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I'm Bored!

June 1, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Before you all begin to wonder about my sanity after seeing this headline - allow me to explain.

Tuesday was the first full day of Summer Vacation for area students. I knew this for two reasons: first, I was at school last Friday on the last day, and when the final bell sounded at 11 a.m., I called on my skills of self-preservation to avoid being in the pathway to any building exit, the parking lot or King Street.

Secondly, on Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. as I stopped at a local convenience store, there was a very noticeable lack of traffic in and out of the business, both customer-wise and vehicle-wise. I commented on how quiet it was, to which the clerk simply looked up and said, "School vacation," with a look I couldn't quite decipher on her face.

For parents of students who didn't have to rise and shine on Tuesday, I'm betting that some of you probably heard the phrase at the start of this column at some point Tuesday - probably about a half hour after they woke up.

"Mom, I'm bored!" "There's nothing to do!"

Classic phrases uttered countless times over the years by countless youth, trying to adapt to vacation from school.

It isn't a major deal, when you think about it, it's just kind of a rite of passage. After all, these youth have spent nine months in the structured environment of school, where activities and classes follow a schedule, and then suddenly, that structure disappears for three short months.

It takes some getting used to.

Think about it - when we adults take a week of vacation from our workplaces, for a day, we think about what we should be doing if we were still at our workplace, and it takes you a little time to unplug from work and get into the vacation mode.

I've experienced that feeling; I'd look at my watch and think, 'whoops, press deadline is in 20 minutes," and the closest I was to a deadline was trying to decide what I wanted for breakfast from room service. It was a great vacation, however.

But the question arises, what do you do to entertain young people over their summer vacation?

There are plenty of old standbys - getting a job over the summer. Detasseling is the big occupation for many older school-age kids, as the old reliable farm jobs of summer such as bean walking, baling hay and picking up rocks have seemed to become fleeting memories.

Today, more and more young people are entering the job market, finding part-time employment at area businesses, such as grocery stores, food service establishments and retail businesses. Some are able to find employment in child care for the summer months, caring for younger siblings or neighbor children, and then there are some who find work in various aspects of construction.

But there are other things to keep young people occupied as well - Summer sports, such as softball, baseball and swim team all provide lots of opportunities and are healthy outlets for youth. Perhaps a summer college class, summer school class or an extracurricular camp are possibilities.

The point is simple - There is always something available to keep a person, no matter their age, occupied through the Summer season. But most importantly, remember to enjoy your Summer safely!



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