Take a Kid Fishing, is it that simple?
Yes it is! If we want to have hope that the next generation of youth to enjoy, support and protect our natural resources, they have to be introduced, it’s that simple. This meeting and eventual connection of man & nature rarely comes by happenchance. Someone has to get involved.
Sure a few adults who were raised in an urban area w/o outdoor mentorship who have eventually found an outdoor life-style, but they are the most rare. Most of us who live to hike, swim, climb fish and hunt away from the crowds were first exposed to these activities by a human. Most likely a relative but not always. In today’s world of split families and parents unfamiliar with the outdoors themselves it may have to be a perfect stranger.
I tip my hat and you should to for individuals such as Luke Adam of Minnesota, who has worked tirelessly to share his passion with any young person who will listen. Great story on his effort and passion for the outdoors at Nashwauk-Keewatin High School :
Sitting indoors or even on the porch watching YouTube videos, streaming TV or reading blogs does not ignite anyone to a life accentuated with outdoor adventure. Most of us need that one person, to share their personal outdoor experiences to spark our interest and then provide a re-assuring voice of support for us to explore an activity we know nothing. That’s why youth introduction is so important. As we age our “comfort” zone gets smaller and willingness to try new seems to subside. Getting out of our comfort zone is how we grow as humans, getting out of our comfort zone with time outdoors may provide unique opportunity for an individual to find a life- balance and perspective for their entire adult life.
I do find myself obsessed with my own personal outdoor goals albeit running, fishing and hunting I have objectives set. And as much enjoyment as I have working towards them if I look at myself honestly. I believe I find even more “satisfaction” in helping others accomplish their goals. I’ve motived a friend to take up running, now seeing them excel and live-for-it warms my heart, they are healthier and have a new zeal for life. Assisting a friend as he tracked a specific whitetail deer for weeks, until finally, paths cross and opportunity to harvest was presented and passed upon made me smile larger than any buck I have ever harvested. And maybe most impactful to my own life was taking a young family friend fishing who had never been out of the big city, ever. Taking time to get them on a secluded lake in Minnesota’s north woods and watching eyes explode when they catch a fish, after fish, after fish…. Then seeing their first-ever whitetail, beaver, muskrat. That’s the spark, will it ignite who knows, but I will keep mentoring.
Don’t kid yourself, this is about more than just kids fishing. Our resources are protected and supported by those who enjoy them most. Anglers, hunters, hikers and even bird-watchers all drive the non-profits that monitor the legislators that insure our government agencies provide equal opportunity for access while funding management to preserve and protect.