May 23, 2022
by Amy Punchard, Marketing Director
The school year is wrapping up and summer is quickly approaching. We are just half-way through May yet as I look ahead into June and July, I see that almost every square on my calendar is already filled with summer activities. Brady’s activities are blue, Anna’s are pink, and our family commitments are all green. When did summer days become just as busy as school days? I am completely shocked at how very little downtime we actually have available during the “lazy” summer months.
It really wasn’t all that long ago that I had to set a notification on my Outlook calendar to remind me to start researching camps and activities for my kids to do during the summer to keep them busy. Before school sports, travel baseball, dance competitions and week-long church camps, I was desperate to find different activities to keep my two young children entertained throughout the day without breaking the bank. And, like most other moms I know, I felt deeply burdened to find ways to keep them away from screens.
By chance I stumbled upon a local blog featuring different things for out-of-towners to do and see while visiting Lubbock. While this particular blog highlighted local breweries, restaurants, museums, and shops – we’ve got some great ones, by the way – it occurred to me that there is a TON of kid-friendly places in and around Lubbock for my own kids to explore – many that they had never seen before.
So, with a little bit of local research and the mad design skills of my friend, Brenda, I managed to put together a passport of “Lubbock Adventures” for my kids to take each week throughout the summer. Let me tell you, they loved it. They were both excited to explore new places and see new things, literally right in their own backyard. I realized very quickly that the friendly staff at each stop were happy to engage in our adventures by signing, stamping or stickering their individual passports after each adventure. Even better!
It was not long before many of my mom-friends began asking me about our Lubbock Adventure passports. It seemed I was not the only mom looking for fun, affordable, and educational activities for my kids during the hot summer months.
Those little Lubbock Adventure passports were the launching point for what has become the First United Bank Spirit of Adventure Program. It has evolved a bit since 2015 but the purpose is still the same, to encourage kids of all ages to appreciate their own West Texas community and all it has to offer its youngest residents. Adventurers will work their way through a “map” of adventures in and around the Lubbock and Amarillo communities including local museums, art exhibits, amusement parks and other educational facilities – all without having to spend all of their allowance!
Sadly, we no longer have time for our Lubbock Adventures and my kids are probably a bit too old to appreciate them. But we do still laugh about the time we all nearly lost our lunch at the Planetarium. I’m not kidding – consider yourself warned! And each time we pass by Run, the incredible sculpture installed just outside Jones AT&T Stadium, we have to take a selfie. They love the sculpture as much today as they did the first time they rode their bikes around campus to explore the Texas Tech Public Art Tour.
Consider taking a West Texas adventure this summer!
Adventurers and their parents, or another trusted adult, can get started by visiting https://www.firstunited.bank/spirit-of-adventure to download the adventure map.