Smiles all around: The Youth Campers with their surprise Orvis Encounter outfits
I’m not sure who got the bigger kick out of this years Trout Unlimited Youth Camp, the campers, their mentors or the TU volunteers including our own Bill Thorne, who was wearing his TU Arkansas Chair hat as well as representing the shop.
I have to add my huge thanks to Bob Wyble of DeerHunterfan.com who came up with the idea of giving each camper an Orvis Encounter Outfit, rod reel & line, and he wrote the check to pay for them. Jim Dugan my partner in Dally’s ran with the idea and organised with Orvis the 20 outfits to be shipped in for the camp.
Apparently the campers were pretty chuffed with the presentation Sunday. But I’ll let Bill tell the story.
Thought you might like to hear a little about this year’s camp:
It is safe to say that a good time was had by all at this years Trout Unlimited Youth Camp. Chapter #698 really changed it up this year by making it a “Generation” camp, where each camper was asked to be joined by a mentor, be it a parent, grandparent or elder sibling…We wanted to make sure when the camp was over the fishing wasn’t. TU’s youth coordinator Dawn Schraeder came up with the idea. Our youth camps of the past have always been great, but there was the concern that once camp was over some of the kids didn’t have anyone to fish with.
This years camp was a mix of boys, girls, brothers, sisters, parents, and grandparents. Everybody really enjoyed all aspects of the camp, from the fly tying, casting, entomology, to the casting and of course the fishing at Dry Run Creek. Everyone stayed engaged and learned a lot.
We had campers come from Iowa ,Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma as well as our local Arkansas gang…The new Trout Unlimited website was an effective medium to get the word out for this event.
I guess the highlight of the camp came at the conclusion of the two day event when each camper was presented with their own Orvis “Encounter” rod and reel set. You would have thought it was Christmas morning….oohs and ahhs and even a few tears were shed by the joyous campers(young and old). Then, to put an exclamation point on the emotional conclusion, our little eight year old camper, Annabelle, who has an obvious passion for fly tying, won the Wapsi fly tying kit that was given out as a door prize. I’ve never seen a bigger smile.
Obviously we couldn’t pull off such an undertaking without the help of our generous sponsors; Dally’s Ozark Fly Fisher, Bob Wyble @deerhunterfan.com and Wapsi, as well as our hard working volunteers. Too many to name but we truly want to thank them all.
Thanks again Steve for all you and Jim do for TU.
Bill Thorne, AR Council Chair, Trout Unlimited
Mr Bill cooking lunch
Michael Schraeder helping a camper to a really nice rainbow
Dawn Schraeder presenting Annabel with her Wapsi tying kit
Touring the hatchery
TU Chapter #698 Volunteers