In a world where modern technology has become the entertainment of choice for many children under the age of 16, it is becoming increasingly important to introduce them to the outdoors at a young age. Statistics show that the earlier kids get involved in outdoor activities, such as fishing, the more likely they will be to respect and enjoy the outdoors; programs like the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s recent Take Kids Fishing Day event are fantastic opportunities to begin teaching basic skills.
On June 8th and 9th at Peititebone Beach Park in La Crosse, WI and at Braun’s Bay Carson Park in Eau Claire, WI, the USA’s Boots on the Ground program coordinated the 2013 event with the help of local unions: Western WI AFL CIO, Greater Eau Claire CLC, Western WI BCTC, UA 434, IAMAW District 66 and the USW International. Over the course of those two days, 25 volunteers logged 150 total volunteer hours and donated fishing poles, door prizes, snacks, tackle, and banners to help teach kids techniques, such as tying your own hook and reeling in a fish. They also educated the kids on the size and bag limits for keeping fish and the laws for fishing with a license. While the majority of those participating were under the required age for a fishing license (15), volunteers found the event to be a great opportunity to inform parents and children on license requirements and public access rules.
“Take Kids Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity to educate youngsters on the benefits of fishing,” said USA National Events Coordinator Tim Bindl. “It’s also a great way to show families the abundance of public access opportunities available in their own communities.”
Boots on the Ground programs such as this are great examples of the USA’s conservation mission in action. The experience that the 150 kids gained during the event can positively affect and influence their preferences for and love of conservation and outdoor activities for years to come.
“Take Kids Fishing Events are perfect illustrations of what the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is all about,” said USA Executive Director Fred Myers. “Being able to reach a young population, as this event did, enabled us to make a lasting impression and hopefully inspire kids to be more involved in conservation.”
To find out how you can get involved in local conservation projects, contact Tim Bindl at [email protected] or 608-397-1023.