Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Vaun Thygerson
What do you get when you cross eight "tween" girls, three mom chaperones, and a remote mountain cabin with no cell reception, internet access, or television? The answer: Memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

I recently went to R-Ranch in Johnsondale with my daughter and her friends where we discovered nature and enjoyed its majestic surroundings – the mountains, lake, trees, deer, and even mud. They thoroughly enjoyed creating their own adventure, exploring this new environment, singing at the top of their lungs, soaking in a hot tub, and even a few of the girls dared jumping into an ice-cold swimming pool. At first when the girls realized our mountain adventure was technology-free, they balked, but they soon realized that life "unplugged" can be fun!

Spring is a perfect time to explore the new and changing world around us. After spending so much of my winter indoors, the crisp, fresh mountain air was just what I needed to rejuvenate my spirit. If you want to find the nearest forest or park near you, check out Also on this website, you can download games and activities for having the best possible experience in nature and how to preserve it. You will find an afternoon outdoors can be a lot more fun than a lazy day watching television!

Speaking of unplugging from technology… In this month's Brian Kantz's Newbie Dad article, "Wii Meet Again," on page 14, he writes about his video-game-deprived childhood and partly blames it for his lack of computer game prowess. It's his lot in life to make people feel better about their skills when they play him - even after just one game. He says he has a knack, a gift really, for making his boys' days during their Wii matches. What a dad!

Another way to ensure that we spend time this spring and summer learning and exploring new things is to send our children to summer camp. You'll find out how this rite of passage has become a way of life for millions of families in the article, "An American Tradition – Camp." Check out what Bakersfield's own campers have to say about their camp experiences on page 9.

April's book reviews by Tracie Grimes, "Using Video Games to Encourage Reading," on page 15, she writes about using technology to reach beyond books to find ways to interest your children in reading. Some of her recommended titles this month include "Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems," collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters; "In the Wild," by David Elliot; and "12 Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali," by Charles R. Smith.

In addition to providing top picks for readers, Tracie Grimes also gives you a chance to laugh in this month's Humor At Home, "You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But That Doesn't Make it Right." She writes sarcastically how she has become the guardian of grammar in her home and has instilled this love of words to her children. Never do they mispronounce, misspeak, or ever, never, ever mix up their metaphors. Afterall, would the offspring of someone so well-versed in all things grammar speak with anything but perfect prose? Find out on page 8.

In addition to Spring, April hosts one of my most favorite events in town: The 22nd Annual Bakersfield Women's Business Conference on Thursday, April 28 at Rabobank Arena Theater and Convention Center. This event showcases our local women's talents and abilities. This year's conference, chaired by Diane White, will feature keynote speaker, Gloria Allred, famous attorney and advocate. To find out more details about this spectacular day, turn to page 7.

For Spring, whether you read a book, attend the Bakersfield Women's Business Conference, or even mix-up your metaphors, remember to take the time to smell the proverbial (or even real) roses! I challenge you to put down your cell phones, video games, and television remotes, at least for an afternoon, and discover the exciting world outside your front door.

Happy Adventures!

- by Vaun Thygerson, KCFM Staff writer

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