A Natural Journey | The Transition from Child to Parent

A funny thing happened a few years back while on a camping trip with my dad. I took over the lead role! Now this didn’t happen overnight or anything like that, but it kinda feels like it now.river camping

I do most of the work on our trips now and think I have most of the good ideas (although my dad would probably disagree). I want to talk a little bit about how this happened and why this happened so it might help to clarify my role as a son and father and your role as a son, daughterfather, mother or generally a positive influencer on people.

It would be great if you came away from this with a feeling of how this type of change affected you or might affect you in the future.  Maybe a way to look a little more inward to think about something a little deeper inside us today.

The Early years

My dad taught me everything I knew about: camping/hunting/fishing and everything outdoor related as a kid and young adult. I learned slowly at times and picked up things later on but always felt confident that I knew a lot about this subject as a kid. As I got older I started catching up with him on hiking speed and wading ability while fishing and eventually somewhere along the line I surpassed him on the energy and effort.

I turned around one day and realized I was the person fishing more and hunting more. I was the one who was setting up camp and getting groceries. I was the one who was coordinating the trip and guiding the people. This happened slowly over time so I can’t pinpoint an exact day. I just remember that day when I realized it and looked back on time to my amazement that I was the more energetic outdoorsman.deschutes river I am guessing that my dad still feels that he has the same passion (dad, let me know if I’m off on this) for the outdoors, but that he just physically doesn’t have the same ability.

Life is Short so make it happen Today!

I think it made me think about the fact that there is an ending in site to life. It’s not just about my dad getting older, but all of us as well. I will be at that same point sometime in the future when my girls have surpassed me.   I know this  will be a great day when this happens. I will have taught them everything I know, they will have lead an entire life, and I will be towards the latter half of my life.

What does it mean to You

I just realized something as I am writing this about my own age that is another eye opener. I am having kids realtivley late in life. I am 39 years old as of writing this so my youngest girl will be going to college when I am 57. Although I think I will be going strong at this point, the girls will be younger than I was when I surpassed my dad in outdoor energenics.

What does all of this mean? It means life is short, and we have to go for it everyday. I can truly tell you now that we have a girl that is 2, that life goes faster now. And if that trend continues, we will be at that point in life with our kids sooner than I think. So I am asking myself right now, when will I will be out in nature next? doug stewartI will be out in two days with my toddler, Yes! I am going to take her on a hike while mom hangs with the baby (Thanks mom).

Do something Today

So the next question for myself and for all of you is this: What are we going to do today to make the most of the time we have today? After all, time is our most limited and valuable resource. I think I will be doing what my dad did. Something that he did right in his life. I will be getting my kids outdoors and experiencing nature.  If you are struggling to get out take a look at this camping guide.

In this day and age when kids are stuck into their devices, I am going to try everyday to get them out in nature. The one person who does an amazing job at this is Megan (my partner if life) and the mother of our girls. She feels unbalanced if we don’t get out in nature and helps me to stay balanced on the work/recreation side. I tend to get caught up in the work side of things at times. I am writing this blog post now when I could be out walking a stream near work. Or I could be taking this week off to be camping with the family. There are so many things we could be doing, but sometimes struggle with it.

How are we all Doing

So where does this bring us now in my story? It makes me think about how I have done and how I will do in the future. Can I or we, or should I or we ask ourselves everyday if we are doing our best job to get the kids out in nature? Should we be spending more time at home trying to keep the devices away from our kids in exchange for dreaming about outdoor activities and prepararing for the next trip. columbia river

The answers for me on these questions are a resounding Yes!! I need to do a better job. I need to thank my dad for the job he has done and do a better job as I grow. I need to continue to be a teacher for myself, my familiy, friends and You! The more I write these blog posts the more I am realizing how important these words are. Writing is doing something great for me, but it’s kind of an ironic thing because the more I write, the more I am inside.  Does anyone have a solution for this dilemma?


So dad, I will just say this straight away to you…… Thank you for giving me the outdoor experiences I have had. For showing me the thing that has had such an impact on myself and my family. I want you to realize that no matter how much stupid stuff I say to you, that I am appreciate of what I have.

So let’s use this opportunity to plan our next trip. Give me a call or better yet leave a comment below if you read this and let me know when we can get out and go camping.

Take a look at these 7 Tips to help prepare for your next big camping trip.

By the way, when is your next trip into nature? It would be awesome if you could leave a quick message below to say what you are excited for.

  1. Melinda Kinsman
    • Dave

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