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Thoughts on Mentorship: Or, Come on, let’s go fishing!

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posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 09:09 AM
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Remember I’m an old dude, 50 this year… no longer just a daddy, I’m a grandpa now! My kids are all grown; heck my youngest is just now finishing up his third phase of boot camp over at Fort Jackson. He was so excited the other day when he called to say, “Wow dad you were right… we just did our Night Fire and it was awesome!”
I remember those days when he was little and I took him on his first frog hunt. Didn't matter that he got so excited he leapt into the pond flaying away at everything with his pole. Oh sure I would have caught more frogs if I gone by myself but where’s the fun in that?

I taught outdoorsmen’s ship skills to all my kids. Why I remember the first time I sat next to my daughter in a tree stand waiting for a big buck to break cover. I don’t know who was more excited me or her. Putting my lips to her ear I whispered, “Remember what I taught you honey, no pressure!” She rolled her little eyes at me and gave me that, dad is stupid look… Then she took the shot! “I got him daddy I got him!” she nearly fell out of the tree to get down to her first kill. “Don’t help me dad… I can do it myself!” Just as I had taught her to do in the traditions of our people, she whispered a prayer to the Great Spirit, and then gave thanks to the deer for offering himself to our family. Reverently she helps me load that buck onto our ATV back at camp she wouldn’t let me help dress him out and pack up the meat that would feed our family through the winter. Once we got back to the house my baby pounced on her mother, “Mommy, mommy look what we got… daddy didn’t help at all…!” “I’m so proud of you baby girl… now go get cleaned up… Oh and that boy Jacob called while you were gone.” “Jacob…!” and off she ran to her room to call this week’s crush, the spell was broken, little girls grow up all to quickly but for a moment, out in that field she was still daddy’s girl!

Yes I spent many wonderful hours with all my kids. Teaching them to hunt and fish, track and camp, sleeping under the stars, such is our family… but kids grow up and I got to miss that glorious open wonder in a child’s eyes when they reel in their first fish!

My new friend is a young single mom named Tina. She has two boys, seven and ten and this adorable little girl who has become my granddaughters new best friend. A couple weeks back she invited my granddaughter over for a play date. I dropped her off promptly at ten that morning, “Have fun honey… grandpa is going to run over to the river and see if I can catch us something good for dinner!” That’s when I noticed Tina’s boys looking at me. “Hey, you guys want to go catch some fish with me?” “Can we mom, can we?” “Okay but you boys behave yourselves… do everything grandpa tells you too!” “We will mom we will!”

Okay so all the boys managed to catch was a few bluegills… but you should have seen their faces when they showed their mom their prize! “I hope they weren’t any trouble?” I didn’t tell her about the hook I had embedded in my thumb while trying to bait a hook, or how I had to clear several birds’ nests while trying to teach them to cast. Sure I would have had caught a lot more fish if I had gone myself, but I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun! “Grandpa Can we go again, can we!” Music to my ears! I may not be their real grandfather but in this day and age where fewer and fewer people venture into the great outdoors it’s nice to see a new generation of kids rushing into the house crying, “Mom, mom… look what we caught!” those boys are going to be so excited when I hand over the new rods I bought them… smaller lighter versions of the same bait-cast set up I use… look out world there are about to be two new big bad hunters in the woods… well maybe after I buy them a good pair of hiking boots…

So next time your planing a trip out to the woods or out on the lake... think about bring along a kid who might not otherwise have that chance... who knows you might just make a difference in some child's life... but trust me when I say... take along a first aide kit too... hooks in your thumb really hurt




posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


I tip my hat to you sir.


I had many great mentors growing up thankfully since my dad was deadbeat most of the time. Football coaches, uncles, even a teacher. If it had not been for them and the time, wisdom, and love they shared I would probably be in jail or worse.

Your story made my day.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by FreeSpeaker
 


Gald you liked my stroy...
you grab a boat and I'll bring the tackle then you can tell me all about those fine days as a youth while we drown a few worms....



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
reply to post by FreeSpeaker
 


Gald you liked my stroy...
you grab a boat and I'll bring the tackle then you can tell me all about those fine days as a youth while we drown a few worms....


I'd love too. Funny enough this friday is my first real vacation in a decade. Rented a 58" house boat on Lake of The Woods in Ontario for the week.


Worms will drown, beer will be downed and fish will be eaten with gusto.


If I ever head that far south I would drop you a pm so you could show me some good fishing in your area and share our stories over some beers. Being Canadian, I would be honored to share our potent brew with you.

I was a real angry kid, did I mention the deadbeat dad, and some of the adults I mentioned saw this and decided to stear me in the right direction with sports, outdoors, and education. Without them, and people like you, many kids will take the wrong road sadly.

Cheers, and good fishing!




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