MSSA Greenwell Fishing Camp 2014 - 6th Year! By Phil Zalesak and Jerry Gaff
The Southern Maryland Chapter (SMC) of MSSA has developed a unique relationship with the Greenwell Foundation, whose mission is to facilitate the enjoyment of outdoor activities of all residents of Southern Maryland with or without disability. So the idea of co-sponsoring fishing camps for children between the ages of 7 to 12 seemed like a good idea for both organizations.
Each summer since 2009, SMC has sponsored two fishing camps at Greenwell. The objective of the camps is to develop children’s fishing skills to the point that children can identify fish of the Chesapeake Bay, tie hooks and lures to fishing line, cut bait, and achieve the necessary skills of casting and landing fish. They also learn to clean and fillet fish. Each camp lasts for an entire week and includes fishing off the pier at Greenwell State Park and fishing from boats of MSSA members.
Today the curriculum gives incentives for the development of skills and good citizenship. The winner of a casting contest wins a tackle box; another camper wins a tackle box for being “Fishing Buddy of the Week.” The winner, voted on by the campers themselves, is the camper who was most helpful to his or her camping buddies during the week. All children leave camp with a brand new fishing rod, a bottom rig and a beetle spin lure so they can fish right away.
According to the Greenwell Foundation, the market demand for these camps has now evolved to the point that there were waiting lists for both the July and August fishing camps this year. That speaks well for the next generation of fishermen in Southern Maryland. And that’s a good thing.
Here are some great pictures of the activities at this year’s camp……