You know, I’ve been thinking lately about ways that I can get my two boys who are both 5, into the turkey blind with me. It’s been a dream of mine to have them hunt with me. I’ve waited 5 years with the hopes that they will have interest in the outdoors, and I’m pretty sure they do. But I have had problems figuring out a way in which I wouldn’t traumatize or scare them in any way. As a father I want to protect them from every danger at all costs.
But the need to protect has to be balanced with the ability to trust them ever so much in the outdoor skills that have already been instilled in them. They say that a child’s personality and interests are solidified in who they are as a person before the age of four. I think that I have been able to peak their interest in hunting, fishing, gathering, woodsman ship, survival etc. by being the example of the ethical father, pastor and outdoorsman. They want to go. The question is how to prepare them for the dark walk in the woods? How to remain quiet? How to stay still? All things that a five year old finds difficult, let alone two five year olds.
I think that the answer to these questions lay in the realm of practice. Practice, practice, practice. And patience Daniell San! What I think we will do is to start getting up very early and walking in the dark woods to a preset practice blind, make it a game and engage their imagination in a positive way to help them adjust to the way of the outdoorsman. Early mornings, varying weather conditions, patience, confidence, skill, trouble shooting, critical thinking, decision making, appreciation for nature and Gods good creation around them. These are all necessary qualities for a great outdoorsman to acquire.
Our turkey season here in California begins on March 31st. That means I have two weeks or so to get them prepared for opening day. Practice makes better. Practice makes confident. Practice makes appreciation. Hold me in you thoughts and prayers for March 31st when I take my two five year old boys into the woods with me. And I’ll let you all know how it went.