Thursday, July 5, 2012

Funnest Camp Ever

I can't say our day camp is the most organized institution on the coast.  But everyone who does it seems to think it's the most fun.  Today we hiked Ragged Mountain.  It wasn't a very challenging hike, and I'm pretty sure the purpose of it, other than finding salamanders, was to get us hot and sweaty enough to really appreciate the swimming in Lake Megunticook.

There are, apparently, hundreds of ways to jump off the end of a dock.  Hundreds.  These kids found them all.  There are flips and twists and slow and fast and in the style of someone's favorite video game character with which I am cheerful to say I am too old to be familiar.  There was a family of Canadian geese who came over to share our fun.  We shared out chips with them.  They were stale anyway.

I fear the child of the 21st century is too organized.  Too managed with tightly controlled activities.  Maybe the best thing we can do for these kids is to get them out where they can enjoy the sun and the water and the salamanders and the geese.  Then, we need to leave them alone.  They don't need us to identify every leaf or lecture them on ecology.  They need the freedom, and often the permission, to just enjoy themselves.

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