This week’s writing prompt from the Outdoor Blogger Network is on the theme of childhood and the outdoors, which is actually a theme that I have been thinking about for quite some time now.
“Something strange is going on with boys today. My memories of boyhood revolve around the great outdoors—running through fields with hockey stick guns, climbing trees, playing any and every sport, getting sunburns, heatstroke, ticks, sprained ankles and all the other bumps and bruises guaranteed to come to an active, rambunctious boy. Though today I live in a neighborhood filled with boys, rarely do I see them out and about; rarely do I see them engaging in the activities we’d expect of them. Something has changed. So many boys are inactive and unmotivated.”
Looking back, I am very thankful that I grew up in a way that exposed me to the greatness of the outdoors. Neither my Mom, nor my Dad, are what you would call “outdoorsy”, but they always encouraged me to follow my passions, and for whatever reason my passion grew more and more towards the outdoors. My grandpa was surely a big influence in my love for the outdoors. We would often go to “the country” where my grandpa and grandma had a single-wide trailer and a few acres, surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods to explore. We would catch crawdads in the creek, swim in the river, shoot countless cans with our BB guns, fish in the farm ponds, and squirrel hunt the great oak ridges. To this day, there is no one that I enjoy spending time outdoors with more than my grandpa.
Now that I have a daughter, I can’t help but be excited about sharing my love for the great outdoors with her. We started taking her hiking at just 6 months and she absolutely loved experiencing all that the outdoors have to offer. She is just two now and her love for the outdoors has only grown.