Are constantly hovering “helicopter” parents and the community and maybe even society as a whole determined to end the traditional, once-treasured childhood Halloween experience known as trick-or-treating, in favor of centralized, usually indoors events in controlled environments in which kids go home with candy and other treats?

    Are constantly hovering “helicopter” parents and the community and maybe even society as a whole determined to end the traditional, once-treasured childhood Halloween experience known as trick-or-treating, in favor of centralized, usually indoors events in controlled environments in which kids go home with candy and other treats?

    If that’s the case, that’s too bad.

    Who would have ever thought that trick-or-treating would be in precipitous decline, courtesy of the ever-increasing push to keep children constantly feeling safe, secure, supported and self-esteemed to the absolute maximum?

    If you listen to some Crookston residents in the wake of Halloween 2017, traditional trick-or-treating, at least when it comes to the number of kids they greeted at their front door, was down this Halloween, and has been on a slow, steady decline in years prior to this year. It’s probably a chicken-and-egg thing, but in a couple neighborhoods and in a couple other concentrated areas, there’s hardly a porch light on and there are hardly any costumed kids walking around with their friends, siblings or parents to be found.

    In other Crookston neighborhoods, where kids possibly think they’ll get the best candy, it’s still kind of a madhouse with kids in costume all over the place. But even that is stained with the tinge of “unfortunate development” that involves so many parents so willing to hop in the vehicle and drive their kids and their friends to the most popular trick-or-treating destinations in town.

    Those who grew up in generations past would never have dreamed of asking mom or dad to drive them around town and drop them off to get the best candy on this block and that block, this street and that street. Back then, you didn’t have to leave your neighborhood to come home with enough candy to feed a small army. You and your friends walked up and down street after street – not far from your homes – and by the end of the night you had an impressive take to compare with your siblings and buddies as you dumped everything out on the living room floor.

    This certainly isn’t meant to criticize anyone who’s organizing these fun, centralized indoor events for young trick-or-treaters, like the Treat Walk at RiverView, or the Kids’ Halloween Party at the Crookston Eagles. But if those types of events in Crookston and in other communities elsewhere eventually lead to the demise of actual trick-or-treating, that’s just sad.

    The same goes for various “trunk or treat” events. Parents cluster their cars in a centralized location, load up their trunks with treats, and costumed kids get candy from those trunks and only those trunks, in the back of vehicles owned by only people known and trusted by their parents.

    Sure, safety first, right? Who doesn’t want kids to be safe and secure?

    But, come on, this is Halloween. It’s trick-or-treating. We can’t control absolutely everything.