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Inspiring the Next Generation

Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 9:45 am

 

By Sarah Raymond

One of the most important things in a child’s life is the presence of an adult who seeks to inspire and encourage. When children find something that they love, their passion is often fueled by the passion of adults who are active in their lives and take the time to guide them. Lynchburg resident Macon Dickey made such a friend last year, and these two have stayed in touch ever since.

Macon has been fishing throughout most of his ten years of life. He is in the fourth grade at Lynchburg Elementary School, and some of his hobbies are fishing, kayaking, hiking, sports, gaming, and Boy Scouts. His love of fishing united him with a new
friend when the Dickey family took their pontoon boat to Tims Ford for a day on the lake last August. While they were there, the Dickeys noticed a kayak filled with equipment. The owner of that kayak happened to be a YouTuber by the name of Chuck Earls, and Macon quickly bonded with Earls over their shared love of fishing. Macon stated, “He was a very nice person that was willing to talk to me about kayaking and fishing. I was super excited that I had met a fishing YouTuber. I have watched his YouTube channel ever since I met him. I have learned so much about the kayaking and fishing.” Because Macon is a lifelong fishing lover, he easily impressed Earls with his knowledge. Earls added, “He knew absolutely everything about my set
up.”

Chuck Earls hails from Lake Erie, Ohio, and teaches his watchers skills that will enable them to fish safely and efficiently. Earls has a passion for his work and wanted
to create something that would forever memorialize his work and his memory. When he met Macon, he knew that he had a greater impact than he had originally realized. He said, “The day I met Macon, I realized it wasn’t just the adult anglers I was influencing. He inspired me to remember to focus on growing the future generations beyond just my daughter.”

He was in awe of Macon’s passion and loved that fishing gave Macon an incentive to be outside more instead of focusing primarily on video games. He also loved how Macon reflects his younger self and began to look for ways he could nurture Macon’s ambition. Earls added, “The true meaning of life is to make the biggest impact in others’ lives while we’re here because that is the only thing that will continue long after we’re gone. I know that Macon will never forget it and I know he will pay it forward to others when the opportunity presents itself.” He hopes to help Macon follow in his footsteps and start his own YouTube channel.

Recently, Macon’s mother purchased a shirt and sticker from Earls so that Macon could support his friend, but Earls wanted to add a special touch. He added Macon’s name to the shirt and gave him a plethora of additional stickers. He also included a GoPro Hero 3 with a waterproof case and a large supply of lures and baits so that Macon would have plenty of equipment
to keep himself busy on his fishing expeditions.

Macon is particularly excited about an upcoming trip he will be taking later this year. He stated, “On that day we met, not only did I meet a really cool guy that knew a lot about fishing and kayaking, but I truly feel I met a lifetime friend. He has invited me to Lake Erie this summer to go kayaking and fishing with him. I am super excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The time we invest in the next generation is some of the most precious because it impacts the future. We may not be able to change the world in our lifetimes, but we can plant a seed that will change the world for our children. One of the best things we can do is find where a child’s passion is and then give that child the power to grow. Earls has made an investment in Macon’s life through something as simple as fishing, and for one little boy, that makes all the difference in the world.