Next week marks the annual hiatus from school that kids of all ages look for once the Christmas holidays are over. Spring break is here! During this week off from the rigorous demands of reading, writing, and arithmetic, you can rest assured that a cry will rise up from the masses that there is nothing “fun” to do. Video games have long been mastered and challenges are getting more difficult to come by every day, give your student a first hand look at some real life they may have never seen before and take them out on Sabine lake.

It is astounding that so many kids have so little idea about things that pertain to the outdoors. On a guide trip last year a client had brought his college age son along, during the day we encountered some rosette spoonbills feeding in the shallows near the mouth of a bayou. “Man would you look at those pink flamingos?” the young man exclaimed. “I had no idea that there were really birds that looked like that.” After a brief lesson on the actual name of the birds and the places that they inhabit I could tell that the young man was becoming more interested in the trip as well as the surroundings. After a day on the water this young man had a better perspective on a whole new world that he never knew existed until he witnessed it himself. When things like this happen and I am fortunate enough to see how people are affected by the outdoors it gives me a good feeling that little else can compare with.

I know as I watch my son when we venture out on the water that he is being affected in a positive way. By introducing him to things in nature he learns valuable lessons and experiences things that hopefully will affect him in a way that will help him later on in life. By introducing a youngster to the outdoors you may be opening up a whole new area of interest that your child will never outgrow.

Now you don’t need to have a boat or fancy gear to get a kid started or introduced to the outdoors, all you need is some time and a little bit of planning. There are plenty of places like piers, beaches, lakes, and rivers that offer outdoor opportunities. State parks are great places to start because they have helpful information as well as personnel to get you headed in the right direction. By placing a call to a particular park or outdoor venue you can get some idea of what each place has to offer as well as the best times to go there. By doing a little bit of homework you can plan your outdoor activity and maximize your fun, after all fun is what it is all about.

There are lots of local outdoor attractions here at home as well as all over the state, choosing the right one for you and your young one is just the first step on a long journey that will provide many pleasant memories in the years to come. The Blue Elbow Swamp, canoe trips on Village Creek, and just about any refuge along the gulf coast all offer some of the more interesting places to visit and things to do. A simple phone call to the state park headquarters or visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for all the information you need concerning each park and the activities offered.