By Jack Fitzpatrick

6 Lessons From Duck Camp

6 Lessons From Duck Camp

As a pretty-liberal, city-dwelling twenty-something, I get a couple of odd looks when I say: “Yeah, I’m heading north this weekend to hide in tall grass, shoot at some ducks, and take care of my business in an outhouse.”

Each year, our group heads up to northwest Minnesota in hopes of shooting ducks, but really focusing on spending quality time together. We get all decked out in camouflage, and make the journey up to the “Duck Camp.”

There is something magical about unplugging from the everyday technological drone and, instead, connecting to the moment and experience of the great outdoors. Time spent around campfire talking about life rather than binging Scandal on Netflix. Walking through trails that have been slowly carved out over years instead of driving on construction dotted roadways… These things do a body and mind good.

This year, up at the Duck Camp was no exception, but I was a bit more thoughtful and deliberate this year than those before…. Bringing you this post: “6 Lessons From Duck Camp.”

1. Actually hitting the ducks doesn’t actually matter.

Each morning, we get up around 5:30 am to start prepping and strategizing for the morning hunt. About 30-45 minutes before sunrise, we head out to get in our spots, patiently waiting for ducks to come and hang out nearby us. This trip, we didn’t snag any ducks, but the routine of it allows for enjoying time together or moments alone.

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves

2. Seeing the world come alive at sunset is a game changer.

After 12 hours of slumber, the sun peaks out. From which, the light reveals leaves of color and beautiful painted skies. Birds begin chirping, fish begin stirring, and grasses ebb back and forth with the wind. The world wakes up.

Nests Near Lake

3. Family Traditions are SO important.

This is one of those “boys weekends” or “#ManCamp” excursions that I don’t have in my life too often. It ends up being a rag tag team of miscellaneous family members and friends that make it up to Duck Camp each year. But the conversations around the fire, shared meals, and time spent disguising ourselves from perceptive ducks make for amazing memories.

Tree stump in water

4. It’s up to us to conserve and be responsible with the environment.

If you are going to hunt, or enjoy time outside in general, it is important to make sure that it lasts for future generations by giving back to organizations that are working to conserve our environment and help the creatures that live within it. You can buy duck stamps (here) or contribute to your fav. environmental/conservation organization.

Beautiful Moss

5. Disconnecting from technology is a MAJOR key.

As soon as we made it up the spindling road up to the cabin, I turned off my phone and tucked it into my suitcase. I barely had any idea what time it was or what odd current event CNN was pushing to my phone. It was wonderful. And the best part, when I made it back online, everything was fine and the digital world did not go up in flames after my lack of presence.

Fallen Tree Plants

6. Wilderness brings good selfies.

I couldn’t help myself with this one…….. These may be ridiculous but I love them! I figured out timer mode on the new camera. By the by, all of these photos were shot with my new camera. I’m still trying to get a handle on it and its quirks, but I am totally pleased with the camera so far.

Selfies in the woods

Thank you for reading. I’ve been working on this one for a while, and wanted to make sure that it was one that did justice to the majesty of the great outdoors and time spent with family.



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