By Brent Frazee
Even when you’re playing it safe and staying home during this coronavirus outbreak, you can bring the outdoors indoors.
Educators, conservation groups and businesses are coming up with some innovative ideas to share nature at a time when stay-at-home orders are in place to fight the highly communicable virus.
Fishing’s Future, a non-profit group dedicated to teaching children and their families how to get started in fishing, is making sure its message isn’t lost during these tough times.
Ordinarily, spring would be a time when chapters of the group would be at lakes and ponds conducting their Family Fish Camps. But with government guidelines calling for social distancing and groups of no more than 10 people, Fishing’s Future has decided to go the “virtual” route.
It is conducting its Family Fish Camps online, with live hour-long camps. One of the Kansas-based camps will be shown live at 4 p.m. central on April 11 on Fishing’s Future’s Facebook page.
Led by instructors Greg Schott and Heidi and John Albin, the course will be geared toward beginners. Demonstrations will help kids and their families on rod and reel selection, how to tie knots, fish identification, safety and more.
“Even though we can’t have large gatherings outdoors, we feel these online camps are a good way to get our message out,” Schott said.
Viewers watching the live presentation, which is free, can type questions as they watch.
Fishing’s Future, a national organization based in Texas, also will have other Family Fish Camps from various locations. Information can be found on the organization’s website, fishingsfuture.org.
But that’s not the only way outdoors-loving families can stay home and still enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few other options:
- TURKEY HUNTING: You can go on a virtual hunt with guide Jason Haywood on Saturday when he heads out in Florida in search of an Osceloa gobbler. Through the website Outside360.com, you’ll be live with him as he builds his blind, calls and hunts the elusive birds. There will be an $11 charge. Go to https://www.outside360.com/listing/fl/59c3d1b6-3bd7-4c8c-8f27-e461b6b64fa1?preview=false to register and get more information.
- UP-CLOSE WITH NATURE: Kansas resident Mike Blair has a series of videos on Facebook that will transport you to the wilds. Sign up for his YouTube series, Wild Edge, at Mike Blair Outdoors. Check out this fascinating video as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isWviT-EmUQ
- A BIRDING EXPEDITION: A documentary presented by ProColombia, takes viewers on a fascinating trip into the wilds of northern Colombia in search of rare and colorful birds. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-jn1_thxK8
- MISSOURI FISHING: Want to learn the story behind many of Missouri’s state-record fish? Go to https://mdc.mo.gov/video-gallery?field_video_class_value_exp=fish on the Department of Conservation’s website. You’ll find a list of entertaining videos showing the details behind how many records were set.