Summer is (finally) here and thousands of teenagers are away from home, and parental supervision, for the first time, whether working or meeting friends to celebrate the end of the year and the New Year.
For each excited teenager there are parents feeling nervous about their child being away for an extended period.
Help is at hand for both generations, thanks to Red Frogs crews.
Red Frogs New Zealand is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to providing a positive and safe environment for young people during New Year celebrations, festivals and other high-risk events. With a passionate team of volunteers, Red Frogs offers support, care and educational programmes to ensure the wellbeing of students as they transition into a new phase of their lives.
New Zealand director Ray Thomson said their volunteers had been a trusted presence at New Year in Queenstown and Wanaka for eight years and were excited to take their response to Kaiteriteri this year. From December 29 through to January 1, Red Frogs will be providing a chill out safe zone, an alcohol and drug-free zone for those wanting a break from the festivities — or to enjoy the pancake cook ups and some good banter.
There will also be roaming teams, in distinctive Red Frogs T-shirts, offering water, sunscreen, support if things are going awry and, of course, Red Frogs lollies.
Mr Thomson offered tips for anxious parents — from talking to their teens about their plans to refusing to buy them alcohol to making sure they have plenty of easy-to-prepare food with them.
For teenagers Mr Thomson had a couple of extra tips — respect your accommodation providers and follow their rules.
And be careful what you post on social media. Once a photo was out there, it was there forever, he said.