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Growing up in Florida, summer was just the next day.

The only difference in the seasons was a change from almost bearable to must-stay-indoors.

However, Georgia offers a different take on the outdoors with actual changes in seasons.
That means Mother Nature actually makes you want to step outside and find things to do to enjoy your free time.

Now is that time.

School has ended, Memorial Day has come and gone and 80-degree weather puts us back in comfortable shorts and T-shirts. It also means outdoor activities are available all around us.

The Covington area is a great one for doing almost anything besides watching TV or paying sky-high prices to watch a movie based on a 5-cent comic book before we have to break out the sweaters and winter coats again.

The Covington Y pool opened Satuarday at noon, and at 12:30 p.m. it was surrounded by people enjoying the sun before cooling off in the water. Numerous 5Ks have been conducted around the area already, bringing with it morning runners and walkers.

Summer camps have also begun, starting at Newton High School with the Newton Rams Fundamentals Camp. The Newton County Recreation Commission’s basketball camp follows June 17, and NCRC and Covington Y baseball leagues are ongoing.

If children’s mindsets are anything like mine was back in the day, then this is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. I couldn’t wait to try to learn new pitches, spend some time on the soccer field or get a tip or two from some local college coaches and Orlando Magic players.

There are a lot more distractions today, with computers being available between everyone’s thumbs rather than in one room of the house, attached to the phone line available only when we didn’t need to get incoming calls, so camps may not be as high a priority.

But summer camps are still a chance to get away from mom and dad for a few hours and see friends without having to worry about test scores and homework.

For the adults, summer activities offer a chance to get some well-needed vitamin D while blowing off some steam. Along with organized activites, the area is great for hiking and getting out on the waterways, with the Porterdale Yak Club offering a chance to relax on the Yellow River. Rivers run all through Georgia with a new opportunity available to explore one almost daily, either via boat or on a fishing dock.

Parks around the area also have seen an uptick in fishers over the last month or so. Even though I’ve caught one fish in my life, the thought of being able to relax outside in a scenic area is almost enough to get me outdoors.

Even those who like scenery but don’t want to risk harming fish, can look to Stone or Panola Mountain State Parks, for hiking, camping, picnicking, etc.

All-in-all now is the time of year to get outside, and the area offers several different ways to do that. I know I have already enjoyed avoiding the air conditioning , and hopefully you are too.

Please feel free to let us know via of any summer activities or adventures you know of around the area.