Today I borrowed my Aunts minivan and packed my teens off to the river. I had my son, his girlfriend, her little brother, my sons best friend and his girlfriend. I also had my two dogs, a 1.5 year old German Shepherd and a 4 month old dachshund, as well as my son's Girlfriend's dog (a 1 yr old small poodle).
While at the river, they caught a crawdad, swam all day, shot my son's pellet gun at bottles, explored the river and played in the strong current. They created all kinds of entertainment together, played with the dogs, they learned about a lot of things, had conversations both funny and serious, ate sandy food and shared a water bottle. They laughed a LOT!
What they did not do--look at their phones all day, get on the internet or facebook, try to act cool for other kids, judge anyone, hang out eating bad food, or watching tv, or do any drugs of any kind.
This is why it is so important for us to UNPLUG and get outside. They created a whole day together, have a wonderful memory of time spent together, and they will someday share that with their own children.
Here is another blog post from Alison Portis. Children and Nature: raising a nature conscious child.