Family Traditions In The Great Outdoors

Lake ChippewaThere are many things in this world that help to hold a family together. Whether it’s sports, outdoors, food or faith -- or in some cases, all of the above -- they are critical ingredients of the glue that keeps a family together for generations.

In the case of my family, it has always been the outdoors. The experiences and memories that we share together can not be replaced.

For the past 62 years, the Nania family -- consisting originally of my Grandfather Jim and Grandmother Virginia, along with their five sons, John, Jim, Jeff, Joel, and Jay -- has kept the tradition going.

At this point, I have more than 25 cousins, three of my uncles and my dad, my mom and two of my aunts who still every year make their best efforts to gather our families for our great getaway in the fishing city of Hayward in Northern Wisconsin. My family has been staying in the same
set of rustic beautiful cabins on a small chain of muskie and bass lakes since 1952.

This year, I had the pleasure of enjoying this experience with my wife, Jessica, as this great tradition continues.

Almost all of my favorite memories of growing up come from this place with those people, and none of them can be replaced. The trip is full of fishing, outdoors and way too much food, and as a big, happy Italian family, the singing of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”

For my family fishing is the number-one activity and has fueled my fishing addiction that I’ve had since the age of 1. Fishing truly runs in my family; for generations on my dad’s side and my mom’s, there have been fishing fanatics in the gene pool. It makes me think there must be something genetically inherited that creates the allure and obsession with fishing.

Possibly it’s the hunt and the search of an incredible living creature that we strain our minds to fool and bring to the boat, or the drive created by not knowing exactly what is down there and when that true trophy fish will bite. Whatever it is, it definitely runs in my family, and I’m sure in families all over the world.

I truly love and appreciate the outdoors and want to share my experiences, and most of all, my love and passion for the outdoors with the world. While I fuel the fire for conservation and appreciation, it helps assure that generations to come can enjoy what our great earth has to offer!

Written by Joey Nania