A curious but timid cluster of kindergarten children stood barefoot on the edge of the Great Salt Lake in northern Utah. They could tell that it was shallow for quite a way out, but it was not like any lake they had ever seen. Hesitant and cautious, they just stood there looking at the strange water, wondering.
As their outdoor leader, I was there with them, excited to watch their reaction to this most unusual place.
“Step in,” I said to them. No one moved. “Step in,” I said again. Still, no one moved. I stepped into the water, hoping they would follow.
A few did follow, and then eventually the others.
This was a moment of discovery in a very strange and unexplored environment, and the courage to “step in” soon became the courage to wade all the way to a sandbar about 25 feet out.
As I listened to their giggles and squeals I knew that with their new-found bravery, more happy experiences were ahead, and now I could just have fun with them.
Imagine what they would have missed if they hadn’t taken that first step. Because they did, they saw themselves as being able to do scary things; they experienced, discovered, and learned.
Its all about taking the first step. And especially for a child, it’s about taking it with someone who loves them.
Step into the outdoor world with your child. Wonders await you.