Horwood Lake Lodge hosted the 2011 Kids and Wardens Fishing Adventure.
This marks the fifth straight year the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (www.ocoa.ca) has worked with the lodge to provide a trip of a lifetime to members of a Boys and Girls Club from a large urban centre in Southern Ontario. Joe and Sharon Richter, owners of Horwood Lake Lodge near Timmins (www.horwoodlakelodge.com), opened up the lodge for the week and provide the cabins, boats and motors free of charge to the visiting group.
“This is amazing, I can’t believe that I’m here, it’s so quiet and beautiful” and “I just caught my first fish ever” are just a few of the many comments made by the children attending the camp.
This year the club chosen to attend the fishing trip was the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club from Toronto. Eighteen kids and 4 counsellors boarded the bus in Toronto for the long drive up to Horwood Lake Lodge located approximately 100 km west of Timmins. Along the route they were joined by 10 members of the Ontario Conservation Officers Association who would act as fishing guides and fish cleaners for the trip.
“Our association members are passionate about the outdoors and they enjoy sharing this passion with the kids”, says OCOA President Mike Duncan, “Even though the trip is for the kids I know some of our members will volunteer a year in advance to make sure they have a spot reserved for the event. It’s something we all look forward to being involved with.”
One councillor attending with the kids told officers, “for every one time a child mentioned I-pods or about missing home, they said 100 times that they wanted to stay and enjoy the outdoors”.
Thanks to all the generous sponsors, each child was presented with a care package upon arriving at the lodge. Each package consisted of a fishing rod and reel, tackle box loaded with tackle, sleeping bag, t-shirt, rain gear and an assortment of other outdoor gear they would require for the trip. Everything presented to the kids was theirs to take home at the end of the event.
In addition to learning how to fish the group is also introduced to a variety of other new experiences, including: survival skills taught by an MNR Conservation Officer, a visit from the MNR Fire Ranger Crew which included demonstration of the different type of equipment utilized to control forest fires, an exciting display by an MNR waterbomber and even a visit from Smokey the Bear, an introduction to what Conservation Officers do on a daily basis and a demonstration by a MNR Conservation Officer and his canine partner, as well as receiving canoe training provided by staff from Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters.
“Our goal is to introduce the kids to an outdoor experience that they would not have a chance to be exposed to without this project”, says Duncan. “Hopefully they have gained a healthy respect for our natural resources and a love for the outdoors that they will continue to enjoy in the future.”
A huge thanks to all our sponsors:
Ontario Public Service Employees Union: Head Office, Locals: 635 North Bay, 703 Sioux Lookout , 319 Parry Sound, 313 Barrie, 455 Belleville, 362 Peterborough, 434 Kemptville, Sudbury, 447 Pembroke, 224 Owen Sound, Horwood Lake Lodge, St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Bass Pro Shops, Ontario Out of Doors Magazine, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Greyhound Canada, Canpar, Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters, Donna Covey, Corey Cole, Dave and Melissa Ferris, WalMart – New Liskeard, McDonald’s Restaurant – Sudbury, Albert’s Sports and Workwear – Timmins, Dumoulin Fishing Tackle – Timmins, 101 Enterprises – Porcupine, Pro Tackle Co. – Schumacher, Big Bear Camp – Timmins, White Birch Outpost – Timmins, Sure Catch Baits, Dr. Fuzy – Corbeil, Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club, Pickering Rod and Gun Club, Ecotrex – North Bay, Orillia Presbyterian Church, Resources Integrated Ltd., Chapleau Trappers Association