Below is an excellent post from someone on my forum. So I thought I would share it here too: ______________________________________ I've come across a great opportunity! My Grandpa is getting older and is finding some of the tasks he used to do on his own a bit difficult. He finds himself needing my uncles to help him do more and more. It's not that he is unable or unwilling but he gets tired doing it. He is retired but still has a farm on his property and with the amount of property he has out in rural Manitoba there is a lot of work just by the nature of owning rural land even if you ignore the farm. We were talking on the phone and when he told me this a couple weeks ago I started thinking of going out to help him and learn from him. So this morning we were on the phone and I brought up the idea and he loved it. My grandpa was my hero growing up and we always had fun. However when my family moved to Ontario we lost some of that comradery and we lost the time we would spend together teaching me practical skills. Seeing that I am a single young man with really no commitments to family and no major work or career commitments I think this is an opportunity of a lifetime! So right now I'm working on some logistics. I'm going to drive out so I can bring lots of my own stuff like tools, my long guns and things that would really be a pain to bring on an airplane. It looks at this point like I'll be going out this January and most likely over August and September of next year. The busier season for what I am wanting to learn. This is more or less a barter where my grandpa teaches me how to do a variety of things and I do the work. So he gets things done that he couldn't do himself anymore and I learn some skills that can really help me in prepping and life in general. All grandpa would have to do is sit there, give me instruction, maybe show me a thing or two and relax while I do the bulk of the work. Fortunately because of some silly government regulations over my industry I have much more leeway and more bargaining power for time off. In reality the industry (Private Security) is hurting since the new laws have made it much more difficult for people to become licensed security guards. There is actually a shortage of licensed security guards right now in my area. Like I said the benefit to me is I have more bargaining power and I actually make more money, not much but enough to notice a difference. I have 3 weeks of vacation/ sick days left this year but Christmas is a busier time for us since more places need temporary uniformed security guards. So I've worked out with my boss that i can take the 3 weeks off next year (in January) so that I can make this trip. I'll still have 2 weeks of time off and one week of sick days if I don't use them for working into the trip in the summer/fall of 2011. I am making this post because I need some input from you all! Grandpa wants me to make a checklist of things that I would like to learn from him so that we can have a plan of attack and so that we can have a list of what we did and what I've achieved over the 3 months I am out there over the next year. My grandpa is one of those guys who can do anything, fix anything and build anything. If he can't do it or needs special tools he doesn't have he has plenty of contacts who can either lend him the tool or who can do the job for him. Not because he can't do it but because he either has other things to get done so it's worth paying someone else or he just flat out doesn't want to do it himself. I bring that up because he told me he can work out a way to get me into the shop to learn stuff he can't do or he can make the arrangements to borrow the equipment so he can teach me. So I'm going to post my list that I have as of right now (11/26/2010) and I am hoping you guys can give me some ideas for things I may have forgotten about or not thought of. You name it, chances are I can learn it from Grandpa or one of his contacts so don't hold anything back, worst come to worst I can put that on my list of things to try and find someone to teach me. Just keep in mind we are more or less talking about tangible skills, skilled trades, building and construction. Here is my list as of today * Mechanic work for Cars & trucks Gasoline and Diesel * Farm Vehicle Maintenance/mechanics * Heavy Equipment Repair * Body Work Cars, trucks, farm machines and heavy equipment * Welding * Plumbing * Home Electrical * Vehicle Electrical * Carpentry * Arborist More or less how to fall a tree and chop it up (chainsaws) * Small Engine Repair/maintenance Chain saws, lawn mowers, snow mobiles, ATVs, Weed Whackers and the like * Reloading Ammunition Including custom loads, supersonic .22/9mm, shot shells, rim fire and center fire * Marksman ship Rifles and handguns * Heavy Equipment operation Farm and Construction (Backhoe, front end loader, farm tractor, forklift and more) * Linesman Work Yes grandpa even maintains the power and telephone lines on his property * 18 Wheeler, air brakes and dump truck driving I may not come out licensed to drive these but I'll have experience and knowledge if I decide to down the road! * Towing Large Trailers with a pick-up truck * Tool sharpening Sharpen axes, chain saws, circular saws, hand saws and hand tools etc. Sorry this is a long post, please give me suggestions if you can think of anything I might have missed! This is a great opportunity and at the very least I can find out what kind of trade I want to go into and have some background knowledge and experience to help me secure an apprenticeship. In fact I might just quit my job and take this challenge on by the horns this spring if the list gets so long that I can't fit it all into the time I have. Or if I find I don't get in depth as much as I'd like because we are hitting on so many different topics and skills.