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Thursday, April 06, 2006 

Get out while there is still time.

When I was a kid.
Lots of my stories begin like this. There is a good reason. My childhood was wonderful. I lived on a farm and was allowed to roam, and roam I did. I roamed the woods and creeks for miles surrounding my house. I did lots of dangerous things that, things that I would have a fit if I caught my kids doing. I ran everywhere I went and spent a great deal of time in trees. I camped outdoors sometimes weeks at a time. I fished and hunted at will. I spent the night out alone in a tent for the first time when I was 7 and never turned back.

As many of you know I am the Cub Scout leader with the local pack. And let me tell you about these kids. I honestly saw one get winded walking up a flight of stairs. I asked his folks about the kid wondering if he was asthmatic. There reply was, “no he doesn’t like to exercise much, he just likes to play his X box”. EGAD.

I started studying this; I started asking the kids what they did for fun trying to see how many of them play outdoors. Other than my kids two other kids out of 25 played outside on a regular basis. One parent said the other day we all went outdoors in the back yard and stayed for almost an hour. The kids loved it. EGAD

I had the kids out to Snagley Acres the other day. My kids started climbing trees and several of the kids said they were not allowed to climb trees. EGAD. These were not big trees.

One of these kids asked what the bug was that landed on his leg while we were sitting in a circle talking about chickens. I said a grasshopper. He said oh yeah he had read about those things. EGAD

I pulled out the bow and arrows for the kids to try and one of the kids said that his family does not believe in weapons so could he be excused. EGAD. I said sure.
Folks for the record they were target arrows shot from age appropriate bows. The target looks like a big box.

Please take your kids out in the woods, try to get out far enough so that they cannot hear cars. Sit with them and be quiet and listen to the wind in the trees. Spend 25 dollars on a tent and spend the night at a state park. Go on a hike somewhere so far out that you wont see any other people for the day. Leave your mobile phone at home. Go into the country so that you cant see the lights from the city, and on a clear night with no moon, look at the stars and show them the big and little dipper. Then tell the kids that you love them.

Get out while there is still time.