We Need a Saucer

After devoting a few weeks of blog space to adventures that I thought people should spend some time on, I personally decided to take a day to go on my own expedition.  Earlier this week, a few friends and I made our way up to the Sierra Nevada’s for some fun in the snow. I’m still not quite used to the cold that Northern California has to offer (I forgot my Snuggie back home), but I was stoked nonetheless to jump into a fresh layer of powder when we got up there.

Eventually, the day brought us to a large opening on the side of the road near Strawberry, California (insert food joke here).  The small recreation area consisted of one HUGE hill that sledders could use to slide down on whatever they had with them. In the middle of the slope stood one large jump that daredevils could go off of if they were feeling risky. Luckily, we came prepared for the day with a few sleds and toboggans. Oh yes, it was game time.

Our first few trips down the hill were all but graceful. Matter of fact, none of us ACTUALLY made it down the slope our first couple of tries (our sleds did though…sad). Thirty minutes into our failed battle with the jump, we decided to take a quick break and watch some of the other sledders.

We spent the next few minutes looking on as countless people tried to make it to the dreaded jump of doom and failed. One after another, teens to adults would approach the lift only to either fall off or purposely slow down to avoid launching themselves into the air…

Except for one person.

No older than 6 or 7, a small girl began to draw a crowd as she repeatedly launched herself off the jump (and when I say launch, I’m not talking about a few inches…try a few feet). Her routine was simple: walk up, hop on her saucer, get major air, repeat. The more she jumped, the more people would huddle around to watch, all talking about how brave the girl was for doing something that everyone else feared.

I think that everyone is guilty of losing some of their childhood ambition at one point or another. Often times, the things we once viewed as entertaining and adventurous are now looked at as dangerous and risky. Instead of recognizing the jump as a source of fun and excitement, we too were guilty of counting its flaws and hazards. Only after repeatedly watching the girl attack the hill without fear were we truly able to take a swing at it.

Instead of giving you step-by-step instructions for your final adventure, I hope you take some time in the next few days to explore something in your life that you would usually shy away from. Go on your own winter hike, reconnect with some childhood friends, or even take a trip out to an old-school hangout location.

By taking a little bit of time to live life with some childhood spirit, I think we can all be refreshed and prepared to take this new year head-on.

Adventure Time – Take Two!

Cold weather, overcrowded malls, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” have been recurring themes during my past few days. Her ridiculous range mixed with constant sugar-highs from candy canes can only mean one thing: yes, it’s officially Christmas time.

As an early holiday stocking-stuffer, I sent you a virtual treasure map last week known as GEOCACHING. While a bunch of you went out and made u-turns that even your Garmin couldn’t recognize in the hunt for buried treasure, others stayed in and watched re-runs of GLEE in denial of the end of the season (I promise that it will be back soon).

So after some hefty thinking and a recommendation from Meganka Martinez (yes, her parents added ‘ka’ to the end of her name…weird), I have yet another adventure for you to go on.

Sometime in the next week I want you to check out LETTERBOXING!

No, this does not involve violently beating innocent mailboxes with boxing gloves, bats, or any other harmful object (sorry everyone).

Letterboxing is another nationally recognized activity that consists of you and your homies going out and finding a box to leave your mark on. Like geocaching, you start the adventure by going to their website and finding hidden boxes near your humble abode. You then take the hints that are provided for you and get busy!  The point of this activity is to leave your signature on a list inside of the box and to also see who has been there before you. If you want to really get into the game, you can make a stamp and place it on the book inside each box you find. IDEA-if you’re playing in groups with friends, try seeing who can get to all of the boxes in a city/region first.

BIG RULE: These boxes are hidden for a reason- WE DON’T WANT TO GIVE AWAY THEIR LOCATION. Make sure when you are trying to find them that you do so without being noticed (major bonus points go to anyone who dresses in the best disguise).

With just under two weeks of your winter vacation left, I encourage you to take the time and explore your communities.  One of the coolest aspects of this activity is that it will cause you to open your eyes to the minor details of your surroundings that you might not notice otherwise. With that in mind, this adventure might just be the perfect way to get the ball rolling on a new service project or leadership idea. After all, it is the season for giving.

Letterboxing Website: www.letterboxing.org

***Drop me a line and let me know how your second adventure turns out! Scott@ScottBackovich.com ***

Adventure Time

So I have good news and bad news…

Bad news: I’ve been a horrible blogger and youth speaker lately. Yes, it’s true. I’ve neglected you worse than the old XBOX when 360 came out. For this, I owe you an apology (or some holiday cookies).

This brings us to the good news of the day: I have something to make it up to you.

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of spontaneous adventures. Let’s put it this way, if random exploring sessions were a Facebook status, I would press the “thumbs up” button.

Therefore, I am proud to announce that for the next few weeks, I will be posting a crazy-cool adventure that I want YOU to go on. Why? Because they’re more fun than discovering the ‘Charlie Bit Me’ video on YouTube.  Before I let you in on your first task though, I have a few guidelines/promises for you:

1. Find at least one other person to go on these adventures with you. I promise that you will get much more out of these if you take the time to share the experience with someone else.

2. Make time for these! While some of these adventures are very quick and easy, others can take up an entire day. Make sure you push aside enough time to really enjoy the day.

3. Let me know how they turn out! If you don’t already have a high-tech phone from space that can instantly link Facebook to your location, email me and tell me about your day! I would love to hear what you discover about yourself.

So here we go: announcing ADVENTURE NUMBER ONE (insert drum roll here)…….

I want you to check out GEOCACHING!

No, it’s not a typo (I passed the red scribble test on Word). Geocaching is a crazy cool treasure hunt activity that is played with the help of a GPS (arrrg!). How does it work? Simple: you go to the Geocaching website and find a city near you where others have been before. You then search a treasure that you want to find with your friends and write down the GPS coordinates. Finally, you and your buddies use the coordinates and the virtual ‘treasure map’ to find the treasure of the day!

Don’t have a GPS? We can work on that. Ask around to your family and friends who might have one. Also, anyone with an iPhone can download a GPS feature (yes, there’s an app for that too).

So with that said, happy treasure hunting! I encourage you to find time in the next 7 days to find some treasure with friends. I’ll be waiting here to not only hear about your first adventures, but to also let you know about ANOTHER winter-break idea next week!

Aye aye, matey!

GEOCACHING Site- www.geocaching.com