The best teamworks takes place off the court

June 20, 2013|Lisa Prejean

There’s a scene in “The Sound of Music” that came to mind last weekend.

The scene captures the children’s personalities as Maria meets them for the first time.  

The Captain has the children line up and step forward as he makes each one’s sound on his whistle. They state their names, ages and tell Maria a little bit about themselves.

Louisa, the 13-year-old, tries to pass for Brigitta, one of the younger girls. She wants to see if Maria was paying attention when they were first introduced. Just how sharp is this governess, anyway?

My daughter, who is 14, has been studying the part of Louisa because she will be portraying her in a “Sound of Music” production at school in November.


She is very happy to have this part, especially because one of the brothers mentions her ability to climb a tree while holding a jar of spiders in her hand.

At first, she thought she would actually get to climb a tree. Then I explained to her that Louisa is off-stage when her brother is talking about her athletic prowess. She will not get to climb to the balcony and torment a governess by releasing the spiders. 

She was a little disappointed about not being able to climb the tree, but was still convinced that Louisa is the perfect part for her. 

Liesl, the 16-year-old, defiantly proclaims that she does not need a governess. She can take care of herself.

Both girls initially try to put Maria to the test. After all, they’ve been able to scare off every other governess. Why should Maria be any different?

Will she be able to respond correctly? Or, will she react and lose control ... both of herself and the children?

Oh, it is so tempting to react, and not respond, to a teenager’s test.

Last weekend I was at a sports camp with 26 teenage girls. It was a wonderful experience to be surrounded by so many talented athletes.

However, there were times when they tried to test their female chaperones.

Who would have thought we would be hesitant to grant their wish to walk for ice cream across an unfamiliar college campus at 10 on a Friday night? Without talking to the camp director, I was not going to attempt that trek. However, I did tell the girls that I would see if we could go after the camp sessions the next day.

The plan we were given was to walk for ice cream after the day’s last workout, which would end around 8:30. We informed the girls of the plan but still they wanted to change it. Could they shower or at least change first? No, that wouldn’t give us enough time to walk across campus before the ice cream shop closed. 

The older teen girls kept giving “suggestions” on how things could be done better. (Why do we have to go everywhere as a team, for instance? Do the chaperones think we need help crossing the street?)

They rather missed the point and didn’t understand that their parents were counting on us to keep track of them. 

Perhaps they thought that just as Liesl didn’t need a governess, they didn’t need counselors.

Hmm ... guess that’s why by the end of the weekend they were coming to us for supplies, information and directions.

Our responses had slowly won them over. Hopefully, we taught them a little about teamwork.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail’s Family page. Send email to her at

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