"June is for dads"
I've spent quite a bit of time in my past blogs speaking about the importance of involving kids and grandkids in the out of doors. This ensures our traditions in the great out of doors will continue. We can't, however, forget where those traditions began for us. June celebrates "Fathers Day" and where would most of us be without the introduction to the outdoors our dads provided.
I was fortunate growing up in a rural area of upstate New Your with a family steeped in outdoor traditions. I vividly remember my disappointment as a young boy in not being allowed to go on the trips for which my father packed up his gear to meet other family members and head to deer camp. I couldn't wait until my dad let me know I was old enough to join the family at my grandfathers hunting camp in the Adirondack Mountains. My first few years were spent following my dad and uncles on deer hunts because I was too young to carry a rifle and hunt. I remember lying awake at night, listening to the men in camp talk about past hunts and the plans for the following day as they played cards. I just couldn't sleep.
I also remember the late night spring fishing trips to catch the "bullhead" run, spent beside a big creek side fire, baiting our cane poles and fishing throughout the night. Dead tired at daybreak, the work had just begun as we drove back to my grandfathers and spent a good part of the morning cleaning our catch from the previous night. I was tired, but thrilled with fresh fried bullheads that always followed.
Cold spring weather found my dad and I on the small creeks around my grandfathers, setting traps for the muskrat-trapping season. The fall saw us walking the fields and cattail edges trying to kick up pheasants, or in the deep woods hunting those fast flying ruffed grouse. Spring and summer meant fishing; whether on the St. Lawrence River or in the mountains for native trout. These times, while easily forgotten in the past, are now part of what I remember best about growing up in a family who lived and loved the out of doors. My life has been filled with the efforts of my dad, uncles, and grandfather to teach me about the outdoors and to provide me with the lifelong passion I still have.
So, in the month of June let's not forget who provided us the knowledge and enjoyment we have and are sharing with our children and grandchildren. Let's take this opportunity to let our dads know how much we appreciate that they took the time to involve us in the outdoors and have given us a lifelong passion that we can share with others. So, Happy Father's Day to all.