Raising An Outdoors Girl
By: Morgan Garcia
I’m about to become a first time parent. I’m having a girl and we couldn’t be more excited.
I have always loved the outdoors. I felt like I was outside all the time when I wasn’t in school. I had this big forest behind the house where I grew up and I’d always take my dog and friends up there and just wander around. In general, I was outside playing all the time. I was constantly riding my bicycle everywhere, too. We also camped quite a bit in the summer months.
However, I never hunted, never fished, was never around guns or archery or knives or any of that sort of stuff. Even though I may not have had those experiences growing up, I adopted them later in life.
Now that I’m about to have a girl, I want to be able to pass my knowledge onto her and have her be a well-rounded individual with respect for nature and the drive to have experiences outside of technology.
Kids these days, (feel free to imagine me sitting in a rocking chair out on the front porch, shaking my fist at them dang kids to get off my lawn), are spending more time indoors playing with their tablets, smartphones or video games and practically no time outside using their imagination or honing a skill or hobby. I have nothing against technology, I’m pretty addicted to my smartphone sometimes. However, there needs to be a good balance. And it’s up to us as her parents, to teach her that balance.
I want to instill into my child the importance of the outdoors. I want to teach her how to shoot a bow, how to shoot a gun (and in turn, teach her proper gun safety), how to fish, how to hunt, how to find wild edibles, how to purify water, how to make a fire, how to setup your own campsite without a tent, etc.
I am also eager to teach her how to defend herself. I’d love to get her into MMA or some other form of martial arts so that nobody is ever able to take advantage of her.
I can’t tell you how many times I am told, “Just wait for the baby to come, then you won’t have time to do anything ever again.”
I don’t understand that thought process.
I want my child to be apart of our lives and hobbies, and of course for her to discover her own likes and dislikes. When we go to the shooting range, she’s coming with (don’t worry, we have some sweet eye protection and ear muffs for her)! When we go hunting, she’s coming with. When I go for a walk or run, she’s coming with. When we go camping, she’s coming with. When we go fishing, she’s coming with.
You get the idea.
How did you instill the love of the outdoors in your son or daughter?