INTRODUCING A CHILD TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
One of my favorite things to do is to introduce kids to the great outdoors. Not only is it one of the most self rewarding things you can do, it is also one of the most beneficial. It is beneficial to the child, all kinds of plants and animals, and to future generations. A child will remember the things that you teach them and can use them in a positive way the rest of their life. There is nothing quite like the proud smile of accomplishment of a child.
Teaching kids about nature and the outdoors is very easy thing to start. I began with my own by pointing out birds and animals when we were in the truck or just walking in the yard. In the yard also came tree, plant, and insect identification. It got better when we were in the woods at the farm. There were more and different things to see and identify. My own kids as well others are usually interested in those type of things. It is also quality time spent parenting. Memories are made that will last a lifetime for all involved. I followed up by buying them identification books for all of the different things we were seeing. I put a bird feeder in the yard which brought more species of birds to identify. All the while I explained about the wise use and conservation of our wild resources. I taught them to respect all of nature's bounty that we are blessed with.
I carefully introduced them to the actual harvest of fish and game and the legal way of doing so. Soon thereafter they were introduced to firearms and the safe, respectful, responsible, and lawful use of them. At first when I took them hunting with me, only I had a firearm. They were to observe and learn.
After they had graduated from hunter's safety class and they had learned and demonstrated safe handling of a firearm, they got to carry the gun and hunt. My gun stayed home.
Eventually it all came full circle and we enjoy things together with friends.
Introducing kids to the outdoors shouldn't be something that is forced on them. It must be an adventure that is enjoyed by both child and adult. Throughout the whole process, both should be enjoying the bonding with nature and each other. In the end, the child will ultimately decide for himself or herself if they want to continue in outdoor pursuits. Not every child will pursue a life in the outdoors. We as adults can only expose them to the positive aspects of the great outdoors, the full scope of conservation and it's vital component parts such as the harvesting of game, and hope that they make choices that benefit wildlife and future generations.