Mary Augusta Slawson - Senior, 17
Notable – Spent 22 days in Alaska and 14 in Utah on outdoor leadership adventures with Moondance Adventures
By second grade, she’d seen the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. She’s never been to Disney World, but she’s seen almost every major U.S. battlefield and national park. The now high school senior attributes her appreciation for history and heritage and her love of the outdoors to all her family’s traveling. “Without electronics on these trips, I was able to soak in every aspect of the scenery around me, instilling an awe of its maker,” (and proving that teenagers can survive without cell phones for longer than we think!).
PG (parental guidance) Rating
“I love the fact that my parents left me alone when I was a child. They had hobbies, took trips and created time for their marriage, which made me understand that I was not the sole reason for their existence. Not to be misunderstood, I knew that they unconditionally loved me and did everything in my best interest, but they allowed me to develop independence and a strong sense of self at a young age.”
Parents’ Perspective - Guice & Leah Slawson
Guice and Leah Slawson have raised their children to be independent and to pursue their individual interests. Venturing to Alaska and Utah for weeks at a time with people she’d never met and challenges she’d never encountered was something Mary Augusta wanted to do, and the couple supported her decision completely.
“She wanted to get out of her comfort zone,” Leah said. “I would’ve never put myself through the rigors she chose in backpacking, ice-climbing, sleeping and eating outdoors for 22 days. She is her own person.”
Her dad, Guice admires his daughter for her outlook on life and ability to see there’s a much larger world beyond Montgomery and Alabama. “While she appreciates her home and heritage,” Guice said, “she understands and values people from other places and walks of life.
Parent to Parent
It is who you are, not what you do that matters most. There is no one formula that is perfect, but who you are in front of them matters more than anything.
Don’t do for them what they can do for themselves.
Only have rules that you are willing to enforce consistently - even when it is costly to you. Trust, but verify.
Generally, people rise to the expectations you set for them, and they’ll get away with what you let them get away with. Have high but realistic expectations for each child, and communicate them clearly.
Teach them that they are special, but they are not the exception to the rule. As part of a family, we all make sacrifices for each other.
Parents are parents, and children are children. Friendship comes with maturity.
Christ, marriage, children – in that order.