Teaching Sons to Fire Guns

9 Year Old Firing a Winchester Model 67

9 year old Riley firing a rifle for the first time

Firing a rifle for the first time is one of the most treasured memories that many men carry for the rest of their lives. Water cooler or camping conversations between men often revolve around the subject of first experiences with a gun. It is one of the early steps in teaching young boys how to literally kill it and drag it home. Men in the USA provide for their families today primarily by earning a direct deposit paycheck that goes into a joint account that their spouse uses to gather meat, bread, fruits, and vegetables from the local super market or grocery warehouse. Even still, many boys and men long for the hunt. And the hunt begins with learning some skills.

Daddy Coon HunterToday I was able to give my son that first gun shot experience as he became the fourth generation to fire this rifle. I don’t know for sure if anyone in my family fired this rifle before my Papa (i.e., grandfather). But we do know that this model of Winchester 67 Rifle began being manufactured in the early thirties so it is possible that Riley could be the fifth or sixth generation in our family to fire this same weapon. I also know that I used this rifle to kill my first wild animal (Raccoon) as a young boy when I was near Riley’s current age of nine.

Fear of Gun Sounds

While this event did plant a lasting memory in my son’s mind, and he thoroughly enjoyed it, I also had a ulterior motive. You see, Riley has a fear of loud sounds. He is not afraid of guns, but the loud noises that some guns make. I plan to take Riley to his first NASCAR race later this year as a birthday present and I want to make sure that his fear of noise does not prevent him from enjoying the race. I mentioned Riley’s fear of noises in a guest post I did on Childwise Chat about Childhood Fears. I explained how my wife and I dealt with what seemed to be an irrational fear with one of our other boys. Today allowed me to work on understanding more about Riley’s fear while also desensitizing him to loud sounds. The day was a success because on this front because Riley did not complain about the noise and he clarified that his fear is more of sudden loud noises and not so much the loud sound itself.

We went to a public firing range in the Francis Marion National Forest about an hour from our home. We joined some of my Navy co-workers and their family members. At the range there were folks firing everything from .22 rifles, to .45 caliber model 1911 mil spec handguns (my personal favorite concealable cary handgun), to shotguns, to high powered hunting rifles. As you can see Riley did pretty well on his first day at the firing range as you can see below. The green circles are his hits with a little assitance from me with the aiming on a couple of them.

Riley with his target after his first day on the firing range

Riley had fired a BB Gun before at a Cub Scout day camp, but this was a whole different deal. Riley said he liked shooting the rifle, but he would rather do it somewhere that does not have all the loud handguns and rifles next time. I am going to work on finding a friend who has a little land in the country that we can use the next time we go to target practice.

As I was completing this post I ran across a news story about a 14 year old boy who shoot an intruder during a home invasion. The 14 year old was home watching over his three younger siblings. Given the way this young man handled himself I am inclined to believe he must have had plenty of exposure to guns and training on their proper use. Some adults would have had a hard time handling that situation. I am also glad the intruder was not fatally injured. Taking the life of another human being is tough no matter how old you are and regardless of the circumstances.

What is you opinion of kids learning to use fire arms safely?

Pinewood Derby Winners

Pinewood Derby WinnnersEvery one of the Osborne boys old enough to participate brought home a trophy this year. Two of my boys are in Cub Scout 458 that meets at Crowfield Baptist Church in Goose Creek, SC. Each year, like many Cub Scout packs, they have a Pinewood Derby race. This year we entered three of our boys Riley, Caden, and Josiah (JJ). Josiah entered in the sibling category since he is not old enough to be a Cub Scout yet.

They did a time trial and then the races were set up so that the cars of similar speed would compete against each other. I knew when I saw all three of my boys in the same race that they were all very closely matched. However when they raced I noticed that the cars finished 1, 2, 3 (youngest to oldest). There were only two other cars in the race with them since they were racing five lanes at a time. Each car got a chance to run each lane so out of fifty cars entered that created a need for 250 races. so that every care got a chance to run on every lane. Caden with his 3rd place overall trophyThen the prizes were awarded based on the best times for each car regardless of the lane they got that time from..sort of. Since all of my boys ran in the same race (obviously a fast heat), I got to see that JJ’s car finished ahead of his brothers in all five races. So it is impossible that Caden’s car recorded a time faster than JJ. However when the trophies were awarded Caden was given a overall trophy and JJ only won 1st place in his category (siblings). Riley was awarded 1st place in in the Bear Den category. I think the leaders decided to only award overall trophies to scouts since they are the official members of the pack.

Either way, my boys did not care. I was just glad that to see that they were happy for each others’ accomplishments.

Riley actually scored a sponsorship from DaddyLife.net.  I taught him, as best I could, how to negotiate for sponsor money on his car. I offered him $20 to be on the Daddy Life on a derby carhood but he insisted on putting a McDonald’s logo replica on the hood even though McDonald’s was not paying him to advertise for them. I paid Riley $10 to be on the hood. His grandpa also negotiated a spot on the back fo the car for his bible study for grieving family members called “Jesus Cares”.

Below are some more pictures of the boys’ cars and trophies. This was a fun adventure but a lot of work for Daddy. 😉 Hopefully Riley will be able to build his own car without assistance next year since we may be entering four cars if Levi is ready to be added into the mix.

Riley, car, and trophies.JJ and his trophy loot

HOEI-Daddy Life Racing Team Cars

In the paint booth the week before the raceI hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as we enjoyed racing today.




Pinewood Derby Cars 2012

Boys Being BoysPinewood Derby Cars

Caden and JJ showing off their first Pinewood Derby Cars

This is Caden’s first year in Cub Scouts. He and his brothers recently attended an event at the local Lowe’s store in Goose Creek, SC called Pinewood Derby® Days. This is sponsored by Lowe’s and Dremel® tools to help boys create their derby cars while learning about the safe use of tools.


Parenting Matters in Education

An article in the NY Times this weekend emphasized the need for parentally involvement. While the studies that the article referenced focused on academics the last few words of the article I can agree with:

“…let’s stop putting the whole burden on teachers. We also need better parents. Better parents can make every teacher more effective.” Source

What I could not find in these study results was how effective parental involvement in teaching character development might help school performance. Teaching children manners, self-control, and respect for authority can go a long way in equipping a teacher for success.

I have known for a long time that parent involvement was the best solution to improving the public school system in this country. My wife taught 3rd grade in the public school system for a few years after graduating from college. My wife learned quickly that kids were not coming to school adequately prepared. By prepared I mean the basics. Kids had not been taught to sit quietly and respect authority. The kids had little self control and some would demand attention constantly as if they were the only child in the room that mattered.

What was the root of this? Many kids have missed out on some very basic parental involvement. In many families the definition of parental involvement has digressed to a point where it is measured by frequency of attendance at plays, music recitals, soccer games, cub scout meetings or baseball games. Many parents consider themselves involved if they check their kids’ homework, volunteer in the child’s class, and attend PTA meetings. A study referenced by the NY Times article was performed by The Center For Public Education. The limited results that they reported confirm what parents consider to be healthy participation by their own actions:

“National survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that attending school meetings or events is the leading form of parent participation in schools, followed by school fundraising activities.” Source

And then some kids don’t even get this much involvement from their parents. Some are bounced from grandparents to friends homes for one reason or another. However the data by the Center for Public Education showed little difference in parental involvement across racial and economic lines.

“…while 82 percent of parents of white students said an adult checked their child’s homework, the rates were higher among parents of African American and Hispanic students, which reported rates of 94% and 91%, respectively. Other studies have shown that lower-income and minority parents often have the same level of involvement in education as others — even though it may not necessarily be reflected at PTA meetings or school fundraisers.”

All that said I would argue that these studies miss the mark from the start. The type of parental involvement needed most is the kind that teaches character and strong values. However this type of parental involvement is mostly outsourced to peers via day cares beginning as early as six weeks old in many families and then other families do so with pre-school programs by age three years. The list of reasons why parents are forced down these paths or choose these methods is longer than we could possibly address on this blog. Are you one of these parents? How do you compensate?




Tent Camping with Kids

A little camper asleep on daddy's shouldersA few weeks ago I took Riley, Caden, and JJ camping. Well I started out on Friday night with Riley and Caden. They are the two Cub Scouts in the family. By Saturday afternoon Caden had experienced enough of the outdoors for one weekend and wanted to go home. Keep in mind that the camping trip took place exactly four weeks after Caden had back surgery and this kids is on oxygen at night. So we have to give him extra credit for sleeping in a tent even one night with temperatures in the low 40s.

Sherry had come out on Saturday with Josiah (JJ) and Levi so they could see Caden and Riley race in the Rain Gutter Regatta and receive some awards. Riley ended up winning the Raingutter Regatta against all scouts of all ages in all dens in the entire pack. He went undefeated for the weekend. We thought it was the boat design (with help form your truely) until Riley traded boats with another boy and beat him with his own boat. As you can see in the picture of Caden below it is a fairly low tech race so Riley must just have figured something out that no one else could. It is not like he was coached on how to best blow through the straw. The sails barely got hot glued on his an Caden’s boats just minutes before leaving the house on that Friday afternoon. So if you are here looking for the secret design of a Cub Scout Rain Gutter Regatta boat, it does not exist. The speed on Raingutter Regatta is all in the technique in my opinion and you kid either gets it or they don’t.

Josiah was itching to stay the night on Saturday after the boat races even though he nearly fell asleep on my shoulders.  The boys were all exhausted and Caden wanted to go home. Caden had begun to run a fever and was showing signs of needing oxygen earlier in the evening than normal.  Sherry and I swapped out Caden and JJ for the night Caden went home with mom and Levi to sleep in his own bed. As a result three out of four boys got to tent camp with daddy in one weekend.

Caden Racing in the Cub Scout Pack 458 Rain Gutter RegattaWhat I learned about camping with little boys Riley (9), Caden (7), and JJ (4) is that flexibility is absolutely necessary, required, and is a non-negotiable.

I had to bring along some O2 tanks, a suction machine, and a feeding pump for Caden, but we do that everywhere we go anyway as a result of his medical special needs. That’s part of our family identity right along with tent camping with daddy. We don’t make a big fuss about it and no one else does either.

The thing is that you don’t want to ruin these experiences like tent camping for these little guys. You want them to have fun. You want to create memories and build lasting relationships. That was exactly the result we got. All of them are chomping at the bit to go camping again. Mission accomplished!

What have been some of your experiences tent camping with little kids?

Podcast Episode 13 – GKGW Fathers Mandate 2 – Regularly Demonstrate Love to your Wife

The Fathers Mandate Part 2 of 8
Based on Chapter 4 from Growing Kids God’s Way 

1.  A father must cultivate a sense of family identity. (Review)

– Be proud of your family – as Mr Ezzo said be the cheer leader (We are the Osbornes and we…) Rise above the level of mediocrity!

I added a couple of blog posts this week. One related to Cub Scout activities this past weekend. Our oldest two boys got to shoot BB Guns, Bow and Arrows, and Sling Shots.

Make sure your activities are in line with your family goals and values. Do you have them written down? Are your goals Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, TRUTH based?
What education method makes your family unique: Public, private or home school?

2.  A father must regularly demonstrate love to his wife.

Mr. Ezzo says, “If you really love your children then give them the gift of confidence and security. Show them how much you love their mom.”

In Episode 4 I talked about the importance of Dating and Couch Time.

In Episode 7 I talked about the need for dads to take your wife out of her role as a mom and put her back in her role as a wife. To do this you need to elarn your wife’s love language. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman 

In the coming weeks I will share ideas to help dads fulfill the remaining mandates
3.  A father must understand and respect his child’s private world.
12 minutes
4.  A father must give his children the freedom to fail.
5.  A father must be the encourager of the family.
6.  A father must guard his tongue and his tone and learn to measure his response against the excitement on their faces.
7.  A father must routinely embrace his children.
8.  A father must build the trusting relationship on God’s Word, not on human wisdom.

Tech Time

Microsoft Intelligence Report

The PDF report can be found in the download section ont he right side of the page.

An in-depth perspective on software vulnerabilities and exploits, malicious code threats, and potentially unwanted software in the first half of 2011.

45% – User Interaction Required
26% – Autorun of USB or network files

What you can do.

  1. Be smart.
  2. Implement strong passwords and Patch your systems. There are patches for your OS, Browsers (IE, FireFox, Safari, Chrome) Aplciaitons (Adobe flash, reader, etc), iTunes, Qiucktime, MS Office.


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Technology Safety is more about Behavior than the Technology!


BB Guns, Sling Shots, and a Red Mustang

Caden and Daddy on the Archery Range

Photo taken by Riley Osborne

The weekend was so much fun. I enjoyed it almost as much as the boys. Riley and Caden learned how to shoot good old fashion Daisy BB guns, bow and arrows, and sling shots (wrist rockets) loaded with dog food. Our local Boy Scout district group puts on a an event called the Cub Scout Tiger Safari each year in the fall. This event allows new Cub Scouts Caden to experience some really cool activities that they would otherwise have to wait until next summer when offered at the day and resident camps. Things like BB Gun and Archery can only be offered at district and regional level events for safety reasons.

The belt loops and pins that the kids earn are the big prize. Belt loops are awards for elective sports and academic activities that have specific criteria in order to earn. Since the BB guns are only offered a couple of times per year at district or regional events it is an extra special treat for a Cub Scout to earn the BB gun and Archery belt loops. Going into this weekend Riley had earned nearly a dozen belt loops already for chess, computers, foreign language, fishing, swimming, flag football, and more. He was allowed to attend this Tiger specific event as a participating sibling.

The Tiger Safari was held at Camp Moultrie just North of Moncks Corner, SC. This is a Boy Scouts of America camping area located on the shore of Lake Moultrie right next to the Navy recreation center called Short Stay. It is about a 45 minute drive from our house in Goose Creek, SC.

Josiah and Levi in the Toy Red MustangOnce we arrive back home we spent a good portion of the afternoon playing outside. Josiah took Levi for a ride int he little red convertible muscle car. The boys love to run this miniature version of a Ford Mustang around in circles in the cul de sacin front of our house. It was  an action packed day that left a smile on every child’s face.




Here are more pictures from our day:

Riley with the sling shot.

Sling Shot

Caden on the BB Gun Range.

Caden shooting a Daisy BB Gun at Cub Scout CampCaden getting ready to fire a wrist rocket.

Caden getting ready to fire a wrist rocket

Riley shooting a BB gun.

Riley with the Daisy BB Gun

Why Cub Scouts?

Cub Scout RileyI was asked by a reader to write about Cub Scouts. As a fairly protective homeschooling family we take very serious our evaluation of extracurricular activies. Last year our oldest son Riley became a Cub Scout. Sherry and I had discussed putting our kids in Awana, Royal Rangers, or Cub Scouts but had not done all the leg work to investigate each organization. One day last fall we were on our way out of the local home improvement store and were met by a group of Cub Scouts selling popcorn by the exit. We purchased some popcorn and went on to the car. Then I asked my wife if she minded if I take a few minutes to ask about how to join and what ages the organization served. I took Riley (7 at the time) with me. The Cub Scout den leader that greeted us was very helpful and invited us to join a meeting at the local church to check it out. This allowed us to check out the meetings to see if the Cub Scouts would be a good fit for our family before purchasing a uniform and paying the registration fees. This process was a great help in making our final determination on whether to allow Riley to join or not.

What are Cub Scouts

Cub Scouts are the division of the Boy Scouts of America that supports 1st-5th grade boys. Cub Scouts work through fun and adventure to develop good habits in character development, faith in God, citizenship, sportsmanship and physical fitness, relationships, personal achievement, and community service.  All of these activities help prepare them for Boy Scouts.

Do Cub Scouts fit a Christian Homeschool Family?

Cub Scouts augment homeschooling for our family. We looked at Awana, Royal Rangers, and Royal ambassadors. However most of these programs are run as outreach rather than based on discipleship regardless of the way the material was intended to be used. We already have a solid Biblical teaching built into the homeschooling curriculum so Cub Scouts offered more of a balanced skill development model that helped develop life skills in areas that we may not normally give as much attention.

Why not team sports?

I will be brief on this one because this subject deserves way more attention in a future post. The short answer is that in my opinion and based on observations of other families team sports tend to consume way more time than Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts work well with our family to build family identity and encourage parental involvement. At the entry level of Cub Scouts which is called Tiger Cubs (1st graders) a parent or adult partner is required to attend all events with the scout.

Another advantage to Cub Scouts

Protecting the innocence of our children is a high priority. We tend to guard our children from inappropriate worldly influences as much as possible, especially with the younger children. We like to expose our children to the worldly influences on our terms and based on timing that more closely aligns with each child’s moral maturity and the context of their past exposure. Taking active roles in group activities were we can gauge influences and make determinations on when to have follow up conversations is important to us. We also never remove the option of taking our kids out of a program or activity if necessary. Even within Christian circles we do not assume that teachers and leaders have the same level of conviction for protecting the innocence of children.

In the end we decided to allow Riley to join Cub Scouts. This year we have alos allowed Caden to become a Cub Scout. This is Caden’s first opportunity to step out and join in activities witha group of his peers outside of our immediate family. This is a big step for Caden and our family given how guarded we have had to be with his immune system deficiencies earlier in life and his ongoing unique medical challenges.

We constantly evaluate whether the Cub Scout program is supporting and growing our family values or working in opposition. I encourage parents to evaluate all extracurricular activities against your family’s goals and values.

One last note about Cub Scouts in particular. Not all Cub Scout packs and dens are equal. Do not hesitate to move your child to another pack if the one you initially join is inactive, or disorganized. I would also not think twice about moving to another pack or den if the leaders and parents are allowing inappropriate behaviors.

Podcast Episode 8 – Identity Protection and Why Cub Scouts

Daddy Life Podcast Show Notes

FREE PodCasting 101 Webinar with Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswerman.com – Saturday, September 3, 2011 beginning at Noon Eastern. It appears to be scheduled for approximately 90 minutes. REGISTER NOW

  • An overview of how podcasting works
  • Podcast equipment options
  • Podcast website & media hosting recommendations
  • How to properly set up a podcast rss feed
  • How to submit a podcast to podcast directories
  • A proven step by step podcast production workflow
  • An offer to purchase the video High Definition video recording of this session for $49 FREE. Cliff decided to give away the HD recording.
Caden’s Page – Scoliosis surgery was postponed due to illness. Caden was admitted for pneumonia. Visit Caden’s Page and sign up for updates. 

Identity ProtectionNorfolk Naval Base McDonald’s Cashier Admits to Stealing Credit Card Data

Cub Scouts – What are Cub Scouts and Why we participate. Link will be posted in a few days

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