This week I have been a chaperone for the Sligo School 8th grade class trip. It has been a surprisingly easy trip. The students have all been very respectful and our lead teacher did an effective job with the organization. This is the last trip together as a class because the students will all be going to different schools. Some of them have stated that they will be sad about splitting up but that there is nothing they can do about it. Some haven’t really thought about it, while others are ok with it; and a couple are already feeling the pain of going to another school and not seeing each other daily. It is a time of goodbyes and farewells, but also a time of accepting the inevitable. So school is over, now what?
Summer begins and now parents look for what activities their children will be involved with to fill the long summer holidays. Some are taking family vacation, and others will be at home relaxing, playing video games or watching TV. In my five summers here, I have noticed the anxiety from parents about what do they do with their children now that school is over. How do they keep them busy, if they are not planning a family vacation or any activity because of having to work?
There are many activities that are available during the summer months, one of which is our Sligo Church Cave Quest VBS, July 10-15, 2016, where children 13 and over can volunteer to help. Also, there are summer camps at Camp Blue Ridge, where they can camp for a week and participate in a variety of wonderful activities, including spiritual exercises. There are also various summer basketball camps, soccer camps, etc. It only takes a quick search for Christian sports camps and you will find some good ones. There are various summer day camps at some churches as well, where children can be active all day long.
So, there are events and activities planned for our children during the summer holidays, but many times finances or other things get in the way, making it difficult for parents. I recall summers being a time when I spent hours outside and played with friends, rode my bike and got into mischief. Long gone are the days of playing outside and riding your bike. Such activities have been replaced by the game console and video games, played on the phone or on-line.
It is time for us parents to take to the outdoors and have our children get some sun, exploring nature and participating in physical activities. They might enjoy it! It is also a good time to have them get back to those home chores and non-technology skill building activities that will prepare them for life in the wider society. Technology is here to stay and it will advance whether we like it or not, but that does not mean that our children have to lose the basic skills of life in favor of technology. My mother taught me how to cook, wash my clothes, clean the house and care for my siblings since I was 7 years old. This in turn helped me in later life, and my wife and I passed what we learned on to our girls, who, I hope, will pass it on to their children. I leave you with this verse in Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” God bless and hope you have a great summer.