When All We Needed was a Used Soda Can…

When all we needed was a used soda can to make our day… yes, Kick the Can and Capture the Flag were our most cherished summer activities on the street where I grew up. We also loved swinging from a giant rope swing, staring at the clouds, searching for four-leaf clovers and riding our bikes as far as we could possibly go. This is what filled our days and I can’t imagine a better childhood summer.

Capture the Flag and Kick the Can were, I think the best introduction to democracy than any civic class could ever hope to offer. We learned how to resolve our own disputes, create rules, make judgments and build consensus. If we didn’t, then game-time was over and we all went home.

Nancy Blakely wrote an article in Mothering magazine a few years back entitled, “Boredom: the Cauldron of Creativity”. In this article, she champions all of the mothers and fathers who push their children out the door with, ” Find something to do!” What glorious words. Find something to do. Often walking aimlessly through the woods or by the brook, we discovered things about ourselves and nature. By being forced outdoors and on our own, we found ourselves. Even today, being outdoors often brings me to a different level of awareness not only of the natural world but for whatever is on my mind.

Connecticut has a major initiative called “No Child Left Inside” designed to encourage children to get outdoors and become stewards of conservation. It also is designed to encourage use of our state forests and parks. As part of that effort they have given the Oliver Wolcott Library a free State Parks and Forest Day Pass 2007 . You can reserve the pass through the Library one week in advance and it can be used for two days. The pass is good for free parking at Connecticut State Parks and Forests. Please check the No Child Left Inside website for a complete listing and for more ideas on great family adventures.

Staff picks

Connecticut Walk Book (East and West)

Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Directory

Or join in the fun for the Connecticut Trails Day 2007, June 2nd, Over 125 Statewide Events featured! Connecticut Forest and Parks Association— Pick up your brochure at the OWL.

-Ann Marie

Ann Marie is the Library Director of the OWL

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