There were two great events that happened in our area this weekend, and volunteers made it all possible.
First there was Peterson Point Pioneer Day when living history reenactors showed people how things were done years ago. In fact, it was 1865 when Peterson Point was settled. To commemorate that fact, there were demonstrations of blacksmithing, spinning, woodcarving, rendezvousing and other crafts Saturday.
As one of the reenactors noted, though, a new generation has to come pick up the mantle and carry on if people are to be able to continue to enjoy these demonstrations in the future.
What we all need to recognize is that demonstrations of long-ago crafts and skills aren't just curiosities - they're valuable life skills that could quite possibly be of use to people in the future. Hunting, fishing, canning and living off the land could in fact be something in the future for a lot of people.
The same goes for Fall Youth Day that was Sunday at the Izaak Walton League grounds. It was wonderful to see so many youth learning skills such as trapping, archery, rifle, black powder and skeet shooting. These are valuable hobbies, certainly, but couldn't they also someday mean the difference between a person going hungry - or not?
It was a wonderful way for our local conservation officers, sheriff's deputies, Emmet County Conservation Board employees, and others we haven't named to show how much they care about youth and teaching them the right way to appreciate firearms and the outdoors. Sure, they're teaching them how to shoot and hunt. But they're also teaching them how to be good citizens and how to respect nature and the outdoors.
We are indeed blessed to have these volunteers, both at Pioneer Day and Fall Youth Day. They're making a huge difference for not only our youth, but for all of us.