Thursday, November 12, 2009

11.14.09 Daddy's Outdoor Education Academy

At least once per year I knock the dust off my well-worn copy of The Old Man and the Boy and read Robert Ruark's wonderful novel centered around the life of a young boy growing up in rural North Carolina. In Ruark's work, the boy's grandfather, or "old man," takes him under his wing, teaching him everything from marksmanship to ethics.
Just four pages into the book is this great quote. "The thing I like best about the Old Man is that he's willing to talk about what he knows, and he never talks down to a kid, which is me, who wants to know things. When you are as old as the Old Man, you know a lot of things that you forget you ever know, because they've been a part of you for so long. You forget that a young'un hasn't had a start on the world as you did, and you don't bother to spread information around. You forget that other people might be curious about what you already knew and forgot." With impeccable insight Ruark points out what's lacking in modern society...mentorship.
Last month as I was reading The Old Man for what was probably the tenth time, it occurred to me that without his grandfather's "investment" in his life, the young man would have been clueless in many ways, including but not limited to his prowess afield.
I also got to thinking about the things I want my boys, and girl, to learn as they progress through Daddy's Outdoor Education Academy. Here are ten of those things:
  1. Sporting etiquette & safety.
  2. The proper way to sharpen a knife or broadheads.
  3. Sighting in a rifle or bow.
  4. Field dressing game and cleaning fish.
  5. Starting and subsequently cooking over a fire.
  6. Reloading ammo and fletching arrows.
  7. Casting with a fly rod, tying simple flies.
  8. Cleaning a firearm.
  9. Throwing a casting net.
  10. Truck, ATV, boat, etc. maintenance.
Of course these things are merely a portion of the vast array of necessary knowledge and they pale in comparison to the most important thing I can teach them...about God. Here are some great Scriptures that point to the necessity of this type of training:
  • Deuteronomy 6:5-7 "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children."
  • Psalm 71:18 "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."
  • Psalm 78:4 "We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders he has done."
  • Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
  • Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

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