"I sometimes get a bit freaked out when it's stormy weather, but I wouldn't say I get scared."
One kid from England is doing something unique to raise money in memory of the people he loves. Max Woosey from Devon spent 200 nights sleeping in a tent to honor his late neighbor, Rick. Before passing away due to cancer at the age of 74, the pensioner gifted his tent to the 10-year-old. Rick asked him to promise that he would have an "adventure" with it, according to People.
Well, Max proved he is a man of his words. The young boy was inspired to give up the comfort of his bedroom for the tent. However, it became much more than just keeping a promise after he realized the coronavirus pandemic halted the funds for the North Devon Hospice. It was the hospice that looked after Rick and his wife Sue, who passed away in 2017.
With the determination to do something about it, the little boy started camping in his backyard on 29 March, 2020. The best part about the whole thing is that Max has managed to raise more than $90,000 so far, according to his JustGiving page.
"I sometimes get a bit freaked out when it's stormy weather, but I wouldn't say I get scared," said the boy to BBC. Though the unpredictability of the British weather often pushes him to switch Rick's tent with something sturdier, Max does not want to give up the plan any soon. Apart from doing it for the good cause, Max has another personal perk. With no one to supervise his bedtime, the young boy can read his favorite Beano comic "for as long" as he wants.
Speaking of Max's sleeping arrangement, his mother Rachael Woosey stated, "I absolutely hated it at first as you're just used to having them close by and checking on them. So I found that really strange." She said no to Max when he first introduced the idea to her. However, when the school shut down due to the pandemic, Rachael saw no reason to stop him.
"He wasn't going to school, so we didn't see any reason why we could say no," said the mother.
But she added it was worrisome to see him sleeping outside during storms. "We had a couple of big storms where I don't think I slept at all because I was too busy checking on the tent, but I'm used to it now. I've gone through my churlish stage of threatening to burn the tent so that he'd have to come in!" said the mother, according to People.
Despite the challenges, Max is keen on hitting the 365 days mark. His family is supportive of his goal despite the climatic issues.
"We've now decided that we're going to embrace it. It's kind of 'Okay, you can do a year! The main problem is going to say goodnight to him, as you have to put on a coat and shoes and go out in the rain rather than pop upstairs!" said his loving mother.
On the other hand, she added, "I'm sure he's reading much later than he's telling us, but we're still at the stage where we think, 'Well, if he's reading, then fine!'"
Meanwhile, with the winters around the corner, the family is planning to upgrade the camping equipment to make sure their boy sleeps safely in the sub-zero temperatures.
"He can cope with most things," says Rachael. "The only thing he doesn't like is lightning. But to be fair to him, he didn't come in when we had a storm. He saw the lightning and he said, 'I counted to four and then there was thunder, so I knew it was quite far away and I wasn't going to die!'"
Recalling that night, she said, "I was sat up in bed Googling whether he should be sleeping in a tent with lightning around, thinking, 'I am such an irresponsible mother!'" she recalls. "But he did it and he didn't come in, so hats off to him because I would have been inside like a shot!"