Think kids should play outside more? Take the lead!

Winter Sports
Think kids should play outside more? Take the lead!

How many times have you said something like this:

“When I was a kid, my friends and I played outside all the time.”
“The problem with kids today is they spend too much time playing video games and not enough time outside.”

The world may be more “safety first” oriented today than it was ten to thirty years ago but this past weekend, I learned that kids still love to play outside–they just need their parents to take them there. Luckily for about twenty Girl Scouts from Millbury and Sutton Massachusetts that’s exactly what their dads and their scout leaders did for them at Camp Laurel in Spencer, Massachusetts.

For several happy hours the girls romped around in the “giant flip flops” my crew and I provided to give them their first snowshoe experiences. I was amazed by their energy and overjoyed by their enthusiasm. They didn’t complain about the cold and thought nothing of flopping around in the snow whenever they needed a break.

As much as the girls impressed me, I was even more impressed with their dads who took time from one of their precious days off from work to spend time with their daughters in the woods. I could tell that snowshoeing was probably not their first choice for the day’s activity, but they made it happen. It really got me thinking about how important it is for us grown-ups to take our children outside as opposed to the other way around. Kids have a natural curiosity about the world around them. It’s up to their parents and other family members to foster that curiosity and help it grow to a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors and the active lifestyle.

It was one of my most enjoyable clinics of the winter and I hope the story inspires you to get outside this weekend with your children, a family member’s children, or a neighbor’s children. It just might spark a passion that will last a lifetime.




Peter Casson

Peter has being working in the outdoors now for some 20 + years and spent most of his child hood Kayaking and Hill Walking in the Lake District, being from the UK he has his fair share of European adventures hanging in the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, Chamonix in France and the German Alps. He spent 14 years with the British Military mastering his crafts before heading to the USA to take on his next adventure. Peter is an American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 5 Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer Educator and an ACA Level 2 Stand up Paddle Instructor Trainer. He is often found playing and teaching white water or surf kayaking during the summer months, and as someone who is always looking for the next challenge he has taken up SUP Board surfing. During the winter months he loves nothing more that getting out on the ski slopes and introducing students to Telemark Skiing or taking them on an overnight trip in the White Mountains. Since becoming our School General manager he has even dusted off his old rock and ice gear and gone vertical something he enjoys in his spare time now. He lives in RI with hisyoung family (his latest students) and one day hopes they will follow his footsteps, well at least some of them.