Never let anyone tell you that our future is in jeopardy when referencing our youth.
This weekend I had the absolute privilege of attending the NYPENN Girl Scouts of America’s Amahami Festival as a presenter on weather, fishing, and environmental stewardship. Despite the cooler weather and early rain showers, over 200 people turned out to participate, making it the largest attended in the history of Amahami. Being that this was my first time ever attending an event with the Girl Scouts, I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully I had the help of fellow anglers John Malzahn and his son Michael, Dan Drake, and Dominic Sergi. Together, these guys all did an amazing job of helping me bring Reel Weather to Deposit NY.
We began with one group of about 15 young girls. To start we spoke about the importance of taking care of our environment, keeping our lakes, rivers, and forests free from pollution. Then I talked about the most basic ways that weather impacts fishing, and why that’s valuable, while showing my personal weather station. I then moved to our lure selection for the day, which consisted of wacky hooks from Lazer Trokar, and Gary Yamamoto Senkos, with a demonstration on how to use this application and why it works. After that we broke into four groups, and Dominic, Dan, John, Michael, and myself spread out across the lake to apply what we had just learned.
In no time the girls were catching fish, and all across the lake you could hear the sound of them screaming for joy. For many, these are the first fish they’ve ever caught, and the first wild fish they’ve ever seen. They’re learning how to touch them properly, how to release them, how old they are, and why it’s important to practice catch and release. For example, a largemouth bass in NY that weighs over 5 pounds will get people’s attention. It’s what’s considered by those who fish a lot to be a “good fish”. That fish would be over 10 years old. Being that bass aren’t generally considered to be a delicacy, there are more reasons to keep them alive than to harvest them.
When we got back to our station and said farewell to our first group, we learned we had three more groups waiting. By 2 we had over 50 kids fishing on the shore at once, having spent all day with over 150 young girls. These wonderful kids were the most respective, attentive, and polite I’d ever worked with. They were all environmentally conscious before we even began, and it was so refreshing to see and hear so many kids understand the importance of protecting our resources. It was a testament to the NYPENN Girl Scouts of America, and to the parents of those kids, who are largely responsible for having raised such wonderful girls. By all accounts, we were a huge hit there, and I hope that they invite us back. Thanks again to all my friends for helping, and to Trokar, Dobyns, Fishidy, and Weather Underground.