Just hours before the debut of “Kid Nation” on CBS — which will be must-see TV in my house, if my daughter has anything to say about it — I spoke with Laurel, one of the cast members, on my show.

I asked her about the controversy surrounding the show, which put 40 kids in a New Mexico town called Bonanza City to live without adults for 40 days. Laurel explained that, not only did she and the other kids enjoy the experience, she’d love to go back again. Sure, some kids had minor injuries, she says, but nothing worse than they’d get in everyday life.

I asked her what they ate, what jobs they had to do, whether she stays in touch with her co-stars, if she had anything to say about Michael (who will be one of the breakout stars of this show), and more.

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Here’s a terrific first-person piece by Tammie Womack, the mother of Kennedy, another kid on “Kid Nation”:

Sure, kids fell down and went boom. Yes, indeed, kids bickered. Fair enough, they dirtied their hands. All right, my youngun’ struggled to make ends meet on her Buffalo Nickel wages. But, haven’t we all? Didn’t our forefathers? Thus, I stand in judgment for hurling my youngster into the fire. If she got a cactus thorn in her behind, it’s my fault. Slap me on the wrist. But, I’d take that whack again in a heartbeat. The kids proved us grownups wrong. Turns out that they don’t need our mollycoddling. They can. They will.

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