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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?

But, most parents have now adopted the electronic baby sitter concept. We plug our kids into cell phones and Gameboys and Wii’s to keep them pacified.

We cart them around so often the car manufacturers have had to install TV screens in the vehicles, simply to placate kids who refuse to be denied their unending barrage of electronic entertainment.

As much as I may hate to admit it, Mom was right, when she used to tell us to: “Turn off the TV and go outside to play. It’ll rot your mind!”

Usually this was reinforced with a warning to “Be home by dark or you won’t get any dinner!”

With a family of five kids and two parents, Mom’s good cooking never lasted very long. As a result, the dinner hour was promptly obeyed, since there was nothing to eat but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after the meat and potatoes were all gone.

It wasn’t a fear of the dark that drove any of us home, it was the fear of an empty stomach!

Recent research confirms that children who regularly spend time outdoors are happier, healthier and smarter. Grass stained clothes actually produce good grades, who would have guessed!

It has been proven that nature is important to childhood development in every major way: intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically.

Unfortunately, in recent years, lifestyle trends have changed dramatically, and the great outdoors is no longer considered to be so great. In fact, if the media is to be believed, it is downright dangerous to be out there.

Back in my days as a kid, the only handheld electronic entertainment was a transistor radio or a flashlight. Our black and white television usually featured only two channels unless you adjusted the rabbit ears just right, and wrapped them with a bit of tin foil.

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

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