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As summer approaches, now is a perfect time to start some outdoor adventures. Unfortunately a great deal of our Muslim communities are cantered inside metropolitan areas or their suburbs. At best the wilderness for many is known as their back yard, which ends at the neighbours fence. For this reason many see things such as the forest, the dark, solitude, animals, and their noises, to be quite scary. Having such an outlook deprives you of enjoying and marvelling at the vast creation of Allah.
For me growing up around nature was natural. My family always had animals and we were surrounded by farms. My back yard was the forest. Rivers and ponds were our playground, add a little bit of imagination and it went a long way. Frogs, toads, crayfish, turtles, and garden snakes would become temporary pets. Although I spent a few years in both cub scouts and boy scouts learning different skills and safety measures, it was not as focused as it could have been. Even though I had access to all of these different venues I truly regret not taking advantage of the outdoors as much as I could have. One of the things that were certainly missing was the encouragement to learn more about the outdoors, and the knowledge of the excitement that it held. It was only later in my life that I truly began to love hiking, camping, climbing, and hunting. These newfound hobbies have opened the door to many other skills that I have yet to learn but yearn to do so.
Having access to the outdoors and educating our children about how to play in a safe way opens the doors to countless activities that are not only fun, but more useful than buying them some game console or allowing them to play on the computer. Although most of us may see many of these things as useless to a city dweller, you never know when you may need them and some of them could even save your life.
Things you can do outdoors
There are many activities that you can do outdoors and in almost all weather conditions if you learn how to do it safely. The following are just a few.
xiv. Survival skills
All of these activities are loaded with important skills and advantages, from planning, physical and mental strength, teamwork, navigation, biology, math, geography, responsibility, safety, and much more. It is important that we don’t fail to give our children the exposure to these activities as sometimes we get bogged down in the book knowledge and forget that there are many other aspects of education that deserve a lot of attention. Insha’Allah in future posts we will look at some outdoor activities and discuss the skills you will need physically and mentally, as well as some ideas for activities and places to go to help you learn.