Thursday, May 27, 2010

June 2nd hike preview!

Last year I had the incredible opportunity to hike in various parts of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. This is truly an awe inspiring place where amazing views hit you in the face at every other turn of the path. I’d say this was one of those places where the hiking bug really took hold and became a more regular part of my life. Being outdoors taking in the sights and smells of all nature has to offer has added a richness to my life that I hope will continue for many years to come. Sharing the experience of exploration and discovery with others is an added bonus. The shared sense of WOW! is a way of joining together that doesn’t happen every day.

Our 1st and 3rd Wednesday hikes here at the Y have allowed that shared WOW! to continue. We have explored places together that none of us have been to before and we’ve seen sights that are really quite inspiring. My feelings for conservation and preservation have been enhanced, my sense of joy for the simple/natural has been expanded.

Our hike on Wednesday, June 2nd promises to be a continuation of this. We’ll head out on the Mattabesett Trail as it wonders past Millers Pond. When I did a preview hike out here last weekend I was amazed that in sections I was reminded of a hike around Jenny Lake in the Tetons.

If you like to be outdoors and active, if you like the company of other who are similarly inclined, if you want to discover some great spaces right here in our backyard, please join us. We leave the Y parking lot at 4 p.m. and typically return between 6:30 and 7:00. A heavy downpour and/or lightning strikes will keep us away but a little rain won’t stop us. Come on down!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saying "Thank You" is Rewarding

Last night was a perfect night for baseball, so I took my two children to see a New Britain Rock Cats game. Before I purchased the tickets I noticed that there were a few inflatable activities set up. It turns out it was Principal Financial Family Fun night and the activities were free. So, we spent an hour or so jumping in the sport themed bounce house and taking our picture with Rocky the mascot (who looks surprisingly like a 6'4" mouse). It was great.

Then it was time to head into the stadium and watch (what was left of) the game. As we left the activity area I noticed a pop up tent with a few people that clearly worked for Principal Financial. They were frantically looking at their cell phones (I'm sure keeping a close eye on the market for their customers) and all of the families that were coming and going through the gate to the activity area were just walking past and ignoring them. I decided to approach the table and interrupt them. I then thanked them for the great event and told them how much I appreciated their efforts. After a brief conversation one of the guys handed me two tickets to the game and told me that they included access to the Webster Terrace where we could eat and drink for free.

The kids only made it through 7 innings but the entire adventure did not cost me any money. As we drove home with our shirts and faces stained with mustard and watermelon and I realized that I had learned an important lesson. Saying thank you and expressing your appreciation makes you feel good and it makes that person that you are thanking feel good, too. And sometimes you are even rewarded.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

YMCA Camp Ingersoll's 2010 Senior Staff

Check out the lineup of Senior Staff for the 2010 season at YMCA Camp Ingersoll.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Appreciating Your Mom; a Lesson for Children

Before I had children of my own I never really appreciated Mother's Day as a Holiday. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved and appreciated my mother, but in retrospect I never gave Mother's Day the attention it deserved. Now that I have 2 children I want them to recognize the opportunity to celebrate their wonderful mother. Initially my plan was to make a big deal for my wife and let them see and share in it, but I have a new plan that I think is even better:

I'm going to make a big deal for MY mother.

Like all behaviors that you want your children to demonstrate, it is necessary to role model them. By making a special day for my mother, they will see that love and appreciation are not just for young mothers and children but rather that our devotion and understanding of the work and sacrifices that our mothers made grows stronger with each passing year.
I am thankful to my mother for so many things and I have often failed to find ways to communicate that to her. I hope that my children will not repeat my carelessness.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 9th. I encourage you to do something special for your mom and in so doing , it will be something significant for your children.

Have any good ideas?