The Art of Summer

The Art of Summer
By Dr. Glenn Fox, C4 Foundation Chief Science Officer
The American summer is sacred for all. In our younger years, summer meant delicious reprieve from boring schoolwork and repetition. In adult years it means family getaways, vacations short and long, hikes and camping, and whatever we can do to enjoy the lengthy afternoons. 
But there is an art to such freedom. The art comes from setting our intention to make the absolute very best of this time. In our spare time, how many of us still find our way to the email inbox, scrolling through social media, or watching TV? None of this will amount to any kind of memory, and certainly will not help us sleep soundly knowing we put in a full day. Let us all be intentional to ditch the screen and get some genuine fun.
The C4 Ranch is a place for the art of summer. Paradoxically, a lot of hard work goes into creating good experiences. The same discipline that helps us excel in work or parenting, is also needed to be deliberate about our recreation. The C4 F.R.O.G. program is not just about sending people to the ranch with open ended time (well, some of that of course), but it is about setting the path to the right place at the right time — catching the legendary Orlando’s Point sunset after a good hike, sharing a dawn memory at one of the Appreciation Stations in the woods, grilling out after a long hike. All these great memories come from intentional planning, nature’s beauty, and a dash of spontaneity.
Whether you are at the C4 Ranch, or in the office, here are a couple of tips to master the art of summer: 
1. Right now, write down three things you look forward to in the next day, week, or month. 
2. Set the time aside on your calendar and share it with a partner to hold you strictly accountable, same as for any important meeting. Set aside time for simple things like working out, movie watching, etc., as well as for bigger things such as overnight visits, day trips, etc. Where possible, put down a reservation or pay for an experience ahead of time to fully commit yourself.
3. Notice the time spent frittering away on the internet, and instead of half-working/half-playing, try to swing fully into either work or play with no in-between. 
It is not so important that we need to go hard all the time during summer, but that we take time to be intentional about creating a few great memories for this ever so short time span. That’s enough to remember every summer’s freedom fondly, and to participate in one of America’s greatest traditions.
Written by Glenn R. Fox, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, The C4 Foundation