by JACKIE GOLDSTON
As I stood on top of Mt Coolum, I was extremely proud of both my kids, my 3 year old daughter had just walked all the way to the top on her own and my 6 year had been wonderfully encouraging. As we always do, we ambled over to the far side of the top of the mountain to find a little shade and enjoy the view, a snack and water.
As we sat there my son pointed to a girl and asked “Why is she drawing on the rock?” I looked over and a young girl of 10 or 11 years old was carving her name into a large rock with a pocket knife.
Mt Coolum is a National Park. Obviously graffiti almost anywhere is illegal; however, this is a National Park! And here was a young girl, with a knife, carving her name into a rock… in front of her father and sister. And in front of my 3 year old and 6 year old and every other child and teenager that was on top of the mountain – and it was a beautiful Sunday and there were lots of people.
I looked at my husband and said “Sorry, I am going to have to say something.” I have been known to do this with smokers in restaurants around children; however this was my first “wildlife warrior” moment. I politely asked the girl if she would mind stopping carving into the rock as it was graffiti and was not permitted in a national park. She looked at her dad who told her, “It’s okay; there are lots of names already up here.” I explained that it wasn’t okay and it was ruining the environment for everyone. The father was extremely unimpressed with my interfering (which I had expected) and stopped his daughter, telling her that it looked good already. He huffed and puffed many things under his breath and moved away with his kids.