Re: NANFA-- collecting with kids
Thu, 7 Aug 2003 21:40:20 EDT

Hi everyone, I'm a new poster to the list. Some of you may recognize my
screen name, mike z, from various herp, aquarium and fishing forums on line.

Just wanted to add that I take my three sons, ages 13, 10 and 7 collecting
all the time. My oldest is getting big enough to hold up his end of a seine net.
Now if only I could get him to tolerate deep squishy mud, I could take the
shallow end. ;^]
He and I have made two trips from our home in Massachusetts to North Carolina
for combo herp & dip netting trips. This year we found several nice red corn
snakes, our very first rattlesnake [not handled], many bluespotted sunnies,
striped topminnows, swamp darters and even swampfish. Black banded sunnies have
eluded us thus far.
It's a toss up who loves these trips more, him or me. There are dozens of
great reasons to take kids out, not the least of which is my own pleasure in
sharing the excitment of a cool find with someone who's never experienced it
before. As a parent, I'm grateful that we have an activity they we both enjoy that
lets us share "Quality Time" without it being a chore. I'm hoping that I can
keep my boys interested through the crucial teenage years when many parents
lose touch with their kids.

As far as my childhood memories go, my Dad was [and is still] an avid
fisherman and outdoorsman who always found time to take me along. I look on those
times as some of the best of my life and have no doubt that what few good
qualities I ended up with are related to time spent in healthy productive activities
with a grown man I could look up to. I only hope my boys will someday feel the
same way.

Mike Zaborowski
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