If We Don’t Get Our Kids Back Outside, They Won”t Remember How to Get There

If you’re an adult past the age of thirty or so, then you have a broader concept of the passage of time and how it relates to the way we chose to entertain ourselves. For instance, when I was a teenager too young to drive, I would spend a portion of spring, my entire summer, and a portion of fall, fishing the rivers, streams, and canals within walking distance of my home.

There were always blue gills, catfish, and the occasional bass to be had, but my favorite and superior tasting was the chain pickerel. This little monster (which we referred to as a “pike”) had a nickname which pronounced him the wolf of the water. Besides hitting your bait like a ton of bricks, it had the most delicious white flesh of any fresh water fish I’ve eaten.

If I travel back to years previous to my fishing escapades, I could always be found outside playing in the freshly plowed and disked fields during the day, or chasing lightning bugs and playing hide-n-seek at night. As children, no matter what we did day or night, in the heat and humidity of a summer day, or a fresh blanket of snow in February, it was always centered around outdoor activities.

It seems that now and for some time, kids have chosen to move inside, forsaking the boundless freedom of nature for the small cubicles void of fresh air and sunshine, for the buttons, screens, and headsets needed to operate a new wave of entertainment, the video game.

What happened to the miniature earthen works and construction sites excavated by the powerful Tonka toys? What became of tree houses, forts, six guns, bows and arrows that merged with the imagination of young minds creating a plethora of unique games?

Never give up. Perhaps one day we’ll see little fellers dressed in cowboy garb keeping the prairies safe for everyone. Until then, drop your remote or game controller, step outside, and get some sun.

Talk about enough fodder for countless stories, I believe I’ve found the mother-load.

Have a great week . . .

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