I spent time every day teaching various recreational activities and outdoor games to the elementary school kids–everything from kickball to jump rope. For many it was their first experience with any of it. I remember one boy, a 5th or 6th grader, who futilely attempted to jump rope. The timing completely eluded him: He’d jump and the rope would come round just as his feet hit the ground. Over and over he tried. Over and over the rope tangled – and he grimaced. A group gathered but didn’t laugh. Finally, trying to get him to wait to jump until the rope came down, I put my foot on his a couple of times to help him wait. Finally, the rope slipped under his feet once, then again, and again. He got it! His smile and the gentle applause from those around him won’t leave me for a long time, if ever.

(Jim Coate is a WWCRF board member and volunteer)