ABC Group

I have deleted the repeated posts pertaining to the ABC & the city's recent failed attempt at prize money. I realize that many are justified in their contempt for certain persons associated with the project who were dishonest or cruel to various persons or organizations in the community as part of the ABC process. I also understand there are far bigger & more pressing matters than hiking trails especially since the state park is home to some of the states very best. However, delighting in someone else's misery is just as cruel as ABC insulting the church elder when he expressed concern about their attempts to act in a deceitful & rude manner to gain access across the church property for trail trekkers or the teams efforts to undermine county officials & hide information from the public.

That said, it is unfortunate for Madison that they did not win even a 3d place prize; the award would have brought some recognition & project dollars to the area. For those who were against the project because it did not address more serious issues- perhaps it might help to consider the key players on the ABC team were predominately well under 30. Frankly, not only are trails & zip lines what this group prefers to focus on but it is probably appropriate for them to be limited to such "surface" issues. I can think of no better group to enter a contest for trail money than those who gathered, but I certainly would not consider them qualified to tackle the substantial, tough issues facing our community. To insult them for not tackling challenges for which they would be sorely under qualified is cruel & unnecessary.

This is not an insult; it is a reality. Young people & persons who have limited life experience can learn a great deal from projects like ABC. They need that experience if they will ever be able to confront more complex & socially significant challenges. So for those who criticize that the team should have focused on drug use or other issues, I say thank goodness you are not in charge of selecting the best persons most capable of addressing such challenges.

The ABC team may or may not have been our best young people for the ABC job. But it was their dream, their hearts were in the right place; they tired their very best & they remained positive right up through the end. Surely that counts for something considering the fact we have so many young people already lost to drugs & poverty or who have such disdain for community involvement they won't even vote. Rather than celebrate their failure & delight in saying they deserve public humiliation, can we not consider the following: no one other than this group took the initiative, the ABC competition was NOT about hard core community issues, it was about feel good community projects- so if the group had selected drug abuse- they would have lost in the first round. Instead a small team with several inexperienced young persons made a pretty good showing considering they had not attempted such challenging projects before.

I for one hope they have learned more about how to be inclusive & know better now how to welcome those with divergent ideas or who challenge their preconceived plans. It was a "good showing" and I personally appreciate their efforts even if I disagreed with their approach. I hope they continue to look for ways to make our community more inviting to young people, healthier & more environmental friendly. But most of all, I hope they try again with new projects & don't loose heart no matter what we old people say. They made a difference in our community & I hope that next time they make an even greater difference. Congrats to ABC on a fine showing.