Today at noon, the final bell rings at school and we are on to summer! THANK GOD. The constant stream of soccer tournaments, dance rehearsals, book reports, and end-of-year celebrations– combined with a serious case of spring fever– has everyone in our house more than ready for the summer break ahead.
As much as I long for the unstructured days of summer ahead, I know that my two preteens won’t be content spending the entire summer hanging around with mom. They want to be with their friends. They want adventure. They want fun. Plus, I have to work. So, as they count down the last minutes of the school year, I’m sending in camp paperwork, slotting in visits with the grandparents, and carving out our family vacation time.
One event at the top of our list this summer is the highly anticipated Kids Adventure Games, which is returning to Stowe July 11, 2015. The boys participated in the Games last year and absolutely loved it. As a parent, I was blown away by the positive messaging surrounding the event. The race is all about teamwork, problem solving, sportsmanship, and pushing your limits in a competitive, but fun, environment. Last year’s course had the boys navigating the extensive trails system at Trapp Family Lodge by foot and bike, diving down a giant slip-n’-slide, rock climbing, and dashing across a floating bridge. They had to read the map together, help each other through challenging obstacles, and work as a team to get to the finish line. Which they did…covered with mud and smiling ear-to-ear.
From their perspective, the games are just plain awesome. There is an energy surrounding the race that is unique and exciting, and the kids just soaked it in…talking smack in their helmets and harnesses at the starting line, and reliving highlights over a chocolate milk post-race with their friends. The race itself is just the right mix of challenging and achievable, allowing the kids to have fun without getting discouraged, while simultaniously asking them to try new things and push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
This year, with one adventure race now under their belts, the boys are taking the whole thing a bit more seriously. They want to train for the race with hikes, mountain biking at Trapp’s, and trail runs…fine by me! They might also do the Skills Clinics the day before the race, which includes some technical tips and an “Adventure Racing 101” overview. I’m sure they have their eye on the podium, but anything that gets them out having fun in the woods this summer is already a winner in my book. Hope to see you there!