Free fishing camp open to all St. John youth

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NORCO — Many would agree that fishing is a great way to spend quality time with friends and loved ones.

Bernell Charles would definitely be one of those people.

That’s why Charles is encouraging families to bring their children to the Fourth Annual Fishing Camp.

The fishing camp takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 4 at the Bonnet Carre Spillway Boat Launch on U.S. 61 at the East Levee Spillway in Norco.

Hosted by the St. John the Baptist Parish 40th Judicial District Children and Youth Services Planning Board, organizers hope the family oriented activity encourages families and neighbors to spend time together while introducing local children to fishing for the first time.

Charles, Planning Board chairman, said the event gets bigger and better every year.

“Hopefully we can get the kids hooked on fishing, and it creates a family activity,” Charles said.

Children through the age of 15 are invited to attend, and an adult must accompany those younger than 8.

The fishing camp is free. Fishing poles and bait will be provided, Charles said, adding those with their own equipment are asked to bring it. Lunch will also be provided.

“We’re going to give out prizes, too,” Charles said. “We’re going to give prizes to the first girl and boy to catch a fish. Prizes will also be given to first, second and third largest fish.”

Families are asked to register their children before the fishing camp so coordinators know many rods and how much food is needed. Those interested can pick up applications at any school in St. John the Baptist Parish, the Sheriff’s Office, Parish Government Office or can call 504-570-4885.

Prevention Committee secretary Cynthia Clifton said she looks forward to seeing the children’s faces light up when they catch a fish or even cast a fishing pole.

Clifton has been a part of the fishing camp since the beginning,

“I enjoy helping the children,” Clifton said. “More and more children get involved every year. This year I invited my anger management class to attend for class credit. I’m not sure how many will attend, but this will show them other avenues instead of fighting.”

Clifton said boys and girls seem very excited about fishing.

“Most of them have never fished before,” she said. “My favorite part is seeing the girls excited about catching a fish, big or small.”

Volunteers are needed, and those interested are asked to call 504-570-4885. A background check is required to volunteer.