The Barclay Family Ski Vacation

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#99: “The Barclay Family Ski Vacation”
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Luke 1:17

17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

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The Barclay Family Ski Vacation

“The Barclay Family Ski Vacation” is episode #99 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Jeff Parker, and originally aired on December 30, 1989.


The Barclays go skiing, Donna Barclay develops a crush on her instructor, and George comes to grips with his daughter growing up.



It's finally time for the Barclays to take their long-anticipated ski trip! Everyone is excited about it - except, oddly enough, Donna, who desperately wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, last summer. But despite her complaints, the Barclays head for the mountains and the slopes.

Once there, George Barclay immediately signs the kids up for ski school.

The next day, the family has a wonderful time shushing, snow-plowing, paralleling, and traversing. Even Donna. In fact, especially Donna. She seems unusually happy, and George and Mary soon discover why: a good-looking, young ski instructor named Robb. Donna has a crush on him, and George is beside himself about it.

That night, he tells Mary that he's concerned about their daughter. Mary tries to downplay the whole situation, but George goes off the deep end and tries to come up with ways to prevent Donna from seeing Robb again.

Finally, George settles on a brilliant and cunning plan: Tomorrow, he'll take Donna out for a little "father/daughter" day. She'll be so wrapped up in having fun with her old man, she'll forget all about Robb. But Donna refuses to go with her dad. She wants to go to her ski class. George decides against making her go on their date and returns to bed, disappointed.

George isn't the only disappointed one, though. The next day, Donna discovers that Robb has a girlfriend! Donna skis back to the Barclay cabin, where she finds her dad brooding. They brood together, and after George comforts Donna, he realizes that his little girl is finally growing up.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think it’s so hard for parents to see their kids get older?
  2. Do you think Donna was foolish to have such a big crush on Robb?
    • Why or why not?
  3. How else do parent-child relationships change when the child becomes a teenager?



VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] In the broadcast version of this episode, Chris is going skiing and is whisked away by the ski lift. Upon arriving at the top of lift, she finds that Randall, her mailman, is her ski-partner. He accidentally pushes her down the slope. At the end of the episode, while she is off the slope due to her ski accident, she and Randall read some letters that include suggestions for the program. One suggests that a whole bunch of the old characters get together for an episode and remember their adventures while another suggests that Focus sends out a schedule of the programs every couple of months. The final letter is from a certain Genie Rathbone about children in Indonesia. It's possibly that Genie's last name was the source of the famous AIO family.




Donna Barclay: How much longer till we get there?
George Barclay: Bout an hour kids.
Jimmy Barclay: Dad, you said that an hour ago.
George Barclay: Yes, and it's just as true now as it was when I first said it.

Donna Barclay: Dad, you're lost aren't you?
George Barclay: Lost? Me? George Rand McNally Barclay lost? Honey, hand me the map.

Traci Needlemeyer: Whooa! Puppy love alert! Puppy love alert! [...] You're acting all silly and dazed [...] loony, wacky, giggly and goofy. And what were those other dwarves' names?
Donna Barclay: He's sooo nice. He helped me up that time I fell down. Then he helped me up again, the other time I fell down.
Traci Needlemeyer: In some countries you'd be married.

Donna Barclay: Let's go skiing next summer!
George Barclay: It doesn't work that way, Honey.

George Barclay: Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute! There's that book that I bought a while back that I've been wanting to read.
Jimmy Barclay: The one you brought last vacation and never read?
George Barclay: Uh, right, son. That one.

George Barclay: Oh, it's not that cold.
Jimmy Barclay: Dad, when you opened the door, three penguins waddled out!

Mary Barclay: He's kinda good looking! And look how Donna's watching him!
George Barclay: What are you getting at, Mary?
Mary Barclay: Ohhh, I wonder if maybe our daughter has a little-
George Barclay: Wa-wa-wait, Mary! If you're thinking what I thinking you're thinking, don't even think it!
Mary Barclay: Well, I mean, she wasn't enjoying this trip and now she is!
George Barclay: Let's not talk about it! I mean, she's only 12 and-
Mary Barclay: Oh, look at her smile! George, I think our daughter is developing a crush!

Jimmy Barclay: I can't wait for the day this family is old enough to go on a trip without all this bickering!
Donna Barclay: Amen!

Donna Barclay: Dad! I already know how to ski!
Jimmy Barclay: Hey — maybe this year you can learn to do it standing up...!

George Barclay: She's so sensible! Probably doesn't go much for older guys with shiny new sport scars that do 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. He's tall, good-looking, muscular and athletic. She's young, naive, impressionable, vulnerable. What could possibly come of it?
Donna Barclay: Hi, dad.
George Barclay: Donna, I forbid you to ever set foot out of this cabin ever again!