Take Me Fishin'!
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Friends of Myles Standish State Forest hosted a sucessful free community fishing event on September 29, 2007. We estimate that between 250 and 300 people showed up. Many volunteers worked all day, including several Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) workers (the District Supervisor and his family among them) who came to the forest to help out even though it was their day off. A special thank you goes to John Dubois, who worked all day at the event before going to work all night at the forest.
Clearly, the event could not have taken place without the support of DCR and MassWildlife who encouraged the event, lent us the equipment, gave us worms and even stocked the pond with 600 trout, most of which are still there!
Several members from Trout Unlimited South East Mass, Fly Fishing Federation, and Mass Wildlife Anglers Education Volunteer Program helped make "Take Me Fishin'!" an educational experience for fisher people of all ages. Their expertise and gentle professionalism encouraged people to try something new.
Local businesses donated some wonderful items and so deserve our thanks.
Capt. John Boats donated two prizes for the fishing derby; a deep sea fishing trip for two and a whale watching trip for two. Capt. John Boats lent us so many things for the event, its impossible to name them all! We couldn't have set up all the nature activities and fishing stations without the help of Ronnie Hunter, who works for Capt. John Boats and a is very dedicated member of Friends of MSSF. Thank you Ronnie.
Lobster Tales donated two great prizes for the fishing derby; an Ice Cream Cruise or a Pirate Cruise for two. The winners had a hard time choosing between the two.
Shaw's market in Cedarville donated 300 freshly baked cookies, cases of juice boxes, a huge gift basket for the raffle and pumpkins for a free children's drawing and more.
Rod Builder's Workshop and Fly Fishing Emporium, Kingston donated a beautiful fly fishing rod, which the winner will select to fit his fishing style. Smitty, the owner of Rod Builders, saved the day by calling on his friends at TU to help out at the event.
M & M Plimoth Bay Outfitters, Plymouth, donated a sharp spin-casting rod and reel, worth well over $100. The winner looked quite pleased to have that!
Pro Figures, a new shop in Cedarville, donated a Red Sox collectable figure that generated a nice bit of income for our raffle and made one boy very happy.
Krill Carson, a naturalist with Capt. John Boats and The New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance, carried the day with enjoyable activities that help teach children about the natural world. Krill donated a nifty hand held microscope for viewing aquatic critters and several children's books on insects, birds and wildlife. She and her crew spent the entire day with us. We couldn't be more grateful.
Smokey Bear (Kathy Singleton) worked the crowd too, handing out fire prevention kits to young people and sharing her concerns with adults. Ron Aseltine, Fire Warden District 2, brought Smokey in the fire truck with bells ringing and lights flashing. Ron wants us all to know how serious is the threat of out of control wildfires in Pine Barrens. He will speak at the next Friends of MSSF meeting on this topic so stay alert for the date and time of this important meeting.
Dunkin' Donuts in Wareham supplied the coffee and donuts for hungry kids, their families and the volunteers, who really appreciated having a coffee break especially since the work day began at 7:00 AM. And thanks to Thom Gifford the coffee was already there when the workers arrived!
May I mention the help of Casey Meserve of Old Colony Memorial Newspapers? Without Casey's lively and well-written article previewing the event, there wouldn't have been much of a turnout. When we asked people how they heard about "Take Me Fishin'!" most said they saw the article on the front page of the "Bulletin". What a disappointment it would have been if, after all the work of the volunteers, the people did not show. Casey and OCM are important partners to FMSSF and we really appreciate the newspaper’s help in promoting our first community event and we really enjoyed seeing the great pictures Richard Archbold took during the event published in the Old Colony Memorial.
As you can see, "Take Me Fishin'!" was a huge collaborative effort but everyone, especially the volunteers, seemed to enjoy every minute. What a pleasure to see kids, some of who had never fished before, catch a fish. What a great day. See you next year!