When I was a kid, I always stayed inside when it rained. I played outside in the sunshine, under clouds, and in the snow, but rainy days were never seen as an invitation to go outside.
When I got a job working at a camp, we took the kids hiking in all types of weather, including rain on cold days. Since we lived in Ohio, and the kids had come prepared to spend a couple of nights, everyone had rain coats or ponchos. Rain drops bounced off the top of my head and dripped off of leaves. Alongside the trail, a stream formed and raced down the hill. I was warm, comfortable, and surprised by how fun it was to hike in the rain. I don’t remember hearing the kids complain, either.
At another job, I heard the saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather.” We took kids outside all winter long, during the day when the sunlight glistened on the snowbanks and the deer stopped to stare at the two-legged hikers in the woods, and during the night, when we bundled up in even more layers of clothes and stayed close to the campfire.
Before that year, I had always resisted winter and instead dreamed of palm trees and an aquamarine ocean. That year, being outside everyday, I was part of the changes the earth was going through. Instead of resisting those changes, I adapted a little more everyday. As my connection with the season deepened, I understood that winter wasn’t “bad weather.” It was just a different type of weather.
Whatever the weather, I hope you’ll get your kids outside today! As long as they’re prepared to be in the sun or rain or snow, you can help them find enjoyment in being outside.
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