By: Jessie Jensen
Growing up, I had the most excellent nature teacher; I called him, “The Ever Patient Fisherman,” a.k.a. my dad. Through years of lessons, my dad was there to equip me with all kinds of outdoor skills, which now translate into my everyday life. What is so cool about working at The Outdoor Campus, is that I have been given the opportunity to share these talents with the next generation of families. And to think it all started 22 years ago with me, as a kid, fishing with my dad.
As father’s day approaches, I am even more aware of what I have learned from my dad. Busy fishing, canoeing, hiking and teaching this summer, I put together a photo gallery and appreciation letter for my dad this father’s day, to show him how his lessons (have and will) stick with me forever.
Thank you. For as long as I can remember, all of our free time has been spent together, in the great outdoors. I wouldn’t change that for the world. You were there for my first fish, my first deer, and everything after that. If I remember correctly, I was NOT the quietest child growing up. Even though fishing and hunting should be relatively silent activities, you always encouraged my creative stories and never complained about my constant conversation. One of my favorite memories growing up was catching fish, and then naming them. I would name almost every fish that came onto the boat! Remember, “Billy the Bass” or “Walter the Walleye”? They always had lively conversations and you heard them all! Rather than getting frustrated or annoyed with me, you would just smile and keep on fishing.
You have always been encouraging and supportive of my outdoor endeavors, and I am forever grateful for you. As a dad teaching his daughter, you always made it clear that I could be just as successful in my fishing and hunting as any other person. You were so proud to raise me to be a strong outdoors woman. I want to be just like you when I grow up, and even now, I am starting to walk in your shoes.
I recognize that not everyone growing up had someone like you to introduce them to the great outdoors; and it is really unfortunate. Working as a Naturalist at The Outdoor Campus, it has become my goal to help everyone develop a love for the outdoors; sharing what is deeply instilled in my heart because of you.
I am so grateful now that it is my job to be the “Patient Fisherman” for other families. And it’s all thanks to you dad, you have me “hooked” on the outdoors forever.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you. Let’s go fishing.