Quite often at the moment I will be happily sitting in a relatively empty carriage on the the little train, when the train pulls into the station and lo I am surrounded by children and young people. The noise levels will rise dramatically as maybe twenty excited kids will occupy the carriage.
This is because many Czech children are sent on kids clubs by their parents. After the shock of their arrival, I spend the rest of my journey, or until the children disembark, observing the group, the behaviour and hierarchies. I have observed that girls are usually outnumbered in these clubs, as you can see in the photo above. There can be quite an age range in the group from quite young children to young teenagers, who often look rather embarrassed by being in the company of the little ones. There are often the cool ones (see the sunglass-wearing dude above), who ignore the others and keep to the hip set. The rest whoop and run around, flick bits of paper at each other and share sweets.
One thing that surprises me when I meet these groups, particularly ones which are obviously off to go camping in the Sumava, is the age and number of adults who are "in charge" of the groups. The leaders often seem to me hardly out of their teens, and there are far fewer than one would get in health and safety conscious Britain. But then Czech kids seem to have the sort of childhood that I remembered from my childhood, in which adults allowed us to take risks, and we ran relatively free in the countryside. Lucky them!