Here we stand, entering into a post-pandemic summer break season and kids everywhere are already complaining that they have nothing to do. Personally, I have a fourteen year old nephew sitting on the beach in Clearwater, Florida right now texting me that he's super bored and wants to come home. It's amazing how modern entertainment has spoiled every childs mind. Honestly, you can play video games with your friends 24/7/365, have access to every piece of information in the world at their fingertips, movies and shows on demand anytime they feel like watching something and yet they're all bored. If there was ever a time to start a mass migration of kids back to outside fun and games, it's now.

I mentioned to my nephew that the boardwalk in Clearwater rents fishing gear, guess what he's doing now? He doesn't even like fishing, or at least won't ever admit it, but in a pinch it'll apparently do. Gone are the days of the bicycle in most communities. That doesn't mean kids don't ride them, it's just, well, I wouldn't want my nephews playing on my street. Too many impatient fast driving b-holes in my neighborhood... but there's enough backyard that a little motorcycle would probably go a long ways if not the many trail systems around within a reasonable driving distance.

"But that costs money!"

Yeah, welcome to everyday where everything literally costs money. That being said, with a small investment to get you started, the upkeep on outdoor fun is relatively low. That's why things like motorcycles, four wheelers, skate boards, and activities like fishing are so popular in the poorest rural communities across the state. You pay up front, but then it's a gallon of gas here and there or a box of worms for years to come. Sure, there's a lot of free outdoor stuff to do too with the mountains and various city parks... but lets be honest with each other... it takes a pretty hardcore will to hike the same trails more than a few weekends each year. Those who love it enjoy it, but most kids and people think once or twice is enough... been there, seen it, got the t-shirt. That's not a dig to anyone who enjoys it, it's just that not everyone shares that kind of passion.

Kids used to complain about being outside all the time, constantly begging to come in and play video games... after a year of "stay inside" they're now complaining about it, it's the perfect excuse to get them outside... you just have to put your own parent/aunt/uncle/grandparent effort into it too. We can do this. We can release kids back into the wild. Time to take advantage and not waste this golden opportunity.

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