Make memories that last
August 03, 2017
Take the trip. Read the book. Stay for the final pitch.
It’s so easy to get to the end of a month and ask yourself how another 30 days flew by as you turn the calendar page. Take that moment to schedule time to make memories. Go ahead. Mark it right on your calendar. Here are some fun, simple ways to create memories that last this summer.
Go fishing. There’s nothing like the thrill of hooking a fish, reeling it in as it fights to break free and then posing with your catch. It’s a tradition for generations to pass down and a wonderful way to get youth interested in nature. Read some fishing advice on the next page from Denny Tison, member and employee of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.
Take a bike ride. Grab your helmet and hit the road. Enjoy feeling the wind blow through your hair as you allow time to enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. On the next page, Gleaner agent, president of Fallen Timbers Arbor (OH) and avid bicyclist Jerel Fish shares some tips on staying safe on your bike rides.
Golf. There is something gratifying when your club hits the ball just right and you pause to watch it soar toward the hole. No matter what your skill level, take an afternoon and enjoy some time on the greens. Take your friends, your spouse or your children, and enjoy hitting and putting your way through nine or 18 holes.
Attend a ballgame. In America, baseball is a staple for summer. While the game is slower in nature, there’s often a variety of entertainment to keep the kids interested. And there’s something special about stadium hot dogs, peanuts and other refreshments. There’s sure to be a minor or major league team within driving distance, so find a field, purchase your tickets and make some great memories.
Go camping. Load up your vehicle with your tent, sleeping bag, cooler, flashlights and all of the other necessities and enjoy God’s creation. There are so many state parks where you can stay for a nominal fee and enjoy hitting the beach or hiking. Don’t forget to pack your roasting sticks so you can roast marshmallows over the fire as the sun goes down.
Go to the beach. Load up on sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and oversized beach towel along with refreshments, and head for your nearest beach. If you have children, don’t forget the sand toys and life jackets. It might be a good idea to pack as much as you can the night before. Even though loading everything up and toting it out to the beach can take time and effort, the memories you make as your kids splash in the waves and build sand castles will prove to be more than worth it.
Fly a kite. Pick a day with wind speeds between four and 20 miles per hour. Find an open field or space like a beach or park. Launch your kite and look in awe as it takes flight. This simple yet memorable activity is a fun way to make memories with your children, nieces and nephews or grandchildren.
Enjoy a picnic at the park. Dig out that picnic basket you got for your wedding (canvas bags and small coolers also work well), and pack your favorite finger foods. Be sure to grab a blanket and maybe a Frisbee for an afternoon of relaxation free from electronics and the demands of housework.
After you’ve made these memories, you might just find yourself thinking about how great this month was as you flip the calendar to the next month.
Member files: Fishing tips from Denny Tison, member since 2008
As a wildlife biologist for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, Denny Tison has spent time studying animals and their habitats, but a lot of his fishing advice comes from personal experiences. Some of his earliest memories involve fishing with his dad and grandfathers, and today he continues that tradition with his own children: Emma, 7, Colt, 5, and Rhett, soon to be 1. But fishing doesn’t have to be reserved for experienced anglers. Tison offers some advice for anyone interested in this time-tested pastime.
If you don't have a boat, look for public-access sites with fishing piers and platforms. In Michigan, you can easily find family-friendly lakes by visiting www.michigan.gov/dnr and clicking on the fishing tab. From there, click on “family-friendly fishing waters.” This link will take you to a map where you can locate lakes by county.
If you’re fishing with children, use a bobber and leaf worm on the hook for bait. This is the ideal setup to catch panfish. You’ll catch more panfish than bass to keep kids entertained.
Once you’re at the lake and your pole is set, look out at the water and try to zero in on weed edges, where fish are more likely to gather. Cast your line and keep an eye on the bobber. When you see it move, pull back and begin reeling in your catch.
To fish in Michigan, you must purchase a license if you are 17 or older. Youth 16 and under can fish for free. You can purchase a license online or anywhere you can buy bait, including some convenience stores statewide.
One final piece of advice: Pack snacks and drinks for the kids, so you can stay out on the lake longer making memories.
Member files: Biking fun advice from Jerel Fish, member since 2010
Jerel Fish enjoys riding bikes and organizing rides. Fish and Fallen Timbers Arbor (OH) helped organize a group bike ride on May 10 for National Bike to School Day. He offers some great tips for riding this summer.
Riding bikes together is a great way for families (and arbors) to bond outdoors, and it makes exercise fun for all. There are parks and trails to explore, trips to the local ice cream shop and limitless adventures to enjoy on two wheels.
Young children can gain confidence and build riding skills by practicing in an empty parking lot, then moving up to ride on flat, paved trails away from traffic. You can search for local trails using the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s website, www.traillink.com.
Plan rides around a fun experience like a picnic or visit to a point of interest. Always keep safety in mind. Helmets are a must when riding in traffic or on rugged off-road terrain like mountain trails. Helmets should fit snugly, level and low on the forehead, with no more than two fingers between chin and chin strap. Be sure to set a good example for the kids by wearing your helmet, too.
Before you venture out on the open roads with traffic, be sure everyone is familiar with basic safety rules and traffic laws. Find more resources for road safety, bike laws by state and other tips at The League of American Bicyclists’ website, bikeleague.org.
Many local bike shops and community groups organize “slow rolls,” which are typically slow-paced rides of six to 12 miles that are comfortable for all ages and levels of experience. Riding in large groups increases safety on the roads and is a great way to make new bike-riding friends. Search Google or Facebook for “your town” and “slow roll,” and you’ll probably come up with a few groups. These types of rides also make a great, family-fun arbor activity.