So just how are your kids spending the summer. Are they sitting in front of the TV, playing games or texting friends?
Or are they outdoors, playing sports or taking part in library enrichment programs?
If your answer is the latter, then that's great. If it's the former well let's talk about it.
Summer is the time when kids really form healthy habits that carry through not just through the rest of the year but for the rest of their lives. After all, if summer is judged by how many hours a kid spends in front of the television or sending text messages, how can you say he or she truly enjoyed the summer.
A productive and enjoyable summer is one that is life-changing. It's one that a child enters then emerges as a young man or young woman. It's one that your son or daughter can talk about years to come and fondly recall when Mom and Dad took the family to the lake, to Grandma or Grandpa's or on that vacation across the country,
A memorable summer doesn't have to be expensive, either. It could be something as simple as an extended weekend campout or visiting relatives. Maybe you have friends, neighbors or relatives that could use a little extra help on the farm or around the house. Could that possibly be an opportunity for your child to earn a little extra money and have that life-changing experience and feel that it was a productive summer as well?
So get outside and enjoy the summer before it's over. Hike, swim, canoe or take that trip you've been wanting to for a long time. After all, a summer vacation isn't a cost. It's an investment in memories that your family can bond over for years to come.
Speaking of trails
If you haven't been out to Fort Defiance State Park lately, you need to go there. Students in the Iowa Lakes Community College environmental studies program and the Friends of Fort Defiance have done an enormous amount of work on the White Tail Ridge Interpretive trail that starts at the west parking lot and circles the ridge toward the former ranger's house. Wood chips have been placed over most the trail, making it very hiker friendly. If you go there toward sunset, chances are better than not that you'll see at least one deer - hence the name.
Other trail improvements include the Spring Creek trail that starts at the native prairie area and the prairie trail.
If you haven't been camping out at Fort Defiance lately, then maybe you haven't seen the campground upgrades. The electrical system has been upgraded to handle larger RV units and new firepits are ready for that cozy night under the stars.
So check out the park improvements at Fort Defiance - as well as Emmet County parks.