I was looking on Facebook at the You Know You Grew Up in Craig page the other day. I noticed a kid had asked what people who grew up in Craig did as a teenager for fun. He said the kids nowadays hang out at Murdoch’s, but they were getting bored with it. I read this post and the 86 responses at a family dinner. We laughed and talked about the things we used to do. It’s funny how different generations did things differently.
I asked my father-in-law what he did on Friday and Saturday nights for fun. He laughed and said “I grew up in Maybell and we went to bed. By ourselves.” I laughed.
A square dancing club in Maybell took place every two weeks. The whole family went to these functions. That’s how you did things back then. Families would do things together, not just the kids running off by themselves. There were the dances in Brown’s Park too. Families would go and kids would sleep on the floor if they got tired while parents and couples danced into the night.
There were many things to do like running trap lines, ice skating and camping. My father-in-law said there weren’t bon fires when he was a kid, but there were campfires. They would actually camp and roast marsh mallows. They swam in the river all the time. They tried to do things that didn’t cost a lot of money.
He said there wasn’t time to get into too much trouble. They worked a lot. They worked on their ranches. They went around helping neighbors hay, brand and whatever else they needed for help — for free. They took some tractors and cut wood for families — for free. They did it as a service. They might have gotten a few bucks here and there as a tip, but mostly they just did things because that’s how they were raised — to help your community.
Then I thought about my kids and the kid that asked for direction on what to do. I am around these kids in our community a lot with my daughter. We have a lot of great kids who do want something fun to do on the weekends. Fun is what you make it. I imagined all the good that could come to our community if these kids planned activities to give back to our community.
Instead of running out and drinking at a bonfire, how about getting a permit to cut wood for your elderly neighbors that burn wood in the winter? How about helping the senior apartments plant their garden over by Sunset Elementary? How about getting a group together and dancing weekly without waiting for adults to plan it for you?
What if they tried to do this? How would our community react? I would hope this would motivate the community in general to make a positive change. I hear about how parents complain there is nothing for their kids to do. Well, don’t complain. Go out and do things together. Help a neighbor with yard projects. Go listen to stories of an elderly neighbor. Learn a new “old fashioned” skill like canning or baking.
I challenge our youth to find fun and positive things to do while making a difference in our community. I would love to hear about what you find to do. Please message me on Facebook and let me know what you have come up with. I would love to share it with our readers.