As an 80s baby this was my weekend morning routine:
Mind you my week had me at school and the skating rink Mon-Friday, and if I got a weekend off where I had no tournaments, then this was my weekend:
Wake up really early and watch cartoons till 10am as that's when the humane society show came on and I begged my mom to sponsor a dog while Sarah McClaughlin solidfied your eventual cry fest, then after that was church shows and fishing. You think I wanted to watch that? Nope, so I either played some video games, and after I smashed my remote control down cause Bowzer was a dick, I then maybe watched one of the movies Ive watch 26 times before.. So if I lasted this long then I am full of energy, thats when my child hood day started:
Saturday and Sunday Ritual:
-Grab my bike
-Knock on every childhood friends house I knew
-Organize game of man hunt
-Climb every tree in neighbourhood
-Find buildings with those ladders on side of building that had the "climber stopper" gate on it (they thought this would stop me) and proceed to climb to top with my candy score from chore money and just hang out.
-Go home and eat, maybe try and beat bowzer again (this was chill time)
-Back out for another round of tag or man hunt (whats man hunt? Basically fort knight but in real life) this game was great in both day and evening time.
As you can see I did not have youtube, netflix, road blocks, fort knight, or other systems that are designed to keep you engaged for long periods of time. I had a window that I hd to utilize to the best of my ability, my parents did not force me out, have to limit my technology, they just let me go out, granted I struggled in certain areas, but what I could do is rally my friends and motivate them to play a game. Right now my son has zero interests in going outside and playing, despite me asking him to go out, its like pulling teeth and so what ends up happening is I go out anyways and he just sits and stairs at the wall for a few hrs till we eventually cave (yes we do cave, and yes there has been days where the kid played video games all freaking day).
My boy is a smart, strong and fast kid but he lacks drive, he lacks initiative and forward thinking, and he is not ALONE. I see thousands of kids a year and majority of them suffer from the same issues. When we have our camps and we have free time, its the kids time to be creative, ask friends to play a game, do a challenge, just something where an adult didn't have to tell them to do something.. You know, be a kid. But we hear constantly "What should I do?" or "Im bored".. You are at a 6,000sqf warehouse of awesome and you don't know what to do? That's a problem, but a problem we hope will fix a bigger problem.
Our kids have received a failing grade in being kids, and we aim to stop that, what we have decided in our split house hold (at least in our side) is that when its a gorgeous day out we will have a black out time of electronics between 11-6pm, when its rainy and forced in, we will ply a few games together and try and spend as much time as possible with one another but also allow some free time. I feel this is something that we have to force, we have to force the kids outside, our grandparents did it, kicked us out and refused to play with us as they were busy doing house chores (not refuse, when I sked to help make grandmas favourite cookies), and those weekends away at grandmas were always the best as I was allowed to be a kid. Am I saying those weekends built OCRA? No, but it provided me the insight to speak to you today about something I feel is very important. We have made some serious advancements when it comes to technology and I am forever grateful for that, but everything in moderation. I see families coming to OCRA every weekend, we are part of their routine, and with my long term goal to be like COsmic Adventure, or Laser Quest (activities I did when I was kid) I feel this is why I am here today. This is my purpose.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team