It’s crazy for me to go back and think about the life that brought me to today. I grew up in a modest blue-collar family: dad was a hardworking electrician and mom was a domestic engineer (homemaker in layman terms). There were four kids in our family, all expected to do our best, respect God and our elders, get good grades, participate in sports and learn an instrument. The family gathered regularly in our living room to practice our family bluegrass band repertoire. There wasn’t much room in our activity schedule to include camping very often. When we did, it usually involved a camper in a campground and a bit of water skiing.

roberta in the outdoors

My education is in accounting and business management. I’ve enjoyed the satisfaction of helping a business grow and solving problems for over 30-years now. My career, coupled with Gary’s career, has allowed us to raise our two boys into great young men. We camped as a family once in a while, and the boys got to experience hunting trips with their Dad, but my work on the home front always kept me from partaking. When we would go out in the woods, I was such a novice that Gary had to do almost everything, and my job was to watch the kids and dogs. It wasn’t until 2007 when our oldest son went away to college and our youngest son was old enough to leave at home for a few days, that I began to join Gary for part of his annual hunting trips. That’s when I realized how much I was missing out – both in experience and in knowledge.

In the fall of 2008, I camped with Gary for the entire hunting trip, still not yet ready to hunt. Though I had been through two hunter safety courses, having taken both of our boys to their training, my confidence in my ability was null since I was still getting over my fear of the woods. I started my personal training by asking, watching, doing, and asking and watching some more. I was learning from the best teacher I could have asked for – my husband. He’s a natural. That was also the trip that I decided that it was time that I learned to stop being afraid of guns. I got a membership to the local shooting range and obtained my concealed carry permit. Some co-workers would ask “want to go out for a drink after work?” but instead, I would say “want to go shooting with me after work?” In that moment, I realized how much I was learning! I was able to teach others, and all of a sudden none of this was scary anymore.

My first hunting trip was a pivotal point in my life, and it’s why I had decided to begin taking survival courses in tracking, edible plants, fire craft, etc. I was ready to leave the cooped up world the office environment creates and begin to blend with nature. My first hunting experience changed me forever, and next time, I will share the exciting events that led me to the reasons why I love all that God has created, and my discovery of how truly wonderful nature can be.

Submitted by Roberta Kellis on Wed, 08/19/2015 – 10:03

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