Recreation taken literally means recreating yourself every weekend, recharging your batteries for the work week ahead and appreciating the outdoors and all it offers.
The opposite is death and destruction, which sadly occurs when people are out trying to have a good time and things go tragically wrong. Every summer we report about deaths from drowning, ATV accidents, other mishaps, and wildfires started by careless campers. The thing they all have in common is they are easily prevented.
Another drowning happened on Sunday, July 6 on the Snake River. It's sad, and you can read about it here. My heart goes out the families, and I hope it's a reminder for all to take a moment and think about having fun safely.
We're heading into a very hot summer, and wildfire danger is high. Every summer fires are started by careless people, and if those fires didn't happen, it would free up a lot of firefighters and resources to fight naturally caused wildfires. Being careful with fire, or skipping a campfire on a 100-degree day, could literally save millions of taxpayer dollars and keep forests green and skies blue rather than charred and smoky.
But all things considered, forests grow back. People don't. An accidental death lasts forever.
When you're outdoors, especially around water, stay vigilant at all times and watch for those early signs of danger. Have the necessary safety equipment, such as lifejackets, throw cushions and fire extinguishers.
When you have a campfire, always have a bucket of water and a shovel handy.
Watch your kids and teach them how to be safe outdoors. It's a lot easier to create good habits than break bad ones later.
Not to get all preachy, but we all want to enjoy the outdoors and come home safely, and that doesn't happen by accident.