Outdoors: Real dads donít hunt

We have all seen parents that would rather sit their kid in front of an electronic babysitter than take the time to get them outside. This trend is on the rise, although a lucky bunch of kids will still get to see what a pond or hillside look like.

Good parents make sacrifices and give up their pastimes to raise a child. When it comes to single parents, nearly everything has to take a back seat, and I have always been inspired by a single mom or dad. The challenges they face are beyond my comprehension, and I can only hope I would do as well. For parents with split custody, the challenge tends to be harder. Between time away from their child and having to reconnect weekly, many struggle with the task. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a dad this week that has done well juggling the split custody lifestyle. He has found, as many others, that the outdoors is the best place for a father and child to bond.

Alan Hitt was raised in Plymouth and went to school here in Norwich. Alan spent his time as a kid fishing and playing outdoors with his twin brother, Adam. The boys have been fishing as far back as they can remember, and can thank their mother for helping them get involved. As most parents giving an unattended child a nice fishing pole have learned, it can end one of three ways. Either it will come back in two or more pieces, find its way to the bottom of the lake, or catch the biggest fish around. It's not uncommon for beginnerís luck to strike and have your child come back with a monster, but it's much more likely you will have to buy a new rod. For this reason, Alan's mother, Michelle, sent them out with a stick pole. Much less costly, and easy to replace for the hard-working parent. Many, including myself, fondly remember the old stick pole days.

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