Column: "The Sports Trail": How to stay un-busy in summertime is the real key

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

by David McNeal

I'd like to meet the guy, or gal, that said there is nothing for kids to do in the summertime anymore ---- or adults, for that matter.

Things have been hopping since school let out, with just about any form of activity available for a kid willing to get off the couch. Same goes for adults.

Before the dust settled on the last school bus route, kids were off to basketball camps. They still are, with some teams playing right up until school begins again in August.

Of course, that depends on how good your team is, or if some coach wanted to get a jumpstart on the roundball season with a late camp in late July or early August.

Then there were the soccer camps held in the county last week, with instructors from England and Wales. Little kids and big ones showed up as the Berryville and Eureka Springs programs hosted the events. When it got hot last week for a couple of days, they went inside.

There was another biggie this past weekend, the Third Annual Martial Arts Classic tournament at the Victoria Inn in Eureka Springs. Competitors came from all over, even from as far away as Chicago, and almost all of them came with family.

Tournament officials estimated there were 200 competitors, lots of them kids with parents in tow, which swelled the crowd to around 500 folks.

This wasn't your old guys tournament, although all ages were represented. There were nine-year-old Bow Staff Black Belt Micah Karns, Matthew Sharp, age seven, and swordsman Josh Wallace, age 10.

Teenagers were actually heard to say, "Pardon me, Sensei," "Yes Sir," and other foreign words that reeked with respect. Then they went out and performed some serious acrobatics in routines that also featured classic martial arts moves.

Leaping, kicking, flipping, flying, all to music and all very disciplined. It was a treat for the senses. Why, even the "older" competitors got the crowd going, or was it the other way around?

No matter, it was a fine demonstration of form and discipline, done in a total family atmosphere.

Have I mentioned summer football camps and 7-on-7 tournaments, tennis camps, swimming teams, golf tournaments, motorcycle and car racing, and fishing tournaments that pay big bucks?

You get the idea. Any kid or adult that wants to can stay as busy as they like all summer. The problem for me is, how to stay un-busy.

I've ignored the walls crying for paint, the rock walls bending to gravity, the oil changes and repair jobs, and, oh yes, the still un-built deck.

I "wasted" an entire week wandering around Waikiki Beach and cruising the island of Oahu seeing the sights, and have spent every "extra" minute cruising the county on my Valkyrie motorcycle.

There's plenty to do, too much in fact. And don't forget. This is the 4th of July weekend, so now those fireworks have to be bought, the grill readied, and camping stuff prepared for a trip to the lake.

Will it never end?

Yep, when school starts again!

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: