As Father’s Day quickly approaches I have been thinking about how to say thank you and show my gratitude to my dad. Even though a couple of my teen years were turbulent—whose wasn’t—my father and I have a mature relationship filled with mutual respect and admiration. Even now, I consider my father the smartest man I ever met. I owe our healthy relationship to my father, who laid down the foundation at an early age. Before I became interested in boys, my dad took me on monthly outings—just him and I. These weren’t short trips to the ice cream shop either, but all-day and sometimes all-weekend adventures. Every single outing involved being outdoors. We hiked, swam, fished, camped, caved, and rode horses. Because of my dad being a fun, loving, supporting and present buddy in my young girl life I ended up with a sense of wonder, high-self esteem, independence, fearlessness, and above all respect for myself, nature, and others.
Psychologists have found that a strong, loving, and present father in a little girl’s life—even divorced fathers—leads to more self-confidence, less depression, and better grades. They learn positive male love and have a sense of can do especially when allowed to participate in typical boy activities. Since my dad is the smartest man in the world—to me— he clearly knew what he was doing. Our outdoor activities made me a smarter, healthier and well-rounded kid! Studies show that kids who play outdoors have:
- Increased fitness
- Improved vision
- Reduced stress
- Higher test scores
- Increased critical thinking skills
Unfortunately, however, times have changed. Kids these days spend much more time indoors than my generation ever did. The National Wildlife Federation reports that children spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors and more than seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen. In turn, child obesity, ADHD and childhood depression rates have soared.
There is no better time than now to kick-start your daughter’s love for outdoor activities and sports. As a gift to her and you to celebrate Father’s Day, take your daughter to the shooting range for National Take Your Daughter to the Range Day (NTYDTTRD) on Saturday June 15, 2013.
Inspired after reading Julie Golob’s book “Shoot”, Lynne Finch co-founded the non-profit NTYDTTRD to promote safety, fun, education, and family bonding by introducing girls under the age of 18 to the wonderful world of the shooting sports.
This year, the organizations second annual event is happening at shooting ranges across the nation. Participating ranges will offer specials and discounts throughout the day for families who participate. Find one of the over 25 participating ranges in your area here.
Even though the shooting sports are not necessarily an outdoor activity, I categorize it as an outdoor sport. One thing I love about the shooting sports—especially for children—there are no psychical limitations. You don’t have to have any certain abilities or talents to be good at shooting. Anyone can learn! The shooting sports teach children:
- Hand-eye coordination
- To overcome fear
- Liberty and freedom
- Goal setting and achievement
Not to mention, you have a fun activity to enjoy and bond with not only your daughter, but your whole family.
One young lady who shoots knows guns are tools for daily living. In the right hands, guns are not only safe, but also fun. Her father says, “She’s been known to brag a bit about her great shots.” One of my friends taught his daughters from age of two and a half how to shoot. He feels they behave more responsibly than other children who do not know how to shoot guns safely. He says, “It is also fun to watch them point out poor firearm handling at the range and while watching movies. It is interesting to watch a grown man get corrected on carrying a rifle by an 11 year-old girl.” Dads, now is the time to teach your daughter how to shoot! I promise she will thank you later.
Shooting Gear Your Daughter Will Love:
- Pink Peltor Junior Hearing Protectors
- Pink Champion Traps and Targets Youth Clear Shooting Glasses
- Birchwood Casey Battle At Sea Dirty Bird Game Targets
- Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C Pink Bullseye Targets
- Pink Keystone Sporting Arms Crickett . 22 Long Rifle Single Shot Youth Rifle
- Ruger 10/22 Pink Hogue Rifle Stock