Your humble blogster navigating the Big Kahuna Rapids on the Snake River. Look for brown hat.
I've always wondered a little about Daniel Pink's 5th "Conceptual Age Skill" from his book A Whole New Mind (about which I've written before a couple times):
5. Not just seriousness, but also PLAY.
How can serious educators consider "play" to be an important 21st century skill?
That was until when visiting Jackson, Wyoming, it dawned on me that there is serious money to be made in "play."
Jackson is the gateway to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and the white-water section of the Snake River, and has two major ski resorts. As a result, this little town of about 8000 souls finds 4 million people visiting it each year. At any one time, about 80% are sitting in the 50' RVs that are towing an SUV right in the middle of a two lane park road pointing and staring at a (sometimes imaginary) moose. Those 4 million people bring wallets stuffed with cash and credit cards.
Jackson's retail establishment seems to be divided equally among sporting good stores, art galleries, restaurants, and white water rafting companies. Many of the tourists here seem to have taken the bear's survival strategy to heart and continuously gorge for the coming long winter. I suspect many could hibernate for a couple years and still come away with a few extra pounds. Whatever your brand of play - shopping, skiing, bicycling, rafting, hiking, eating - a Jackson merchant is near.
Can a person who does not understand the nature of play provide it to others? I'm doubtful.
PS. A big thanks to Janice Segerstrom, tech director for Teton District #1 Schools, who organized the librarian workshops and the tech/ELL conference at which I spoke and gave me an excuse to come to this beautiful part of the world. And proved to be an excellent host!
Gotta go. Time to eat!
Play - a 21st century skill