Michael has been mentoring Jake for the last 14 months, spending time hunting and fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.
In this article, Michael reflects on the importance of the time he has been spending with Jake:
“And such things are why I think it's so important that adults encourage and lead maturing children to chances to prove themselves in better ways, like on the basketball court, in the classroom, or in the outdoors. Children who are confident in themselves, with a solid sense of self-esteem, usually develop into better adults than those who don’t. Jake, I think, is well on his way.
We met about 14 months ago. Raised by a protective, and prone to worry, single-mother since his father died eight years ago, only-child-Jake has been pretty soft about some things. He was nervous about recoil the first time he shot a mild-kicking .22 our first day together, slunk back a bit when I gave him a slight shove as we joked around and didn't have much confidence in his skills.
But there have been changes in our 60 or so trips outdoors together. He's slowly, as they say, “manning-up” and showing more confidence. I've seen it as he kicks in to help as we work on habitat projects, when he's carrying a spring longbeard from the turkey woods, landing a nice fish on a fly rod or when Jake makes a great find on a birding trip. More is surely to come.”
You can read the full article here.
About Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors
Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors is a Wichita, Kansas-based national organization dedicated to providing children with mentors who will share with them the experiences of traditional outdoor activities. The heart of the group’s mission is to give children opportunities to connect with nature that they more than likely won’t have without a mentor showing them the way. Partnering with organizations with like-minded conservation and youth participation efforts like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pheasants Forever, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation, among others, volunteers with a passion for the outdoors can give a child the chance to go fish, hunt, or simply spend time in the fields with a caring adult. For more information about Pass It On – Outdoor Mentors, please visit www.outdoormentors.org.