As we all know, times are changing, and the use of technology – especially by youth – is increasing at an unprecedented rate.
That said, I believe the outdoors is greater than anything ever invented by man – yes, even smartphones. The Creator gave us the outdoors to keep, treasure and enjoy. Decades ago, nearly every child loved playing outside and lifting rocks to find worms. Now, technology and devices have largely taken the place of spending time outdoors for our youth, and for that reason, I think the outdoors is needed in a child’s life now more than ever.
Is it not an outdoorsperson’s duty to pass their skill down to the next generation? Today, the great art of an outdoorsman is dying, and it is up to us to revive it. Thankfully, the outdoors can be taught in so many different ways – including with the help of technology and smartphones.
Teaching Your Own Kids:
One of the most important objectives of a parent who enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting and trapping, should be to raise their kids with a hands-on appreciation for the outdoors. Pass down what your parents taught you, so that it can be carried on from generation to generation. I encourage you to limit your child’s playing time on a smartphone or other device to only in the evenings, so that your son or daughter can enjoy the day in God’s country.
Using Technology to Revive the Outdoors:
I am truly convinced that the most effective way today to revive the dying art of an outdoorsman is to use what youth love most – technology. In fact, today the outdoors should be easier to teach than it was a 100 years ago. We have so many tools that we can use to teach others.
- YouTube is a great teaching tool. Videos can easily be made and uploaded to YouTube using a simple smartphone. You don’t need all the fancy editing equipment to do videos, either. Use what you have to make them, upload to YouTube and then share on social media. Teens love watching video, so use that platform.
- Social media is a fantastic way to reach others. My generation (I’m 16) loves social media like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Make posts sharing your love for the outdoors and sharing the wonders therein. Before I had ever gone hunting, I would see my friends post their kills on Facebook. Boy, did it make me want to go hunting more. Social media can encourage outdoorsmen to teach one another and teach those whom know little.
- Blogging is another way to reach people. Not only can you educate people, but you could also turn it into a profit by selling ad space. Blogging is easy, it just takes time to build your site and audience. I have two blogs myself, one with more than 160k Facebook likes. You can use Facebook as a tool to build audience. Making a Facebook page and group is a great way to get starting with building your audience. You can go to blogger.com to make a free blog.
Take a Kid Hunting or Fishing
Taking a kid hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting or even trapping, especially one who doesn’t have parents who are “outdoorsy,” is perhaps the most meaningful way to share your love for the outdoors. It will change that kid’s life, as it changed mine!
Let me tell you a story.
Back in the summer of 2013, I went to a teen camp, and at the event, they had time set aside for swimming. Well, I really didn’t like to swim too much, hence I decided not to go. A camp counselor, Bryan May, pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted to go down to the creek with him and fish. I said, “Sure.” It wasn’t my first time fishing, but it was my first time really enjoying the outdoors. We pulled out tons of fish! We were fishing all that week, and it was truly awesome. Ever since, my love for the outdoors has always been growing.
Because of that one time Bryan took me fishing, I am here writing you this article. If that wouldn’t have happened, my life would be dramatically different. However, because it did occur, I too get to teach what Bryan taught me. So, I encourage you to take as many kids outside as possible.
If we all work together and teach this next generation the wonders of the outdoors, it will change the outdoor industry – and make it stronger than ever before.
Images by Dave Maas