How many of you remember, when you were growing up, taking family vacations to places with historical significance? Traipsing through civil war battlefields, aircraft museums, colonial settlements, and presidential birthplaces? And, how many of you take your children to those places?
These days, the family vacation generally consists of a trip to the beach or the mountains, with outings at the amusement park, the water park, a "tourist trap" style restaurant, and shopping … are your children learning anything from these kinds Of trips? Other than new clothing, are they taking anything back home from your vacation? Think about your best childhood vacations. Were they spent atalls? At the water park?
As parents, we owe it to our children to educate them in the country's history. We owe it to them to "drag" them through the museums, the birthplaces, and the battlefields, so that they, too, see just how far our country has come from its humble beginnings. Our children need to see how hard won the freedoms that we take for granted were for our ancestors. It is not always the most thrilling "ride," or the largest mall, or the fanciest accommodations. Sometimes, it's the experience, a glimpse into the past, that guarantees the future.
This year, instead of scheduling the same old week at the beach, or that weekend in the mountains, why not bring history alive for your children! Take them to that old fort a couple hours away that you've always meant to tour, or hike into a national park to see an old battlefield, or Indian settlement, or even pan for gold in a cold stream. Camp out … without cell phones, laptops, or even electricity. They will not only learn something about history or a local attraction, they will most likely learn something about themselves.