I hooked up with Shannon Young a short time ago. (First, Shannon is a boy. Second, get your mind out of the gutter.) It started out as another random Facebook Chat conversation … you know—the kind where that annoying little box pops up in the corner of the screen when you’re trying to do covert recon to determine exactly what your friends—and your enemies—have been up to.
The name didn’t mean much to me at first, but Shannon seemed harmless enough so I engaged. As we dabbled in random conversation, I poured through Shannon’s profile and stumbled across a part of Shannon’s life that our conversation had yet to uncover.
It turns out Shannon was—and still very much is—building an organization called 100,000 Kids in the Outdoors. Like Shannon’s name, it didn’t mean much to me at first—but you can bet this fall’s buck tag that they both do now. His idea is a simple one, and it’s exactly as its name implies: Get more kids involved in shooting and hunting.
Through the inspiration of Zac McAmis, Shannon started on a mission to get 100,000 kids in the outdoors, and is looking for as many people to help as possible. I’m in, and I’m asking for you to do the same.
Look, I’m not much of a pitch man. If you wanna know why I’m shooting this broadhead or that bullet, just ask and I’ll tell ya—but I’m not going to try to sell you on it. You’re an adult, and likely very capable of making your own decisions. But, with that said, I whole-heartedly believe in what Shannon is orchestrating, and here’s why:
I’m the father of two gorgeous little girls, the oldest (Mya) of which is a few months shy of 2 years old. Every day when I hang up my keyboard and head home, Mya takes me by the hand and we go to the basement and look at all Daddy’s “bucks” and “bears.” And on days when I’m exceptionally blessed, Mya then asks to go outside, where we search for rabbits and squirrels, robins and cardinals (yes, she knows the difference). I see a passion in her eyes—a need to learn—about the outdoors world around her … and it fills me like no Boone and Crockett-class whitetail ever could. She’s not old enough to appreciate hunting yet—and maybe never will—but I solidly believe I’m instilling a love for the outdoors in her that will blossom throughout her life. And some day, God willing, she’ll thank me for taking the time … even though she’s already giving me so much through her pure excitement.
Yeah, time is tight, and we’ve all heard the countless reasons kids are losing interest in the outdoors … especially hunting. But I’m not interested in those reasons. I’m interested in growing our hunting family.
I know you’ve got countless people and organizations asking for your time and money, but I’m going to ask you this anyway: Please, even if it’s for a robin-watching mission in your backyard, get a kid—your kid … any kid—outside this fall. Surely don’t do it for me, or even for 100,000 Kids in the Outdoors—that’s just a resource if you need and want it. Do it for that specific kid. If you look closely, I bet you’ll see the hunger in their eyes is already there.
Keep your nose to the wind.