I’ve learned that most often, the experiences that leave a strong impression on my kids are the ones that have been deliberately planned. I feel like when I don’t make plans, my kids don’t really care too much about what we ended up doing. I can ask them what their favorite thing was that they did during the day and the typical response would be “I don’t know”. However, if I ask my son what was his favorite part of our recent rafting trip, he will be sure to regale me with stories of climbing on ‘Parrot Rock’, kayaking in the ducky, having water fights with grandpa, or the lizards that he chased. Adventures undoubtably leave a lasting impression on our children.
Now how do you make sure that at the end of the summer, you have some awesome adventures to show for all those months? Well, here are three tips that can make sure that this summer is full of greatness:
Dream. Let your mind wander. Think of all the fun and exciting places that you would like to go and things you want to do. Talk to other people about where they like to go and see if anything sparks your interest. Head over to an outdoor shop and talk to some experts. Browse a bookstore or library for things to do in your area.
This is probably the easiest step for us. Every winter as we are enveloped in cold, our thoughts start to drift towards summer and all the fabulous things that we will do when the weather warms. We typically come up with a list of about 15-20 things that we would like to do during the summer. Although it’s easy to get carried away with exotic or expensive trips, we try to keep things as local and simple as possible. (if you make everything a HUGE deal, it can make it very hard or daunting to get out often).
Make a list and keep it specific and direct.
Plan. Get it on the calendar and do it early. We usually have our summer planned by March. If we are inviting others, we let them know the plans and the dates early. We also try not to overplan and to be flexible. We try not to plan more than thee weekends a month as inevitably, things pop up. Staying home always gives us a little break from our packed summer, yet always leaves us wanting to go play the next weekend. There’s nothing like spending a whole weekend working in the yard to get you wanting to head out camping ASAP! Get your adventures on your calender and make them happen. This also means that you have to plan other things, such as lawn mowing, as well so that they don’t derail your plans!
Planning really is the key to our successful adventures. Little things come up all the time, but by scheduling things on our calender in advance, we ensure that the activities that we fill our time with are the things that we are excited to do rather than an afterthought. If something comes up, just choose which one you would rather do!
Do. Make it happen. Do your research early so that you can know what you are up against. Many activities require reservations, special permits, or even specific gear. Don’t wait until the last minute to research these details or your trip may not happen. As you research and prepare, enjoy the mounting anticipation for your upcoming adventure!
Remember these are the things that you are excited about. No one is making you go, but it is easy to let small things get in the way and not live your dreams.
Now it’s up to you to go and make it work. You probably already have things you’re dreaming of doing, so get them on your calendar and make them happen. Now get out and have some fun!