For many years, every local town had a small diner that a served as a gathering place. There were also movie theaters, snack bars and other such places.
Sadly, the current generation has few of the traditional hangouts left. In many towns, the only business with the lights on after 8 p.m. is the local Stewarts Shop.
Fortunately, Stewarts Shops also sell gas, so teenagers can still get around in their cars. But with the lack of a familiar hangout, many have no place to go.
I speak from experience when I say there is nothing more dangerous than a bored teenager. If they can’t find trouble, trouble will find them. It is a natural instinct, and it is evident in all wild species, not just human teenagers or juveniles as they are referred to in the animal kingdom.
Juveniles, whether they are raccoons, eagles, bears or Billy who lives just down the street, are unpredictable. In most cases, their brains are not fully developed, even if their bodies apparently have.
Similar to their distant cousins in the animal kingdom, human adolescents are highly susceptible to dangerous, pack behavior. Their brains are not capable of recognizing or comprehending risks. And yet the troubles can be equally dangerous for either species.
In the wild, just as at home, juveniles often exhibit a tendency to wander, and explore, and trouble is usually just a short distance away.
Whether the trouble comes from an immature bear marauding through a campground, or a couple of young geese wandering off from the flock, the potential for trouble is as omnipresent as a young man in a fast car zooming down a country road in the dark of night.
Parents wlll do their best to keep their kids safe. Cautious does will hide their fawns in the tall ferns, while they wander off looking for food, just as a mother goose will tend to a tidy flock, as they travel in a straight line behind her, and her mate.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.