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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Introducing Kids to the Outdoors (Blog Twenty-seven)

This past Saturday through Monday, I was in Tennessee turkey hunting with good friend Larry Proffitt. I was on assignment from Tennessee Wildlife magazine to do a story on mentoring new hunters.  Part of my photography game plan was to take pictures of Larry with his three grandsons and it was a joyous thing to watch as Larry lovingly worked with the young boys.

One of the most positive things we can do as outdoors folks is to take youngsters (or adults that are unfamiliar with any number of outdoor pursuits such as fishing, hunting, birding, camping, hiking, and canoeing) afield. 

Doing so is very satisfying but it is also a great way to preserve and protect our outdoor heritage.  If we are to grow/create the next generation of hunters or birders or hikers, we have to mentor the young or their parents.

My parents, although they grew up in rural Franklin County, Virginia, never had any interest in conducting any outside related activities.  Thus, they had nothing in that regard to pass on to me.  Luckily, I had childhood peers who enjoyed being outside, and I had enough wanderlust that I would also go off by myself to fish and seine for minnows.  However, it's far better for someone to have an older person, friend, or ideally a family member to tutor that individual.

This spring, consider taking your own children or a neighborhood child on an outdoors related trek.  Chances are that you'll have as much fun as the youngster does.

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