watching Two Blondes (for I know that Blonde One will agree with what I am about to say) shout their message to the hills and valleys of Dartmoor.  Call it your Christmas present to us.

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My message is a simple one – “Remember the youngsters”.  In this year of excitement, exercise and expeditions, there is one thing that has stood out beyond every Dartmoor bog, tor and river, beyond every rainbow, blue sky and mist and beyond every giggle, sore limb and tear.  One thing that will stay with me for a long time to come (I hope for ever). That thing is the young people with whom we have spent our time.

Quite simply, they have never ceased to amaze me (you will have to forgive me because I know that I am repeating myself).  They came from a mix of backgrounds but despite, or maybe because of, this they gave and gave and gave.  They gave to their teams, carrying each other’s loads, both emotional and physical; they gave to us with their help, their determination and their cheery smiles on a horrid day; and one day, I know that they will give to the rest of you in some way that none of us can predict. Maybe it will be one of them who keeps our National Parks safe from marauding builders, maybe one of them will walk around the world and raise money for a cause close to your heart or maybe one of them will be the person out in terrible weather searching for your lost loved one.  Whichever it is, I know that you will be hearing from them.  You won’t, of course, know who they are, but we will and we will be so proud.

Our youngsters are a few among many.  They are only the people they are because someone gave them a chance.  The children of families Blonde One and Blonde Two are only the people they are because someone gave them a chance.  Indeed, both of us Blondes are only the people we are because, away there in the deep and distant past, someone gave us a chance.

Imagine what the world could be like if we all took some time out to help form our younger generations.  If you aren’t doing it already, you could be.  I am not going to tell you how but it is not difficult to find ways.  There are little things as well as big things that can be done – even a smile and a chat with a group of kids out on the hills can make a difference and let them know that the world is interested in them.  Trust me, it will be worth it.  After all, it takes a village to raise a child, it takes faith to move mountains but it will take the vision of a young person to mould all of our futures.