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Kids just don't get outdoors much anymore

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I guess because I used to volunteer for youth most of my life I kind of take it for granted how much things have changed in my 57 years...Scouts, camping out in a pup tent in your friends back yard..riding your bike to go fishing...the excitement of fishing with your Dad or mom for that matter......kids don't get out...They play with electronic baby sitters. 

If things don't change, ....no one will care, so few will love the outdoors. Going to the lake won't be for the daylight sound of a lure plopping in the lake, or the mist rising off the cold waters of Taneycomo...or watching a kingfisher dive bomb a minnow while wading an ozark stream for smallmouth bass.

Then no one will care about the lake of the ozark effect.... So I challenge everyone to get off our butts and get kids fishing and hunting again. not everyone was lucky enough to have family that took them out, MDC has outreach people for that very thing. but they can't do it alone...

CHOP CHOP PEOPLE!

http://www.startribune.com/kids-just-don-t-get-out-doors-much-anymore/15496981/

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What a crappy written article that leaves so much out of the equation. One bad parent in the article says that their kid only wants to play on electronics so that must be the reason that the rest of the kids aren't outdoors. That's some grade school level journalism right there. There are many things affecting the youth getting into the outdoors and electronics is only a small part of it. And it's been a small part of it for a long, long time. But there are many other factors.

1. Careers - In today's world you aren't successful if you don't have a big fancy career. I see a lot of people putting their kids on the back burner because they feel the need to work their butts off to make someone else rich. Because if they can get a big title then they are a succes. I don't see these people taking their kids anywhere a kid would want to go on the weekend. I don't see them at their kid's school events. I don't see them giving a crap. I have a nephew that falls into this. He would absolutely love to go fishing and hunting all the time. But parents have no interest in it. When the weekend rolls around the kid gets to spend all his weekends at the lake, LOZ to be exact. But they don't take some time to show him how to fish, they spend it showing him how good they are at emptying cans. Sad. 

2. Sports and other school activities - In our society where my kid must be better than your kid we have overdone sports. What used to be a seasonal thing is a year round commitment. I know 3 upcoming high school seniors that would love to go fishing. All 3 are starters on the basketball team. All 3 are starters on the football team. These have turned into year round commitments. Last Friday night one was playing basketball in Oklahoma, one was traveling to a basketball tournament in Memphis, one was sitting with me at a cheerleader competition asking when we were going floating. Good question I told him. I'm more likely to see him playing QB before I see him in a canoe. When my oldest daughter was playing volleyball in high school it was year round. Play your season in the fall, club ball picked up after that, school ball started again after that. After her junior year she told us she didn't want to play club. She was just tired of playing. She had been playing practically nonstop since 7th grade. Her coach and I had a very heated discussion about how we were failing as parents by not forcing her to play club. But I stuck by my kid and her senior year she had an outstanding year with multiple scholarship offers (which she politely declined). We have them too involved to do anything else.

3. Locations - So let's say that we have a kid that does want to get involved, does want to fish, where do you suppose he or she goes? Back when I was a kid we would get on our bikes and go find a spot. Where are these spots now? There is a lot of fishable water in Springfield that the city has closed off to fishing. These are public parks with great water on them where it's just not allowed. And if they are lucky enough to live close to any private waters then they are just going to get run off and called troubled youth that have no supervision. Let's go back to those 3 seniors again. A few weeks ago 2 of them went to a creek close to one's house to fish. The little dirt spot for parking was muddy so they parked along the road. They weren't in anyone's way. But before they could get to the water the Park Ranger had already showed up and soon after a sheriff's deputy. They didn't get to fish but they did get to have their car searched. All because they were black teens with fishing rods.

 

The problem isn't the kids. They are only doing what they are allowed to do. The problem is old people that just like to sit around and female doggy about them while taking opportunities away and offering nothing in return. 

 

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I agree with everything Flysmallie said.  Electronics is a part of it, but it's more of a symptom than the problem.  The electronics is a convenient baby sitter for parents who have no interest in having their kids go outdoors, let alone actually taking them outdoors.  And another big part of this is that kids simply aren't allowed to do stuff outside on their own, due to paranoia about pedophiles.  When I was a kid, I rode my bike to the river by myself all the time, or had my parents drive me and drop me off.  Now I can't imagine kids the age I was then doing that.  I float through a stretch of the same river that has a lot of houses very close to the river, and have yet to see kids from those houses playing around the water.

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There are just too many options.  50 , even 30 years ago, you didn't have the "internet".  You didn't have a tv in every room.  You didn't have cell phones for everyone in your household.  Cable tv had far less than the 99 available options the box was capable of.  Sports were not as available then as they are now.  

 

Why is it that we don't think it's acceptable for a young child to be out on his/her own? Al mentioned being a kid and going to the river alone.   I believe it's the media's fault to start.   How many more children are taken nowadays vs 50 years ago?  1 is too many, but how badly are we hurting the children by restricting them?  When is it ok for them to spread their wings?  At that time, what are they prepared for?  How did they prepare?  Because of 'age' ?

 

Sorry for the rant.  I Grew up in South St Louis city, 4th of 5 kids.  We roamed that city safely for many years without being killed, abducted, shot, etc. It just bothers me when kids are not allowed to be kids.  

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It's up to the parents but remember they may not be into hunting or fishing.  However, you can still include them.  Mine don't fish even though I've spent hours trying to build it into them.  But they do like camping and kayaking....so that's what we do.  This summer my oldest has gotten into photography (no seriously) but she's been using my camera, asking questions and getting involved.  Here we are on the Buffalo River in June and near our house a day or 2 each week.  Take them outside and they'll find something they enjoy doing outdoors.  

 

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