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We’ve Gone Fishing

When we think about the early connection between a father and son, perhaps we imagine a nostalgic image of them fishing together. It’s a tradition deeply engrained in the American psyche. With good reason, it’s one of the few cultural rituals we offer children positive messages of masculinity.
For those who have had such an experience know fishing is more than the sum of its parts. For the rest of us, like those in the first Nintendo/MTV generation who grew up without much vision for positive outdoor experiences, here’s a little of what we’ve been missing.

  • Fostering Conversations You Wouldn’t Have at Home
  • Investing in Your Collective Emotional Future
  • Teaching Environmental Stewardship

Thankfully it’s never too late to do something for the first time… and let the simple goodness of life surprise you. I learned this lesson over again when Grandpa took us all fishing for the first time.

Watching my son’s face light up with pride as he reels in his first fish, in the presence of his grandfather, is a significant moment beyond the moment itself. It’s a healing alignment of generations, as one passes on wisdom to the next — an act of affirming positive identity of those who will and must someday become men.

Crawdad Creek

When I was growing up, there was a drainage ditch down the street from a friend’s house. We called this place Crawdad Creek because another friend once found a crawdad there. I never caught one, but I remember spending hours trying. Looking back, those were the moments it felt like childhood was magical.

Exploring the natural world connects us to the awe and wonder of life itself.

As a grown up living in the largest city in the state, I lament how much of our life together is spent surrounded by concrete. It’s difficult to find natural spaces like lakes, creeks, or wooded areas for outdoor play — except they do make spaces like that.
They call them parks.
Now there is a Crawdad Creek at Platte River State Park, one of the eight other Nebraska State Parks easily accessible. Thanks to some new friends we made at a local unschooling group, who invited us out and freely shared fishing nets and buckets of all sizes, the kids had the best day of the summer so far!

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