Just like the brands we carry, our nonprofit partners also have great stories that we’d love to share with you. In this post, we’re looking at the power that a simple pastime can have to bring families together.
At Modern Kids Design, we know that achieving something simple is actually more complex than it seems. Many of the brands we stock combine form and function in seemingly simple ways to create something beautiful yet practical for families. Fishing’s Future, one of our nonprofit partners, is also beautifully simple and practical. At its heart, the organization is simply a group of caring individuals dedicated to getting families out in nature and fishing together. However, the range of issues Fishing’s Future addresses with this simple act of fishing is quite complex and their work is admirable.
Of course, anyone who has fished will tell you that fishing itself isn’t as simple as it looks. Running a nationwide organization that gathers families at events and provides the support for each chapter to fulfill its mission also takes a bit more effort than simply making sure everyone has a pole and a life jacket.
Fishing and Families? Such a Great Idea…
Fishing’s Future began when the founder, Shane Wilson, combined 20 years of educating at-risk youth with his passion for the outdoors and fishing. An accomplished fisherman, Wilson holds a Fly Fishing World Record, two Guinness World Records, and he’s fished in every state except for Hawaii!
The only thing Shane Wilson is more passionate about than fishing is caring for underserved people in communities across the country. Serving at-risk youth for many years, Wilson recognized that parental involvement could make or break a child’s chance for a positive future.
After seeing what happens to at-risk youth without strong family ties, Wilson began to look at how he could get families communicating and working together. In a world with a media buzz constantly grabbing for our attention, it’s another task that’s easier said than done. Let’s see how Fishing’s Future works in practice.
Step one: Get families out of their element. A big part of getting families into nature with Fishing’s Future is turning off and tuning in. With electronic devices turned off, there are no screens to distract parents and children. This gives everyone a chance to tune in to the thoughts and emotions of each other, finding harmony in the natural environment.
By taking families into nature, Fishing’s Future puts them in a new environment that brings balance to family relationships as parents and children learn together. For parents, it’s an opportunity to share any knowledge or experiences they’ve had with fishing. There may be some special childhood memories that parents can share about their first time fishing. Plus, learning how to fish again with their kids, parents get a safe place to show that they don’t know everything. 🙂
Step two: Get families fishing together. Fishing looks simple, but it’s quite complex. There are many steps to catching a fish, starting with finding a good place to fish, learning the right bait to use, how much tension to keep on your line, and more! Giving families an activity to work through together builds bonds. Communication and teamwork are important, someone jumping up and down could quite literally rock the boat! And scare the fish away.
Sometimes one or two fish do get away, and that’s ok, there are lessons to be learned there too. In the apparently simple act of fishing, there are so many lessons to be learned about life. Fishing’s Future gives parents and children the chance to share these lessons in the greatest classroom the world has to offer, Nature.
Want to Get Involved With Fishing’s Future?
It’s no surprise that Wilson’s simple idea has caught the hearts and minds of people across the country looking for ways to get families together in their communities. Fishing’s Future has chapters in 14 states, and even an international chapter in Bern, Switzerland! In each chapter, a Master Angler guides groups of children and parents through a process of learning and discovery that brings them back in tune with each other and back in touch with nature.
The program has proved so successful that it recently received the 2016 Roland Sigurdson Outstanding Aquatic Education Program Award from the Aquatic Resources Education Association. Wilson intends to continue spreading the love by expanding, with a plan to double in size within five years.
Do you want to combine your love of fishing with your love of service? Check out Fishing’s Future’s website and you may find that you want to apply to open a chapter near you! As always, thanks for reading and let us know what you think or what you’d like to read about in upcoming posts at firstname.lastname@example.org. And in case you’re wondering about the picture, we took this one in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf. 🙂