-By Brandon Wikman
The past 8 months I’ve been working diligently on a project that means more to me than hunting, fishing, or writing ever will.
I am so fortunate to be able to work in the outdoor industry and promote it through mass media avenues such as television, publications, and the Internet. My niche in this industry not only as a hunter, but a person who cares about the longevity of our sport, is to make an impact on kids’ lives. To do this, I’ve established an exclusive outdoor camp for kids, called Wik’s World Outdoors Camp.
Wik’s World Outdoors Camp defines what it means to pass on the great hunting tradition to the next generation of outdoorsmen and women alike. We set the standards for integrating the components of values, morals and ethics of the outside world into a kid-friendly approach. Displaying instructive examples, hands-on learning and educating the basics of outdoor skills in an interactive way is what we do. It is our duty to be role models & take a leading edge idea and craft it into a youth's perspective; teaching the novice hunter of today for the expert hunter of tomorrow.
This is my mission. I can’t talk enough about the importance of taking a kid hunting or fishing. It is a statistical fact that kids from age 2 – 11 have already been exposed to more than 20,000 advertisements, on television alone! All this superficial junk, persuasion, and obscenity creates a mental block within a child’s growing mind. Instead planting kids in front of the television set, give them something interactive to do outside.
By age 14 kids have already been immersed in so many activities that it truly takes on the statement, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. It’s difficult to drag a kid back into the deer woods if they grow up not having an interest in the first place.
License sales are down, hunting numbers are plummeting and this is a growing problem within the industry. I literally feel disgusted by that statement, which has been blared so many times. When is there going to be a difference?
Instead of shying away from the fact, we must face it and stand proud for our passions in life. We need to role model as students, fathers, and mothers and take the initiative to make an impact on someone’s life. Be a better person and express yourself with the basic principles of respect, leadership, and determination. That is what we preach at Wik’s World Outdoors Camp.
With this new endeavor of mine lifting-off the ground, I hope to influence as many kids as possible by educating them and letting them experience the outdoors in a fun way; in a way that they’ll never forget. If we start kids out early demonstrating the pleasures the outdoors offers, we can be assured our children and grandchildren will have a tree to hang their stand on.