Some of my fondest childhood memories didn’t involve movies or video games, they were much more fun and interesting than that. They were visits to the outdoors, mainly fishing and day-hiking. One summer was mostly spent doing one of these two things. We lived near a river and just on the edge of an forest preserve in southeast Missouri. Going fishing was just a matter of digging up some worms, grabbing a fishing pole and walking a few miles to the river. There was a nice hiking trail just behind the house that went on for several miles into the forest. I would often spend half the day just hiking through the woods seeing what little creatures I could find. Those were some good times.
These days, our enjoyment of nature is on the decline. More children are playing on their Xboxes instead of playing on swing sets or riding bicycles. Their idea of a nature hike is taking the shortest path possible through the neighborhood to a friend’s house. If we want to instill in our children a good sense of what nature is, then we need to take them to see it in person. Parks and zoos are nice but they are nothing compared to witnessing the wilderness up close.