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The Joys of an Adirondack Summer

Notes from the North Woods

Summer adventure:  Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Summer adventure: Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The media has seemingly convinced parents the child abductors are everywhere, and it appears cell phone companies have become the major beneficiaries of these scare tactics. Now, kids as young as 4 years old must carry the devices to provide parents with peace of mind. Of course, the phones also provide the benefits of electronic entertainment.

However, recent research reveals that it hasn’t been Chester the Molester that’s causing the most harm to our kids.

Rather, it is the pervasive over protectiveness of parents that refuse to allow their kids to roam from home. This generation may be the most connected generation in the history of the country, electronically! However, they are equally the most disconnected generation from nature, by far.

By 1990, a child’s roaming radius, the distance they are permitted to safely range from home alone, had shrunk to one-ninth of what it had been in 1970. A marked decrease in bicycle sales and use has been considered an unfortunate side effect of this diminished roaming radius, although researchers remain unsure which came first.

Hubert H. Humphrey, a US Senator once claimed, “There is in every American, I think, something of the old Daniel Boone -- who, when he could see the smoke from another chimney, felt himself too crowded and moved further out into the wilderness.”

Americans, as a nation, have long lusted to wander, to explore, to travel beyond the great beyond. I grew up during the era of space travel before the wild frontier of space was tamed. I remember watching on the television as we put a man on the moon.

Now, we’ve put rovers, and their cameras as far away as Mars, and yet our children still can’t walk down the street alone. Is it too much of an adventure?

I never thought I’d see the day when an electronic babysitter would care for children as George Jetson’s robot maid often did.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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