When my sons were younger and I was working swing shift, family time came at a premium.
One thing I always remembered before we moved to the farm was going camping. We had some great times fishing and shooting guns so I thought that would be great for us to do.
One problem...the mommy was not real keen on the idea of camping in a tent. Not one who likes to be that close to nature. So did the best I could and we bought a fully self contained camp trailer plus generator take the tv some movies all the comforts of home.
So we went camping a few times and it was ok but more than 3 days and mommy was ready to go home..now. So we were just doing 1 or 2 day trips which was fine with me I love the woods and the peace and quiet (when someone was not watching a movie).
I had started to bow hunt around that time and both boys were interested in it, so we bought bows for the whole family (yes mommy to) and started to go to 3D bow shoots. Now I'm going to tell the truth here I am a better teacher than shooter as my wife and boys have many trophies from the shoots and I have none. But we did have a lot of fun. My wife would have the trailer loaded with food so when I got home on Saturday at 2 am all I had to do was hook up to the trailer wake them up and away we would go to the next shoot usually getting there in time to set up the trailer and then go shoot the first round. The shoots were 2 day events with a round each morning and after that you could shoot again for fun or go sit at camp and relax. Or for me, take a nap as I had usually been up for over 24 hours by then.
In the early evenings they would have what they called a smoker round where everyone that competed would put in a dollar and the top 3 positions were paid. These usually consisted of unrealistic shots way out of your comfort zone and usually could only see part of the target and you could only have one arrow so if you lost it or it broke you were out.
I always shot the smoker rounds not to win money but it was fun and you were able to meet a lot of new people. The boys always went to watch but never to shoot as the their bows did not have enough range for the shots we tried.
At one shoot there was this old guy there that shot a recurve bow and he wanted to shoot the smoker round but we all had a unfair advantage over him so the group decided to let him shoot at a closer distance. Just what the boys needed to hear ad off they ran to get their bows and a dollar from their mom.
I was unaware of this happening until they showed up with their bows and a dollar each. Everyone was getting a good laugh out of this while telling them that they were to young to shoot. So I asked them if they were afraid that they were going to lose to a couple of kids. Well that changed their minds so they took their money and would let them shoot with the old man.
So we started the round and the boys were not doing too bad at first until my oldest son broke his arrow and was out just leaving my youngest.
As the shoot progressed people were falling out, including myself, but my youngest was still going and as we went along he had a growing rooting section for him. As we were progressing through the targets they would let everyone know who was in the top three places but everyone started asking where my son was at, so they stared telling his spot also. I don't remember where he was when they first started to give his place, but after they did, he started climbing rapidly.
Don't know if it was helping him shoot better, but it was putting a lot of pressure on the others and they started missing and losing their arrows which only helped him. Heard more than one comment about; I can't lose to that kid.
Well he ended up taking 3rd place so there was a lot of ribbing going on about that. I still have to hear about that one, from time to time, from him.
The best part of all this, was when they both grew up and got jobs and were working swing shift they have both told me how much they appreciated what I did for them not sleeping, so we could go and have family time together and the great memories they had from it.
Now that just about made my life for me.
It is what it is
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