Some say mine is the last generation to know what it means to engage in unstructured outdoor play. Though I grew up in the city, I enjoyed plenty of endless summer days on my cousins’ farm in Missouri. My favorite childhood memories include building hay forts in their barn, riding dirt bikes on back roads, and jumping off the dock into the muddy pond. Limited adult supervision and vast woods to be explored assured that the words “I’m bored” never crossed our minds.
Nighttime brought new adventure. We often camped outside with nothing but our sleeping bags and a million stars hanging over us. The darkness of the open Missouri sky may as well have been a whole different world—this Southern California girl had never seen such a spectacular display. I took it all in as my cousins pointed out various constellations and planets, even satellites. (more…)