Review Crew: Growing Up Wild

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Want to know what it looks like to live as a missionary in a foreign country?  Want an up-close-and-personal view of life in the jungle among a native tribal people?  Then this series is for you!

Growing Up Wild is a DVD series produced by a missionary family in the jungles of Indonesia.  The show follows 4 brothers as they grow up among and minister to a remote tribe in Indonesia.  Each episode gives a glimpse of life as a missionary and how God is working in other parts of the world.

What does it include?
The series contains 5 DVD’s.
Volume 1:  Home Sweet Hut, Supply Trip, Sun and Water
Volume 2:  Rainy Day, New Discoveries, Hiking Adventure
Volume 3:  The Good Earth, Near and Far, Dr. in the Hut
Volume 4:  Amazing World Around Us, Adventures in Culture, Tribal Calling
Volume 5:  Discovering Language, The Feast, Misconceptions in Missions

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We received Volumes 1 and 4 for this review.

Each volume contains 3 sections that are about 15 to 20 minutes each.  At the end of each section, a list of activities and Scriptures to reinforce the lesson are listed.  The DVD’s are meant to compliment a Bible curricula or be used in a church or Sunday school setting.  Growing Up Wild is geared for children ages 5-12.

The DVD’s retail for $18.99 each and the entire set can be purchased for $80.99.

Sample videos can be watched on the Wild Brothers website.

How did we use this series?
As soon as we got these DVD’s the kids took them from me and were ready to begin.  Who doesn’t love a movie?  We put in the first DVD and they were captivated.  Tiger loved the jungle huts and tribal people and Curly was fascinated by the different living styles.

After each episode, we chose one or more of the activities to enhance our learning.  Sometimes we even made up our own activities after watching the show.  We learned about solar panels, discussed gravity and explored how gravity can be used to get water down to the Wild boys’ house, and we saw what types of supplies the Wild family needed for several months of jungle living-that made our pantry look bare in comparison!

 Tiger wanted to play with bows and arrows like the the Wild brothers so he designed his own with a hanger and some stretchy head bands.  
 Tiger was also inspired by the Wild boys’ many pets and he carried around his “pet” snake for a week.
 The kids also designed their own jungle huts with toothpicks and marshmallows.  
 Tiger’s hut was a bit more abstract….
Maybe we have a future missionary pilot at our house!

What didn’t we like?
The videos are shot in the jungle among tribal people.  The tribal people are shown in traditional costumes which don’t always include much clothing.  Many of the children do not wear clothes.  While not much is shown, the lack of clothing could be an issue for some.

On Volume 4, in the Adventures in Culture, the Wild boys are shown getting their noses pierced by a tribal man.  The man sharpens wooden stakes and drives them through the boys’ noses.  This would have been too much for the sensitivity level of my kids so I previewed this section and chose to skip it with them.  So, I recommend previewing this one section and determining if it’s appropriate for your children.

What did we like?
The kids loved seeing the up close look at the missionary’s home and lifestyle.  The DVD’s had beautiful footage of the jungles in Indonesia as well as the native people and their homes.  Not only did the kids feel connected to a missionary family, we learned about another country and the cultural traditions.

The DVD’s were a great jumping-off point for geography and cultural studies as well as our Bible studies.  After watching the Wild family minister, the kids were excited to pray for their family and for other missionaries.

The DVD’s show the behind-the-scenes workings of life as a missionary from what type of house they live in, what type of support they receive, and how they get supplies to their location.  In addition, each episode focuses on the Wild brothers and gives the viewer a detailed look at what it would be like to grow up as a child of a missionary in a foreign country.  The kids were fascinated with where the Wild boys slept, what they ate, what they played with, and what types of pets they owned. 

What did we think overall?
These DVD’s were a wonderful addition to our Bible studies and to Curly’s AWANA studies.  The kids were amazed to see how missionaries in another country lived and ministered to the people.  Watching the DVD’s went so far beyond reading stories of missionaries; they could connect to a missionary family currently ministering in another country.

The kids have watched the DVD’s repeatedly and still ask for more.  I think we’ll have to order the other two DVD’s to complete our collection.  

What did other Crew members think?  See the reviews on the Crew blog!

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Disclaimer:  I received these DVD’s at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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