DEAR HARRIETTE: I attend a camp that features a lot of young people of various ages. Recently, the directors of the camp have been integrating the age groups more. However, the maturity levels of the younger children are significantly lower than that of me and my peers. When the kids act up, we all end up getting punished, which isn't fair. I have tried to talk to the directors of the camp, but they aren't responding adequately. How can I bring it up again without sounding entitled? -- Tired of Kids, Cambridge, Massachusetts
DEAR TIRED OF KIDS: Do your best to schedule an appointment with the head of your camp. With a level head, explain what you think are legitimate concerns. Start out positive. Say how much you like the camp and appreciate the fact that they take in so many different students. Then point out that there have been some significant challenges in your group, which you believe stem from the wide variety of ages. Give specific examples of how you have noticed that the younger children have engaged in certain behaviors that have caused scolding from the counselors. Rather than dumping on the younger kids, point out that you and your peers don't have the skills to manage them. Point out that you also find it frustrating to be punished for behavior that you did not do.
Ask if you can be separated or at least managed by separate counselors so that the young ones are their responsibility rather than yours.