Yes, you read that correctly! Do you know WHO your kids are? I started thinking about this Saturday. A young lady came to check in a deer. It was her first one ever!
As, I began to think about her accomplishment, I kept thinking about how wonderful it was that her family was with her as she checked the deer in. I also thought, "What a special time that was for her and her father." My thoughts quickly changed, though. What about all the kids who do not have that chance? What about all the parents who don't spend the time with their kids teaching them about hunting, or more importantly, life? It was a long process to get where this young lady was. There was scouting. There was days sitting and waiting. She had even missed one the week before. In all that time, she was hanging with her dad and her family. Learning.
I could throw statistics at you about kids, but let me tell you what I see as a business owner and a youth group leader. There are a lot of kids who love the outdoors. I have kids who come in all the time just to shop around. They are frequent customers. Kids want to know they are loved. If they don't find that love from us as parents, they will find it from somewhere else. This generation is exposed to more garbage and overall distractions from media, than any other generation in history. They need a break from those distractions. Put the cell phone or mp3 player down. Listen to nature. Watch the sunrise or set. I find they generally want to spend time with their families, although, some I have do not. I also know many of their parents have no idea of the pressures at school they're dealing with.
Then I see kids who go hunting/fishing with their parents often. I have been at my store long enough to thankfully see some of these kids grow to be responsible adults. They are polite, not just to me but to their parents. Many of their parents could tell you what these kids are planning to do with their futures. They know their kids. Their kids can tell you about the parents when they come on their own. They know them, because they spend time with them. I once had a parent tell me that the best thing he ever did was to buy some land with a cabin. He felt the time he spent with his family up there was priceless. The memories they had and the relationships built were well worth the money spent on the purchase. His son now comes in as an adult. From what I know of his son, he's right.