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View Full Version : Looking for Ideas/Input special needs kids fishing day.



Mudinchev
01-18-2013, 06:27 PM
Shawn and I would like to put together some kind of fishing day for kids that don't usually get the chance to fish. I am thinking Yale would be a great place for it in the early summer after the weather warms up a bit. The fish are not the greatest but on a good day it is usually more "catching" than "fishing". I have no idea where to start with this idea so I am looking for input.

lowe1648mt
01-18-2013, 07:01 PM
First, line up a few people to help organize it. Set a date. Reserve a shelter as soon as possible if you think you might need one. Look for sponsors for food,drink, fees, and any equipment you may need. Last but not least- figure out how many kids so you can ask people to volunteer and know how many you want.

Mudinchev
01-18-2013, 10:56 PM
That is kind of my game plan, what I am looking for more than anything is my target group of kids (where do I find the less fortunate/special needs kids) kids that are capable of enjoying a day on the water catching a few fish? I am pretty sure I can find the volunteers, I just need the kids "with willing parents" to go along with it. I think that is the first step.

SmokeOnTheWater
01-19-2013, 02:38 PM
My Wife & I attempted an event such as this several years ago in conjunction with Utah's Free Fishing Day and it was worse than a flop. We did not have a single child or family show for the event. Following are some thoughts as a result of our failed attempt:
1 - We thought we would try and save the family money by scheduling in conjunction with the Free Fishing Day - We should have approached our DNR for a free, one-day fishing licence.
2 - We advertised with flyers only through the local school districts. We should have contacted the local TV stations for free advertising. Many offer local calendar of events and websites.
3 - We chose a location close to home. We should have chosen a true fishery rather than a "community pond".
4 - We only offered bank fishing. We should have had a floatilla of volunteers that could have provided more for the family.
5 - We offered no prizes. We should have had something (anything) to award the participants.
6 - We didn't do any pre-registration. We should have done this to help anticipate the interest or lack thereof and to help prepare accomodations for the special needs of the child.

I applaud you for your generosity and willingness to do this for those with special needs. Our son was one of many afflicted with a long term but fatal prognosis. There are so many degrees of disability that you may be faced with so go into this event with extreme flexibility in mind. You'll need to consider the physical, mental and emotional aspects as well as a combination of all these. Working with special needs children can become overwhelming if you're not prepared. I am willing to make myself available long distance if you like, just send me a PM and I'll provide my personal contact information.

GOOD LUCK!

lowe1648mt
01-20-2013, 12:50 AM
I like Yale. When You pick a date, I may be able to talk my wife into going down to help. Keep us posted.

sawtooth
01-20-2013, 03:25 PM
That is kind of my game plan, what I am looking for more than anything is my target group of kids (where do I find the less fortunate/special needs kids) kids that are capable of enjoying a day on the water catching a few fish? I am pretty sure I can find the volunteers, I just need the kids "with willing parents" to go along with it. I think that is the first step.

Mudinchev,
When you refer to "special needs kids" are you talking about students with physical, emotional, or mental challenges? Or are you talking about other types of challenges as well, such as poverty/ homelessness? If your heart is to help those in the first definition, then the school or school districts Special Education Department or Local Childerns Hospital would be my first call. If you are including those kids with financial challenges, then I would talk with your local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA after school programs director, Homeless Shelter, or Shelter for Women and Childern dealing with domestic abuse. Either way I think you will be able to find some kids/families that could really benefit from a day at the lake. As a Middle School PE teacher in a lower socio-economic school, I have taken students fishing as a reward for raising their grades. Some of these kids lived 14 miles from the lake we went to, but had never been there, let alone been on a boat. You will never forget the way one of these kids face lights up and the smiles they have when they step out on the boat and they catch that first fish. You are right in finding a lake that will produce a lot of action. These kids don't need to land a monster, they just need to catch a few fish to stay engaged. Also, I would have a dock with food and other activities available in case you get a kid that doesn't fill comfortable on the water. Let me know if I can help you out with other suggestions. Good Luck.

Mudinchev
01-20-2013, 11:13 PM
Mudinchev,
When you refer to "special needs kids" are you talking about students with physical, emotional, or mental challenges? Or are you talking about other types of challenges as well, such as poverty/ homelessness? If your heart is to help those in the first definition, then the school or school districts Special Education Department or Local Childerns Hospital would be my first call. If you are including those kids with financial challenges, then I would talk with your local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA after school programs director, Homeless Shelter, or Shelter for Women and Childern dealing with domestic abuse. Either way I think you will be able to find some kids/families that could really benefit from a day at the lake. As a Middle School PE teacher in a lower socio-economic school, I have taken students fishing as a reward for raising their grades. Some of these kids lived 14 miles from the lake we went to, but had never been there, let alone been on a boat. You will never forget the way one of these kids face lights up and the smiles they have when they step out on the boat and they catch that first fish. You are right in finding a lake that will produce a lot of action. These kids don't need to land a monster, they just need to catch a few fish to stay engaged. Also, I would have a dock with food and other activities available in case you get a kid that doesn't fill comfortable on the water. Let me know if I can help you out with other suggestions. Good Luck.

I can see challenges with all the options presented, "all of the above" but that wont be possible. The biggest challenge to the homeless/poverty group would be getting every one to the lake, its over a half hour drive just from I-5 so most would be coming from an hour or so away. Being as it will be kids there will need to be at least one accompanying parent/guardian with each child. I think I would like to focus more toward the mentally/physically challenged. Or kids dealing with medical issues (which may not be possible). I know a guy that is part of a snowmobile group that usually puts on a "ride for the blind" and that is kind of what I am envisioning. I am reasonably sure I can get some sponsor help with food, drinks, and goodies for the kids to take home. I think I will start with the the Children's Hospital and go from there. Thanks for all the input and please keep it coming!! Any and all ideas are most welcome!

sawtooth
01-21-2013, 12:28 AM
To ramp up some excitement prior to the trip. You could have the kids design some Kokanee spinners or other tackle they could use on the trip. The National Forest Service and your states Fish and Wildlife Department will also have coloring books and other fun stuff that will teach the kids about Kokanee and Salmon in general. Smoke on the Water has some great suggestions from his event. I would definitely get a pre-registration form from the kids involved so you will have a better idea of how many participant you might have. Most importantly, I think I would start with a small group of maybe six kids and their parents. That's three boats. This will be more manageable, and if it is a big success, you might want to make it an annual event with more boats.