Finding Your Way to the Great Outdoors

By Eddie Wright

Everything has a beginning. Every journey has a first step. Every story has a first line and every person that enjoys the outdoors had an introduction. Some people are born into outdoor families where fishing, hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities are a way of life, like the type of kids that have the camo outfits with “born to hunt” or “future fisherman” on the front. For those people, getting started is as easy as learning to walk, but for others, a curiosity for the outdoors begins in childhood while making new friends at school or attending summer camps or youth organizations such as scouts or brownies. Having a mentor can truly make a world of difference.

One of the great things about our local area is, the Pennsylvania Game Commission Youth Mentor Program helps assist kids by providing more opportunities to experience hunting at an earlier age than ever before. There are various programs at the local, state and county parks for children to learn the basics of fishing, but there is also availability for basic instruction from privately owned sporting goods stores such as Laurel Point Outfitters in Bolivar. They were a recent feature in a “Getting to know Yinz” video on the Yinzer Magazine Facebook page. The video highlighted their “Kid’s Night” event that is held weekly on Thursday evenings. It provides children with professional instruction on archery basics, safety and ongoing practice on both indoor ranges and a realistic interactive video shooting system.

Another group that may seek instruction is the adult novice, as there are many reasons these individuals get involved in the outdoors. They may develop relationships with an outdoor family or move to a location that provides opportunities that weren’t readily available in their previous surroundings. Some may just want to learn how to safely use a firearm. One of the most rewarding reasons, in my opinion, is a parent getting involved because of a curious child that wants to experience the outdoors.

Regardless of what piqued your interest, child or adult, the next step is gaining knowledge and experience. Along with those named above, there are many great places to get started. There are a multitude of local places that provide expert training that can guide you along the way. With everything from equipment, facilities, and instruction, you can practice shooting indoors with both live fire and simulated firearms. There are also quite a few outdoor shooting ranges available through local sportsman’s clubs, and don’t forget that you can always feel free to send inquiries about local resources to our friendly outdoorsmen here at

We would be happy to help!

Getting started in the outdoors can be fun and very exciting. My best advice for those starting out is to be patient with yourself; no one started out as an expert and you must find your own comfort level. Anyone can love archery or shooting without being an avid hunter, and one can enjoy fishing while only being a fair-weather fisherman. You will always enjoy things more if you ‘Do It Your Way’ … Just ask Frank Sinatra!

Nature provides plenty of opportunities but it is up to you to find ways to enjoy them.


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