Guest Blog: Kristen Monroe Attends the 56th Annual AGLOW Conference
Growing up in a family of hunters & fishermen has lead Kristen Monroe of OutdoorNews.com to have passion for the outdoors. When she was young she loved waking up at the crack of dawn to go fishing with her older brother and dad. Although she was only allowed to fish for bluegills as a young girl she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to cast for her first bass. Now she and her husband are looking forward to taking their own children fishing and sharing passion for the outdoors with them.
I don’t do it to get rich. I don’t do it for fame and glory. I share my passion of the outdoors with hopes of inspiring others. Being an outdoor writer is a not an easy gig. It’s somewhat competitive and there are many fantastic writers that have been in the business for many years. Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with good and talented people that help me along the way. Recently, I attended The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers’ (AGLOW) 56th Annual AGLOW Conference at Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri.
As I pass my outdoor experiences on to my readers, I look to tenured writers for support and advice. I can give credit to Berdette Zastrow, past President of AGLOW. If it wasn’t for her, I would not be where I am today. Zastrow said, “I’m an outdoor writer because I love sharing the outdoors with others. They can laugh at my mistakes and hopefully learn from them. I can share information which will help other anglers and hunters in the field. I mentor new anglers and hunters and carry it forward in my articles.”
Outdoor writers, manufacturers and tourism departments congregate to network at the annual AGLOW conference. Writers mingle with old friends, expand their audiences and discover new ideas. Corporate members display new products and meet members of the media to help spread their message. And finally, tourism departments proudly display exciting hunting and fishing destinations. Of course we hunt, fish, shoot, and learn during the day. At night time, laughter can be heard echoing across the lake, and the sound of glasses clinking together is not uncommon. AGLOW is a tight knit group and the members truly work to help each other out and have a great time while doing it.
National Shooting Sports Foundation sponsored an explosive shooting day at Ozark Shooters. Trying a wide verity of shotguns,
crossbows and handguns is a real treat- perhaps my favorite activity at the conference. Shooting with some of the best manufacturers and their professional representatives has its advantages. Matt Rice representing Smith and Wesson helped to improve my handgun grip a bit. Brad Boner from Hawke Optics set up the new Mathews crossbow over 300 times so different media members could check out their new scope. I could not believe he was still smiling as he cocked bolt number 300. It felt good to hit a bear right in the bullseye at 60 yards–shooting crossbows is a ton of fun.
A few of us went pheasant hunting at Down Home Huntin’, and many others grabbed their rods and cast with Branson’s top guides. Some fished for bass on Table Rock Lake. Others wet their line from Hobie Kayaks for rainbow trout on Lake Taneycomo. Everyone knows passing on outdoor heritage to family and friends is crucial to keeping the outdoor dream alive. A good outdoor writer knows how to enrich someone’s outdoor world; sharing tips, emotions, and adventures. Maybe you too could become an outdoor writer and share your outdoor dreams.