|The saying "behind every good man is a
great woman" is true - at least in my life, and I feel
fortunate to have had the support of six incredible females,
along with two very special men. In addition to the legacy of Zac McAmis, they are a
definite inspiration for what is now 100,000 Kids
In The Outdoors™.
The following are three stories that I have only shared with a
few people before now.
Despite the fact that our three
oldest daughters are not mine biologically, they are
still my girls, as I have had the honor of helping to
raise them for most of their lives, and I love them as
if they were my own blood.
My Wife has not only allowed me that gift, but she has
been my biggest supporter. 100,000 Kids In The
Outdoors would not exist without her.
I could not be
more proud of each of them, and some of our best times
have been spent enjoying the outdoors from the time the
girls were little. Whether it was calling elk
in the mountains, fishing as a family, or enjoying
wild game at the dinner table, our girls have been
raised to appreciate the outdoors.
in a million years did I realize when I first met them
how much joy I would gain from being there to experience
their "firsts" in the outdoors. I will cherish it
all for the rest of my life.
They have given me much more than I could hope to give
them. They have taught me how to be a real man,
inspired me to want to help give them everything I am,
including the gift of the outdoors. Have I made tons of mistakes with them?
Of course! But hopefully helping them find the
outdoors is something that I did absolutely right!
Is it safe to say that our slogan "For kids that don't
have someone to take them" was inspired from our three
oldest girls? ABSOLUTELY!
How cool is that?
Because of the positive impact being involved in the
outdoors has made on them, I have made sure that our
youngest daughter is having the same opportunity that
her older sisters have had.
My Mom's last wish for me
becomes a reality!
She was very sick most of my life, but she still
remains THE strongest person I have ever known -
mentally, emotionally and physically. She
wasn't supposed to live as long as she did
according to the doctors. However, I no
longer focus on how she died, but rather on how
she lived! She was courageous, a
visionary, and her over-the-top positive
attitude was infectious.
|The legacy she built is one that I work
hard to live up to. She always gave of herself
unconditionally, and served others without hesitation.
Along with my Dad, she taught me how to be a servant to
others. What a gift!
We shared a wonderful friendship, and we would sit and
talk for hours about anything and everything. I
had the wonderful honor of helping to take care of her
in the last year of her life, and during that time we
had many candid conversations about life and death.
Watching someone that I loved with passion go through
what my Mom went through towards the end devastated me.
I felt so helpless. As odd as it may seem to some,
I will always consider it an honor to have held her hand
as she went to Heaven. It was the very least I
could do for a woman who gave me more than I could ever
convey in words!
Despite her pain and knowing the time was very near, my
Mom tried very hard to not only encourage me, but to
inspire me as well. She gave to me right up until
the end. However, her gift did not end with her
physical death. It is growing every day!
I could go on and on about my Mom. In fact, I
literally wrote a tribute to her that took up two pages
in the newspaper, and they printed it. However, I
will get straight to the point as to why she is part of
the inspiration behind our cause.
A week before she died, I asked my Mom what I could do
to carry on her legacy. She thought long and
hard about it, and then told me that she would like some
Foundation started that helps kids. My Mom was
passionate about helping kids, and I think if she could
have, she would have adopted hundreds of them!
It took me a very long time to deal with her death, and
I will be honest in stating that her final wish did not
occur to me when the idea behind 100,000 Kids In The
Outdoors™ came to me during
Christmas 2010. However, as I was recently
reminicing about Mom, her wish hit me like "a ton of
I have no way of knowing what your belief system is, but
I know mine. I have no doubt that my Mom had a
hand in the inspiration of our cause without me
realizing it at the time. Even from Heaven, 'ol
Mom is still doing what she always did - helping to
Most of my outdoor experiences growing up were on my own or
with friends. At the age of seventeen I
met my best friend, Bart. He and his Dad
always included me on their outdoor adventures,
and took the time to teach me. They
created the concept for me of taking a kid who
doesn't have someone to take them outdoors
twenty six years ago!
Last, but certainly not
least. It is not possible for me
to thank Sam and Bart Colburn enough.
I grew up in a family that hunted and
fished. However, my Dad had to
work two jobs most of my life, and the
rest of the family did not include me
much in the outdoors.
I hope that I am doing right by their gift of
the outdoor heritage today!
Indeed, the credit behind what we do through our cause
goes to God, my Mom, our 4 daughters, Sam and
Bart Colburn, Zac
McAmis, and the countless adults who help kids
through the outdoors - period! I am very
blessed to be a small part of it.
allowing me to share and serve!
100,000 Kids In The Outdoors™