LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
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.
Best of the West is a series by Gary Shaw on the amazing young people of Labrador West.