Are you ready for this?
Yep, let's get started.
Okay, what is your name and where are you from?
My name is Hilary Westhoff and I am from Cañon City, Colorado.
What outdoor activities do you participate in and what makes you enjoy those activities?
I enjoy fishing, atv riding, boating, tubing (float tube fishing and pulled behind the boat), camping, shooting and geocaching. I think that's everything. I love being outdoors and learning new things to do in the outdoors. I love the excitement from catching a big (or small) fish, getting over a difficult obstacle on the atv, finding a cache, hitting the center of a target several times and being on the water.
You forgot turtle fishing.
I don't enjoy turtle fishing. They are mean when they are stuck on the end of your fish hook. Plus all 3 turtles were caught while I was trying to catch catfish.
Well, I started fishing when I was very young. I loved to go fishing and camping with my parents and grandparents. Then, my family went through a long period of time where we didn't do much together at all. I went camping with friends once in awhile, but that was about it. Then, in 2003 I met a guy who fished, hunted, camped, rock crawled and loved being in the outdoors and my love of being in the outdoors came back. In 2005, I married that guy and we've been enjoying the outdoors together ever since. Being outdoors makes the stress of work and everything else disappear. When I'm on the lake or on the trail, I don't care how bad Monday is going to be or that the bathrooms need cleaned. At home I love my dishwasher but while we're camping, doing dishes by hand isn't a big deal. I love out casting my husband, beating my brother at target shooting and getting through obstacles on my atv that other people that have been riding atvs since they were little have trouble with.
Good job! Let's insert a cute picture of you and "that guy" here:
In 2012, I decided to start a blog for girls that want to learn more about the outdoors. Girls In The Outdoors began in April of 2012 and has grown from a blog on a free blog host page to a blog on a .com page, a store and several social media pages. I've had a lot of fun coming up with blog posts and new jewelry designs and hearing stories and seeing photos from others enjoying the outdoors.
In 2013, I also became a prostaffer for Schadeycreek Spinners. Spinners are my favorite lure and Schadeycreek spinners are well designed, look AWESOME and the owners are really great people. Check out their website here: http://schadeycreekoutdoors.com/.
Have you introduced any other girls or kids to the outdoors? If so, who and how?
Oh yes, my godkids, some friends, my niece and a few strangers. It was easy getting them involved. We just took them with us. If they hadn't enjoyed it, we wouldn't have pushed them to do it. They loved fishing, boating, camping and atving so we try to take them with us as much as we can.
How do you encourage those girls and kids in the outdoors?
We teach them as much as we can about what they want to learn about. My 5 year old niece has known how to drive an atv since she was 3 and my godson can outcast most men who have been fishing for decades. We encourage them to ask questions and if they say they are interested in trying something or learning about something we help them as much as we can.
What picture should we add here?
How about the one we took at John Martin Reservoir last year with our friend Amber, goddaughter Ambrosia and niece Cori.
Have patience and don't push them to do something they don't enjoy. She may not catch on as fast as others or they may not enjoy some of the activities. A couple examples are me learning to fly fish and me not wanting to go hunting. It is taking me awhile to catch onto fly casting and I get frustrated a lot, but I enjoy it so anybody helping me out is really patient and lets me take breaks before I get too frustrated. My husband doesn't push me to go hunting with him. I enjoy shooting, but there are many things I don't enjoy about hunting (cold weather, getting up SUPER early and I can't walk quietly), my husband doesn't push me to do it.
Another piece of advice is: Buy them gear in their favorite color/theme. My husband also didn't push me to try ice fishing, but I decided to try it out...because I found a really cool ice fishing rod and now I like ice fishing. Most of my rods, reels, fishing line, hooks, lures, guns and other gear are red (my favorite color). My nieces get a lot of pink and purple fishing gear for Christmas and birthdays, too. I love when one of them catches a fish on a pink lure. I also love seeing them catch a fish on a lure they picked out themselves.
Like Ambrosia's small mouth bass?
YES! Exactly...where's that picture? She had picked out that lure just a few weeks earlier and chose to use that lure at that moment and caught a fish with it.
Well, I do run a website dedicated to giving advice.
Good point. Next question... Is there anybody (living or dead) you wish you could fish with?
I would LOVE to fish with Bill Dance or Fish Fishburn. Either one of those would be great. I wish I could go fishing and camping with my Grandpa Cheek again. Camping trips with my grandparents were awesome and I miss my grandpa a lot.
*sniff* Remember that lake that had the huge climb up to the bathroom and after you, your brother and your grandma climbed all the way up there, you wouldn't go in because you were afraid of vault toilets?
Yes I do. I'm still a little afraid of vault toilets.
Do you have any specific memorable outdoor trips?
Wow, there are so many! There are the ones from when I was a kid. There's also the one where Ambrosia kept catching fish and her little brother lost his giant catfish. The one my husband and I ended up on a super hard atv trail and I hated it so much, but it gave me confidence to get through another obstacle closer to home that I usually made my husband do for me. There's the trip where we thought a small bear was in camp and it turned out to be a golden retriever. And the trip that my sister thought a beer can exploding in the fire was my husband shooting at a bear. Then there's the trip that our black lab was so tired she unzipped the tent and let herself in and then let herself out the next morning...
Okay, that's enough! We get the point! You have a LOT of great outdoor memories.
Last question: What are 5 things you always bring with you no matter what outdoor activity you are doing?
I can only list 5? Have you seen what is in my day bag? Let's see, I always have a camera with me, a bee sting kit, roll of toilet paper, Girls In The Outdoors stickers and a snack and water.