There’s a personal reason why I’m sad to see North Woods Law go

I’ve been critical of reality shows a couple times in posts. Further, I don’t have satellite or cable, so if I’m watching it, it’s on YouTube or Netflix — which means not much of what I watch is current. Nonetheless, I am lamenting the pending loss of North Woods Law.

Admittedly I’ve only seen snippets. My mother records the episodes for my nephew Jadon to watch when he visits her. First he tires himself out with chores and playing outside, and then chances are he can be found on the sofa, remote and food nearby, North Woods Law on the TV.

Since he’s getting older, and hugs and cuddles are fewer and farther between, if I catch him there, I plunk myself down on the sofa with him for part of an episode. It’s a good substitute.

It is his “favorite show,” and when I asked him this week how he felt about the show being cancelled, his tone grew very serious, and he said, “Not very good.” Getting elongated answers out of a busy 10-year-old boy isn’t much easier than getting cuddles, but I can’t emphasize his love for this program enough.

He lives in a country setting and spends most of his free time outdoors. He is fascinated by all aspects of nature, especially wildlife. He loves to fish, and when he grows up, he wants to be a game warden.

Photos by Joan and Amanda Callahan

Jadon Callahan fishing at North Woods Law Camp (Photo by Joan and Amanda Callahan)

So when you are talking North Woods Law, you’re talking about his heroes, thus the serious tone. Looking back, I think he’s been watching the show almost as long as it’s been on. I know he started talking about being a game warden around the age of 5 or 6. It was the first time he showed signs of taking this field so seriously.

He’s still sure that’s what he wants to do. He’s more sure than ever thanks to an opportunity to attend the summer camp put on by the show. He hopes “they keep the camp open because I want to go back.”

Photos by Joan and Amanda Callahan -- Jadon showing off a trophy catch!

Jadon showing off a trophy catch! (Photo by Joan and Amanda Callahan)

I want that for him, too. I may not know all that much about the show itself, but I know that the days leading up to the camp, the days of camp itself, and the days that followed were the happiest days I’ve seen that child have in his whole 10 years. And he’s generally a pretty happy young man, so I’m talking about totally esctatic days.

When I asked him what he’d want readers to know about the camp, he said, “That it was pretty cool. The game wardens were awesome, and we had chores there.” The game wardens must have been pretty awesome if a boy lists chores as something positive for people to know.

His favorite warden was Warden Parker, and his “favorite part was shooting” because he “got to use a real gun.” He’s wanted to be a hunter as long as he’s wanted to be a game warden, so I’m relieved his first experience with a gun and gun safety was with law enforcement officials he respects and admires.

I’m quite sure he’ll never forget what they told him. The role modeling effect of that camp had a big impact on him.

Photos by Joan and Amanda Callahan -- Jadon learning to handle a gun.

Jadon learning to handle a gun. (Photo by Joan and Amanda Callahan)

Besides the chores and the shooting, the boat rides and archery and fishing, there was even the proverbial icing on the cake. Knowing that two of the boys, my nephew included, were celebrating birthdays while at camp, the staff surprised each boy a giant birthday cake to share with the other campers. Jadon said it was “really cool and the cake was gingerbread.”


Jadon, camp staff and fellow campers celebrate his birthday. (Photo by Joan and Amanda Callahan)


As Jadon’s auntie, I hope that everyone involved in the show knows they are real life heroes to kids like my nephew. Kids today can’t have enough real life heroes who also take the time to be role models and mentors.

It’s an example of a reality show impacting reality in a very positive way.

Photos by Joan and Amanda Callahan -- An excited Jadon gets to talk with his heroes.

An excited Jadon gets to talk with his heroes. (Photo by Joan and Amanda Callahan)

Fans of the show should check him out on the final episode of this season. He and the other campers will be starring with their heroes.

Patricia Callahan

About Patricia Callahan

Trish is a writer who lives in Augusta. She has worked professionally in education and social services.