For the past 14 years Cross Trail Outfitters - Youth Hunting & Fishing Club has been providing some of the most amazing hunting and fishing adventures for kids through our CTO Ultimate Summer Camps!
At the end of each CTO hunting camp, we honor the participants with an antler ring necklace that symbolizes so much of their experience, that I wanted to publicly explain the significance of the meaning of the Antler Ring.
The antler is the fastest growing bone known to man, produced by blood, and developed by minerals from the soil. The antler is shed annually, representing a season of growth and maturity, as most hunters or landowners will judge their herd by the annual development of the antler. If a deer is injured or sick, it may grow awkward in a season. Every antler is unique by design, as the DNA and the chemical make-up is different in each animal.
As for the participants at camp and our chemical make-up, we are each different and unique by design! However, as Christ followers, we are linked as brothers and sisters through the blood of Jesus that He shed for us on the cross!
When we see these kids throughout the year and at camps annually, and as leaders, we are looking to identify signs of maturity and Spiritual growth.
We typically find an antler from the farm where we have hunted, fished and fellowshipped for the week, understanding that the ground we have played on has also helped produce the antler.
And when we circle up for instruction, or around the campfire for our devotion, prayer, etc., it's never perfect, but our Lord and Savior Jesus was, and the perfect circle in the middle represents Him!
As we circle up as a group, side by side, only those who participate during the week receive a slice of the antler~
Connected and bonded together for a season, and then split apart as we go our separate ways and walk down the trails of life-
It's just a piece of bone on a necklace, but it represents a whole lot more to those who understand!
Kevin Potts - Texas State Director