It’s Summer. Get Outside!

Summer is here and the fun of the great outdoors has been calling.  I was raised to be outdoors.  Growing up, my family spent a large amount of time on the water.  Fishing, tubing, water skiing and swimming were all summer hobbies I enjoyed.  Now that I’m a dad, I’m passing that fun along to my kids and in turn getting to be a kid again.


Brother and sister enjoying some lake time.

It’s funny how I feel like I’m repeating the script that I grew up with as a child.  My mom and dad always wanted to live on a lake, or river or at the beach.  We always had a place to go for fun on the water.  Dad bought a ski boat when I was 9 or 10 and we spent many summer weekends either skiing and tubing or fishing.  I loved all of it.

Now that I’m a dad, I’ve repeated this with my family.  Over two years ago, I purchased my first boat with the input of my family.  I bought a 20 foot center console with a deep-v hull and deck seating.  It’s the perfect multi-purpose boat.  While its primary use is for fishing throughout the year, during the summer it spends a lot of time pulling us on the tube or water skis.

After all of the fun we were having on the water with the kids, my wife and I decided to purchase a small weekender on Lake Murray in South Carolina.  The convenience of being able to pull up to your dock and have clean restrooms and a place to rest will hopefully add to our fun and experiences.  We don’t even have basic cable in it, so we’re in a place where we have to entertain each other in the evenings.  Keeping your kids entertained without the use of electronics can be difficult, but that’s another post for another day.

While I hope my kids grow up loving the lake and the outdoors, I don’t want to keep them from pursuing what they want to do.  As they grow up, they may not want to be at the lake or on the water and that’s fine.  They’ve got to determine what they want out of life and I can’t push what I want.  I was just very lucky that my parents got me on the water and I loved it.

No matter what, I’ll keep my kids outside as much as possible.  I grew up knowing a tin can could be a fun time.  Crush it down and you can play all sorts of games with it.  My friends and I would meet up outside and let our imaginations do the rest.  Who knows what would have happened if I grew up in the electronics age that kids enjoy now.  I had a Nintendo and played it pretty regularly, but I still spent most of my time outside and running around with friends.  From the time I woke up until dinner time, you could find me on a bike or in a friend’s back yard roaming and exploring the neighborhood.  We would do dumb stuff and hurt ourselves, but it was all a part of growing up.

We put limits on our kids’ electronics time and encourage them to get outside.  So far it has worked and they have found their own balance between outside exercise and relaxing inside while playing a game or watching television.  We’re grateful they enjoy getting outside and we try to model that behavior by being as active as possible with them.  So get your kids outside and in the dirt or on the water.  Once outside, they’ll figure out their path to fun.