For The Record

Capt. Chuck Uzzle

  This week marks the annual hiatus from school that kids of all ages look for

once the Christmas holidays are over, spring break is here! During this week off

from the rigorous demands of reading, writing, and arithmetic you can rest

assured that a cry will rise up from the masses that there is nothing “fun” to

do.  Video games have long been mastered and challenges are getting more

difficult to come by every day, give your student a first hand look at some real

life they may have never seen before and take them out on Sabine lake.

  It is astounding that so many kids have so little idea about things that

pertain to the outdoors. On a guide trip a few years ago a client had brought his

college age son along, during the day we encountered some rosette spoonbills

feeding in the shallows near the mouth of a bayou. “Man would you look at those

pink flamingos” the young man exclaimed, “I had no idea that there were really

birds that looked like that?”. After a brief lesson on the actual name of the

birds and the places that they inhabit I could tell that the young man was

becoming more interested in the trip as well as the surroundings. After a day on

the water this young man had a better perspective on a whole new world that he

never knew existed until he witnessed it himself. When things like this happen

and I am fortunate enough to see how people are affected by the outdoors it

gives me a good feeling that little else can compare with.

  I know as I watch young kids when we venture out on the water that they are being

affected in a positive way. By introducing them to things in nature they learn

valuable lessons and experience things that hopefully will affect them in a way

that will help later on in life. By introducing a youngster to the outdoors

you may be opening up a whole new area of interest that the child will never

outgrow.

  Now you don’t need to have a boat or fancy gear to get a kid started or

introduced to the outdoors, all you need is some time and a little bit of

planning. There are plenty of places like piers, beaches, lakes, and rivers that

offer outdoor opportunities. State parks are great places to start because they

have helpful information as well as personnel to get you headed in the right

direction. By placing a call to a particular park or outdoor venue you can get

some idea of what each place has to offer as well as the best times to go there.

By doing a little bit of homework you can plan your outdoor activity and

maximize your fun, after all fun is what it is all about.

  There are lots of local outdoor attractions here at home as well as all over

the state, choosing the right one for you and your young one is just the first

step on a long journey that will provide many pleasant memories in the years to

come. The Blue Elbow Swamp, canoe trips on Village Creek, and just about any

refuge along the gulf coast all offer some of the more interesting places to

visit and things to do. A simple phone call to the state park headquarters or

visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for all the information you need

concerning each park and the activities offered.