Raising a brood: Get children traveling

Taking youngsters on the road requires substantial work, but the results are more than worthwhile.

I’ve spent quality time with many children throughout my life, hunting with family, friends and clients. However, six years ago, when I started dating my wife, who has two beautiful daughters, I was suddenly with children all the time. Since then, I’ve realized what it takes to mentor youngsters and help them become good people.

I constantly push the limits. And growth is at the top of my list for our children. To me, that means having them experience and be proficient at several things, such as fishing, driving a plethora of vehicles, shooting various weapons and undertaking many chores. The latter is a daily grind yet very valuable. And I believe that traveling is one of the most important things we can do for and with children.

Spring turkey hunting provides the perfect excuse to hit the road. I’ve traveled for the past 27 years, so it’s second nature to me. The drive to complete my Super Slam pushed me to visit and subsequently reflect on each of our 49 incredible states. I don’t aspire that my wife and children achieve Super Slams. In fact, hunting trips have only accounted for a few of the almost 20 states the girls have visited.

However, I’d like traveling to be second nature for our children. The knowledge and confidence they will acquire from seeing diverse people, topography, vegetation, landscapes, architecture, foods, smells and dialects during their travels will help shape them in a positive way. And the memories will stay with them for a lifetime.

Traveling with children requires lots of work, but I encourage you to help a local youngster that otherwise might never realize such opportunities on their own. Children represent our future, and what we do for them will come back to us exponentially.

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