Best of the West: Chris Gib­bons

Al­ready a true Labradorian

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY GARY SHAW

There is very lit­tle doubt that time spent by par­ents, ex­tended fam­ily and our com­mu­nity at large goes a long way in pro­vid­ing the pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment and the many lessons in the pri­or­i­ties that our young peo­ple re­quire to be suc­cess­ful in their lives as they move for­ward.

Labrador West is a great com­mu­nity, we have great par­ents who have through their many ef­forts, have great chil­dren. It some­times seems as though th­ese good sto­ries of our re­ally good kids some­how slip through some in­vis­i­ble cracks. We of­ten find our­selves fo­cused on the neg­a­tive sto­ries and don’t of­ten enough find the time to share the good sto­ries.

This ar­ti­cle, along with a cou­ple which have al­ready appeared on th­ese pages and will hope­fully con­tinue, is one more “good news, good kid” story.

Meet Chris Gib­bons. Chris is a 13-year-old young man, the son of Jeff and Kelly Gib­bons. Mom and Dad are Labrador folks; Labrador West and the well­ness of their fam­ily and their com­mu­nity mat­ters to them. They are de­voted to pass­ing the im­por­tant skills, life style, and cul­ture on to Chris, and have been do­ing a great job.

Chris is in Grade 8 at Meni­hek School in Labrador City. He has a clear un­der­stand­ing from his par­ents where his per­for­mance at school fits into all the things he likes to do. There is no ne­go­ti­a­tion on this. Do­ing well in school with his grades is the mea­sur­ing stick that al­lows him to en­joy all the things that mat­ter to him out­side the class­room.

Chris is a sports en­thu­si­ast and has his group of bud­dies that he is close with and who all en­joy their col­lec­tive sports to­gether.

As the sea­sons al­low, Chris plays hockey, foot­ball and ball hockey. He en­joys the team as­pect of sports well be­yond the games them­selves. He and his bud­dies are out beat­ing around as they learn the skills of the games they are play­ing. In the big­ger pic­ture they are learn­ing the value of team play and work­ing to­gether as they form friend­ships that will clearly go far be­yond their youth.

Chris, like his Dad, is a real out­door kid that goes well be­yond his years. Their cabin, the woods and the wa­ter is def­i­nitely Chris’s wheel­house and his pas­sion and he is lucky enough to have a fam­ily that are great teach­ers and he, an eager and great stu­dent.

Thanks to re­cent changes in the age clas­si­fi­ca­tion for hunters in the prov­ince, Chris has al­ready suc­cess­fully com­pleted the Hunter Safety Course and is now good to go and be an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant at his Dad’s side on the many ad­ven­tures they share.

Chris is a fish­er­man and has re­cently be­gun to learn his fly fish­ing skills that go along nicely with his ef­forts with con­ven­tional tackle. Dur­ing the sum­mer months, there is no brook, pond, lake or river sys­tem that is off lim­its.

Chris, like his Dad is also a hunter. He snares rab­bits, hunts grouse and ptarmi­gan and is eager to get at the big game as soon as he old enough to qual­ify for his li­cense.

Chris’s Dad is also an avid trap­per and Chris has been only a cou­ple of steps be­hind him on the trap line from a very early age. He en­joys the snow­mo­bile and has learned a great deal of the skills and tech­niques to be­come a trap­per. He is also well be­yond his years with all that goes with be­ing a trap­per. He helps his Dad not only in the trap­ping but also in the skills of skin­ning and fur prepa­ra­tion for sale.

Foxes, martens, weasels, mink, ot­ter, beaver and wolf are all hands on for Chris as he learns and helps his Dad.

Chris, thanks to his Mom and Dad has al­ready be­come a true Labradorian rel­a­tive to the cul­ture and life­style that he has so ea­gerly em­braced to earn this ti­tle.

Wait and see, time will pass, and Labrador will be blessed with an adult that will pass on the nec­es­sary lessons to be a good com­mu­nity per­son who un­der­stands the things that mat­ter, just like Mom and Dad, I’ll bet on it.

GARY SHAW – SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

Chris Gib­bons

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