Lakecaster Online

Wade Middleton

Well summer time is upon us and that means the kids are out of school again. Boy to have a full summer vacation again with few to no worries, sleeping till noon WOW! Speaking of kids and summer vacation I'm going to share a comment that I've heard time and time again when I've set in on so many different meetings or had a conversation about kids and the outdoors. The comment is always the same "We've got to do more to get the kids involved" This comment is interchangeable from hunting to fishing so why can't or why isn't more done? There are so many reasons that I could fill up this entire paper but instead of preaching off a soap box lets look at getting kids more involved.

My son who just turned 11 and he is from what I call the X-Box generation in that he can get instant gratification by simply turning on any video game and pushing a few buttons and blowing up some alien creature from some planet that most adults can't even pronounce. In doing so the screen is full of all sorts of graphics, sounds and effect...... How can fishing or hunting compare where you're waiting for a bobber to go down or deer to walk out? As we all know sometimes the deer never show up and the bobber never sinks. So how do we get more kids involved and away from the X Box and into the outdoors? Well sadly enough we can't get all of them but we can get a few and all it takes is a little effort on our behalf as parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends.

There are lots of programs across Texas and the nations. Many of these are free and some do cost money but so does every X Box game we buy. Any of these opportunities can help get kids more interested in the outdoors but there are no programs that can substitute for mom, dad or another family member taking them so first and foremost take your kids somewhere anywhere and enjoy of day of fishing, walking or hunting just get outdoors. I know that sounds like and is something you've heard 100's of times over and over but I'll say it again and if I have to again and again. However that being said I also understand that some families don't have access to many places to go or know of all the programs and options that are available so I do want to key on some events and activities that can open doors to getting kids active in the outdoors.

First off contact Texas Parks and Wildlife to see what programs might be happening in your area that are free or low cost. You can find out more on the web and address and phone numbers to contact in your area. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ is the main home page for TPWD. Also if you've never been make plans now to attend the free TPWD Expo in Austin every fall. It's free and there are so many great events there mostly designed for the kids that you can't see and do it all in two days.

The Texas Wildlife Association is another group that is heavily involved in youth programs via some of the Brigades programs. These programs are designed to teach many specific skills in relation to hunting and fishing with a strong emphasis on team work and stewardship toward the land. http://www.texas-wildlife.org/ is a great place to find out more about some of the TWA programs.

Another new concept coming on line this summer is a great camp featuring many of the top outdoors professionals in the Lone Star state teaching hunting and fishing skills. This very hands on oriented camp offers both hunting and fishing weeks with small class sizes to ensure learning opportunities and hands on enjoyment for each youngster. The Outdoor Texas Camp offers everything from Shotgunning, Bass Fishing, Dog Training, Deer Hunting, Photography and more. You can find out more about this opportunity at www.outdoortexascamp.com

There are so many other opportunities from Bassmaster casting kids, CAST, local bass clubs, 4H clubs and more that if you want to find a great outing to expand a kids options in the outdoors you can find one. And if you need more help on getting a kid involved don't hesitate to contact me at my e-mail WadeMiddleton@aol.com and we'll find a way as well. But remember what I said early on that no amount of camps, classes and so forth can ever replace the thrill of taking a kid fishing or hunting and spending time away from the X Box, TV or sofa.

Wade Middleton is the host of Fishing and Hunting Texas and a longtime fishing and hunting guide and tournament angler. You can reach Wade at WadeMiddleton@aol.com or catch Fishing and Hunting Texas every Sunday morning on FOX Sports Southwest at 8:30 AM. You can also watch Fishing and Hunting Texas and other outdoors shows online 24 hours a day at www.outdooraction.com For more information go to www.carecomultimedia.com or contact Wade at his e-mail address.

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