By Michael Lanza
The annual tradition began when my son, Nate, was five years old, and we hiked about a mile up a trail in the Boise Foothills, starting at a trailhead a 10-minute drive from our house, and camped beside a creek small enough to step over. It was the most mellow trip we’d take, and the closest to home, on the annual father-son outdoor adventure that we’ve come to call our “boy trip.” My daughter, Alex, two years younger, adapted that name and gave me a pass for my inferior gender when we began taking an annual “girl trip” together. Now it has grown into something bigger than any one, individual outing.
It’s never easy to cram the Girl Trip and Boy Trip into any summer, when we usually take them; but I commit to making time for both of them every year. Nate and Alex both consider it non-negotiable, as mandatory as celebrating their birthdays. They will both ask me repeatedly when we’ll take our trip and what we’ll do. The fully expect that each adventure will grow bigger, leading up to a major trip when each of them graduates from high school. Personally, I hope the tradition continues well beyond.
The photo gallery below conveys some of the fun of these annual outings—and shows the beauty of the places where we take them. See my story “Boy Trip, Girl Trip: Why I Take Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventures.”
See also my “10 Tips For Keeping Kids Happy and Safe Outdoors,” my popular “10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids” and “10 Tips For Getting Your Teenager Outdoors With You,” and all of my stories about Family Adventures at The Big Outside.
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