The reason this business exists is to get more people outside and to introduce new people to hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. Growing up, we didn't hunt, fish, or camp. We played sports. Often, I wonder how life would be different had I been introduced at an earlier age. One reason I believe we didn't enjoy the outdoors more is because we didn't know where to start. I want to change that for this generation and ones to come.
I want to use this business as the vehicle to get kids to an outdoor camp that is focused on hunting, fishing, and conservation. While I'm in the early stages of planning this type of camp, I do have big dreams for it. I believe with the help of Mission Outside, many friends, my professional (day job) partners, and all of you, we can make this happen!
I want the camp to be fun, educational, and a place where kids can come and get introduced to an amazing, life changing lifestyle. Also, I plan to have an educational session for the parents, so they can learn the how, what, where, and when. I believe this is just as important. I feel without the parents' support, many kids will be unable to use what they learned at camp after they leave.
While this camp will be focused on introducing first timers to the great outdoors, we still want and will be accepting kids who already hunt and fish. These kids will be a great source of information and possible mentors and hunting buddies to the new comers. At the end of the day, we either get in the woods because of our family or a friend.
At the age of 21, one of my best friends, Brandon, loaned me a gun, gear and dragged me out for my first duck hunt. While the seed was planted, I wasn't able to take it to the next level because we lived 10hrs away, and I had no connections in NC. At 25, another buddy, Will Newton, who had begged me for 2 years to go to his "honey hole," convinced me to get up early to hunt my first deer. During that life changing morning, I shot and cleaned my first deer, and the seed Brandon planted began to bloom.
Little did I know at the time, Will would pass away the following month. While he may be gone, his passion for hunting was passed on to me the day of November 10th. He changed the course of my life so much, my wife and I decided to use William for part of our son's name. I hope these types of relationships can be formed at the Mission Outside camp.
My long term vision is to have these camps all across the country. In the first year (2018), we will host 1 camp around Charlotte, NC. By year 2, I'd like to host 3 (east coast, central, and west coast).
If you believe you can help in any way, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This can be in any form- time, knowledge, possible volunteer of land for camp, donations, etc.
Lastly, if you know of anyone who wants to get their kids introduced to the outdoors, please refer them to MO camp page www.missionoutsidecamp.org. There will be more details there, along with a form to fill out for their kid.