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Letter: No more fun outdoors

I’ve come to the realization that I shouldn’t have survived my childhood!

They’re banning dodgeball in Windham because someone’s feelings can get hurt? Or worse, they might get a bloody lip after catching a ball with their mouth.

Long gone is King of the Hill, a fun game in which we climbed a pile of dirt left behind by a contractor (lawsuit in the making?) and tried to retain our kingdom on top of the heap. Even a teacher would join in occasionally! I guess Red Rover is long gone too, probably because of potential assault charges when a child grabbed another in the defense of his line. Baseball without hard hats? Wow! And no adults to oversee our every move. Nothing on but a pair of shorts and grubby sneakers. Sunburn? Sure, but we learned the hard way when to put our T-shirt on.

Can kids today go sliding in the winter at White Park, where the famous jump was in the middle of the hill? Heck no, too dangerous. Someone might get hurt while laughing as they got dumped by the jump. Flag football? Naah! Too dangerous, as someone might stumble when the flag is pulled off. No more hide and seek – too many predators lurking near our schools. Cowboys and Indians? Uh-uh – perpetrates racism and killing, and kids today don’t know what they were anyway.

I sure am glad I grew up in the ’50s when we made our own fun. If someone’s feelings got hurt, they got over it and we were best friends again the next day. It’s no wonder today’s kids have well-developed thumb muscles and pasty skin. There’s nothing left for them to do outdoors! We, and the lawyers, have seen to that.

TOM GENO

Canterbury

I laughed out loud when I read your letter, it is so true. We have become a society of emotionally crippled weaklings whose "feelings" trump the reality of the world. King of the Hill???? I loved that one and don't forget Sword Fight where we used sticks on the play ground......no one every got hurt. Riding a bicycle, NO ONE ever wound up with a head injury. I can remember going over the handle bars more than once. And let's not forget that wasteful, nanny state program, Safe Routes to School. Parents need the state to direct children on the best ways to get to school. Sad, we have devolved into a sad state of affairs. Yes the outdoors is not a place where children want to be today, loved the pasty skin and thumb muscle comment.....Tom, you nailed it.

Now that is a great letter Tom. Imagine growing up where you learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels or a helmet, you actually spent the day outdoors getting all that vitamin D from the sun, and you watched TV for one hour or less after supper! It was very rare to see a kid that was overweight, and even rarer to see a kid that was allowed to stay indoors. And it seemed to me we got sick less also. Fresh air cured a cold, and days missed at school were rare. No wonder we have kids now that are demading, whinny and depressed. That have no clue what it is like to get along with less, cooperate, and use their creativity.

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