What is it about summertime and learning new skills?
Maybe it goes back to summer camp, where many children encounter a number of first hobbies and experiences.
When I was a kid, summer camp meant fishing, archery and rifle lessons, hiking and arts and crafts sessions, eating in the mess hall and playing card games in South Alabama.
But I mostly looked forward to pool time and dances with the opposite sex.
Summer was all about freedom — from parents and school — along with music and fun.
At least, that was the perception. I wasn't as introspective back then, and didn't realize, as I do now, that summer camp was another kind of school.
This one, though more relaxed with less adult supervision, taught valuable life lessons about perseverance — I might be catching eels right now, but "the big one" will come sooner or later; diversity, which I didn't see much of in a private school with 30 students per class; and love and loss. (Dating at summer camp is futile; come the weekend, everyone goes their separate ways.)
Those intangibles were valuable, but the overall experience was unforgettable.
At 31 years old, I mostly work in the summer, but still feel that urge for adventure; that desire to learn a new skill.
However, on weekdays, "urge for adventure" translates to getting off work and spending the evening tracking Halle Berry's trials on CBS's sci-fi series, "Extant." Learning a new skill means cooking a different dish during commercial breaks.
Being responsible changes things. It reminds me of a joke on the sitcom "Friends," when Chandler says, "I'm 29 years old, damn it! And I want to sit in a comfortable chair, and watch television, and go to sleep at a reasonable hour."
Kidding aside, one of the awesome things about being a news editor is that adventures often find me. For instance, I had the pleasure of being the Crestview Photo Club's guest speaker on Monday, and decided to stick around for the rest of the meeting.
Members critiqued photo composition as they watched a slideshow of uncredited black-and-white works. Hearing about the rule of thirds, leading lines and other terms reminded me of college photojournalism courses.
We know how to shoot photos but sometimes get caught up in deadlines and forget the basics, so I appreciated the refresher and even learned some new tips.
I was glad I stuck around.
Opportunities for similar adventure abound in Northwest Florida, with basket weaving and Summer History camp next week, and learning a new skill, like pruning trees properly, could mean reducing potential hurricane damage. You can visit Florida's "weird" places and learn about the state's best backroads with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Of course, if you're also a shutterbug, you can check out the Crestview Photo Club, which meets at 6 p.m. each second Monday at the Crestview Public Library.
Here's to your adventure!