The year was 1997, I was five-years-old. It was a chilly November morning and the Wisconsin gun deer season was in full swing. There I was--sitting in the box blind with my dad that he and my grandpa had built. I was wearing blaze orange and was bundled up like a marshmallow. I remember my dad having to remind me several times to sit still and to whisper when I would talk. I didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about until something great happened! Finally, after sitting for what seemed like forever, my dad whispered to me, "Alicia, look at the deer coming this way." He quickly had to remind me, yet again, to be quiet and to move slowly. Looking in the direction that my dad was pointing, I noticed a few deer coming out from the woods and working their way towards the blind. I remember being fixated as the deer moved near. Each step they took and each pause they took--I was intensely observing. That moment was incredible and unforgettable in my young mind. Watching nature do its thing with my dad by my side is something I will never forget. Although my dad was not able to harvest a deer that day, I still consider the outing a success. Little did he know that he got his little girl hooked on hunting and everything the great outdoors has to offer.
Many of us are fortunate to have grown up with people that have shared their love for the outdoors. We can think back and remember pieces of our childhood that involved hunting, fishing, camping trips, etc. Now, imagine if you were never given those opportunities. What might your life and hobbies look like today? It is hard to imagine, huh? Unfortunately, there are many children, that might live right in your neighborhood, who will never have the opportunity to experience the fun of getting outdoors and exploring. Some of the reasons might include family finances, limited time, lack of education on conservation, lack of interest from a child’s family—if no-one in the family participates in outdoor hobbies, etc.
We hear and read the importance of kids being active outdoors and the benefits that children can gain. Some benefits include gaining social skills, self-confidence, education, having mentors to look up to for guidance, and SO MUCH more. Now, the question is, “How can we help kids get outdoors?”
When I thought about content for this article, I decided to ask parents on my social media platforms to share photos of their kids enjoying the outdoors. I was quickly overwhelmed at the number of photos I received and wanted to share as many as I could. En-JOY!
source: Alicia Joy Outdoors