A few years ago, I got an email from a mother, wanting to find a mentor for her 11-year old son. Specifically, she was wanting a mentor who would spend time outdoors with her son. Her husband, who had been a hunter and outdoorsman, had passed away and now there was no one around to teach her son to hunt and fish.
I sent an email out to my list, just to show everyone the kinds of kids that we are trying to match on a daily basis, kids from single-parent homes that don’t have opportunities to go hunting and fishing.
The next morning, I got a phone call from Michael Pearce, who was the outdoor writer for the Wichita Eagle at the time. Michael said, “You have amazing timing! I was just saying to my wife last night that I would like to mentor a young boy, teaching them to hunt and fish.”
I put Michael in touch with the mother and Michael and young Jake hit it off. Michael wrote several articles for the Wichita Eagle about his experiences with Jake. I’d invite you to check them out. You could be making the same kind of impact on a child that Michael did on Jake. And you should expect to be impacted by the experience the same way that Michael has been.
Michael’s first article was titled, “A friendship that will last a long time” and published in February of 2014 in the Wichita Eagle. You can read the article by clicking on the link. This first article tells of Jake getting his first buck with a crossbow. Michael still laughs when telling the story today. After a successful fall turkey season, in which Jake harvested 4 toms, he told Michael that when he turned 16 he was changing his name to “Tom” as he would no longer be a “Jake”.
That May, Michael penned another story about his hunting adventures with Jake, titled, “Turkeys are worth the time.” Getting kids in the outdoors in the spring to thrill to the sights of young gobblers doing their thing is really special…something that all kids should get to see.
Michael also had one of his articles published in “The Archery Wire” titled, “48 Targets, One Lost Arrow and a Great Day With a Young Archer .” As I’m hoping you’re beginning to see, Michael and Jake did all kinds of things outdoors together.
In February, 2015, Michael wrapped up his fall hunting seasons with Jake with an article called “Closing of the seasons as good as the opening.” He talked about the trapping they had done, the goose hunts, and the dove hunts. Jake even brought one of his friends on some of their adventures.
A couple of years later, Michael wrote about a spring turkey hunt that he took Jake on and titled the story, “A Helping Hen.” If you’re getting the impression that Jake and Michael had a lot of fun together, you’d be right. We find that’s the case with our Outdoor Mentors…they have fun spending time hunting and fishing with kids!
The story Michael wrote about Jake’s first buck with a bow was titled, “First buck with a bow years in the taking”. Michael brings everyone up-to-date with this article, referencing all of the tom turkey’s Jake has harvested and the fishing trips he’d been on. But mostly, it’s about Jake’s growing into becoming a hunter.
Early on, Michael expressed his hopes that eventually Jake would help mentor other kids. And he’s done exactly that. Michael and Jake have taken kids to a prime property near El Dorado where Michael would guide one youth and Jake would guide another. It’s been pretty special seeing Jake grow and mature into a young man. And much of what he is becoming is thanks to having a caring mentor share his love and passion for the outdoors with Jake.
Folks might wonder, “What does mentoring look like, what does it involve?” I bet if you asked Michael, he’d say it’s all about having fun with a kid. And I’m pretty sure he’d tell you that he has gotten more out of his time mentoring Jake than Jake did. Michael says that even today, he and Jake talk just about every day, especially during hunting season.
If you’d like to become a positive influence in a youngster’s life, give us a call. Become an Outdoor Mentor today!