Lakecaster Online



Week of 2-28-05

Most informed outdoorsmen and women are aware that the average age of participants is getting older each year. The average age of a hunter in Texas is 43 and the average age for fishermen is 46. Nationally, participation is getting older as well.

Countless studies have been done to determine why this is happening. Children being raised by single mothers are a major factor. Many women don't know enough about the outdoors to get their children involved. Another reason for children not taking up hunting and fishing is that the variety of entertainment/sport activities today is greater than it has ever been.

Looking 20 years down the road, things don't look favorable for outdoor people, as the average age of a participant will be nearing retirement. The reality of aging outdoorsmen should be of concern to all who love wildlife and its habitat. Outdoorsmen and women are basically the only group of Americans that willingly financially support wildlife. Fortunately, there are some groups of people that are trying to introduce more young people to the outdoors. The NWTF Jakes Program and of course the nationally recognized Kidfish program are among some of my personal favorite groups that are taking active rolls at recruiting, but there's a lot of other groups doing a fine job as well.

Recently I learned of another interesting program to recruit children and their families into the outdoors. It's called the Sky Ranch Outdoor Adventure Program. This new family program is being developed and overseen by my long time friend Jody Jackson. Jody, as many know, is the creator of the national award winning Smallfry Fishing Festival and KIDFISH programs. Over the past 14 years these two programs combined have been credited for introducing more than One Million participants to the sport of fishing.

Sky Ranch Outdoor Adventure programs are unlike KIDFISH where the focus is primarily to introduce kids to the sport of fishing. This Sky Ranch program is designed to not only get you and your child excited about fishing but also to utilize the many benefits of fishing to build closer family relationships.

To accomplish this mission, 4 program areas have been developed. Sky Ranch will offer Father/Child, Father/Daughter, and Family programs, as well as a program targeted at single mothers called "Becoming an Outdoor Mom". The Outdoor Mom program will focus on teaching mothers how to become involved with and build lasting bonds with their children through such activities as fishing, camping and other outdoor adventures.

"I've seen the positive impact of spending quality time fishing with your child thousands of times throughout my career. But still it always amazes me the transformation that takes place between a parent and a child when they are sitting on a dock, along the shoreline or in a boat fishing together"…said Jody. "You can actually watch as the tension of everyday life, school, work, and other stresses release from their body. Both parent and child let their guard down and relax. They actually talk to each other, smile and laugh with each other, and most importantly the quality time spent together reinforces the love they have for one another."

"Creating an environment where parents and kids can strengthen their relationship is my # 1 goal with the Outdoor Adventure program. We will fish, eat, play, sleep, and let our kids know just how special they are to us and the world!" concluded Mr. Jackson.

Sky Ranch Camp is located on 500 acres of beautiful East Texas ranch land just 45 miles southeast of Dallas near Canton, Texas. The rolling hills are covered with East Texas pines, oaks, and dogwoods, and there's more for a child and parent to do than space or time will allow. Some of the activities include swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, waterpark, zip lines, mini golf, and a 94 acre private lake full of BIG Bass, Catfish, and Crappie. Sky Ranch also offers Summer Camp, Retreats, Outdoor Education Programs, and Cowboy Adventures as well.

I will be hosting the First Annual Keith Warren Father/Child Outdoor Adventure weekend at Sky Ranch on April 8-9. For a fee of $125 a parent and child can enjoy this 2 day, 1 night outdoor adventure experience. This includes a fishing seminar, a guided fishing trip on Sky Lake, 3 meals, access to all 40 Sky Ranch activities, lodging in one of the rustic lakeside cabins and an opportunity to appear on one of my television shows. Additional children may be added for $50 per child.

I invite you and your kids to join me on this fun-filled Outdoor Adventure weekend at Sky Ranch. Space is limited to the first 40 father/child groups, so contact Sky Ranch for more information or to reserve your spot.

I have been to the facility and seen first hand how this program works. Somehow I will find time to take my kids to this weekend camp. Not so much to learn about the outdoors, but to have the quiet time to learn about my kids.

For more information, contact Jody Jackson at the Sky Ranch Outdoor Adventure camp at 1-800-962-2267 x269 or visit their website

Keith Warren is the host of two weekly outdoor television programs that broadcast on The Outdoor Channel. For questions or comments about our shows or the outdoors, contact Keith at


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