A television show that focuses on getting kids out in the wilderness filmed an episode in the West Kootenay last week.
Start ‘Em Young airs on Wild TV and Mark Skage, the man behind the program, aims to motivate parents to teach their children how to enjoy the great outdoors.
“We are trying to inspire young people to get outdoors and to be excited,” said Skage.
“Once we get outdoors we can teach them things like how to take care of themselves, take care of the environment and to be more confident.”
Skage says outdoor skills translate into life skills that can be applied in a multitude of ways.
The West Kootenay episode will feature Skage taking his son Mica turkey hunting near Castlegar.
Mica is the inspiration for the show and the pair have been hunting together since Mica was only three years old.
Mica is on the autism spectrum and his reaction to the outdoors is one of the main reasons Skage created the show.
Seeing how well Mica does in an outdoor setting — how much more comfortable he is, how free he is — has made Skage want to share that inspiration with parents of kids who may be struggling in an urban setting.
“If they get out and experience nature, hopefully they can find that relaxation that my son does and take a little bit of the stress off,” said Skage.
Skage has committed all of the revenue from show-related merchandise to autism research organizations.
Besides fishing, trapping and hunting skills, viewers can expect to learn a range of things from basics such as what to wear to survival techniques.
Skage says there are challenges you may unexpectedly encounter while out in the woods, and having the knowledge ahead of time as to how to deal with them can make a world of difference.
“This show is not about the ‘kill shot,'” says Skage. “It is about those special little moments with a youngster — seeing how they react to things in the wilderness … seeing their excitement. That’s what warms my heart.”
There will be 13 episodes of the show filmed for the upcoming season. You can follow the show on Facebook at Start’em Young or on instagram @Start’EmYoungCanada.