FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2010
On Father's Day I enjoyed one of the most rewarding family outings right here in South Texas with three of my four grandchildren.
We participated in a Kids Fish Camp sponsored by Fishing's Future at the JFK Park near San Benito.
As a board member of this non-profit organization, I can attest that it fully lives up to its mission to reconnect kids and nature, strengthen family relationships, build stewardship of the environment and provide positive primary outdoor experiences for 6- to 13-year-olds. Believe me, my family and I experienced each one of those noble goals and then some. We had fun!
When is the last time you took your youngster(s) and shared an outdoor opportunity away from television, the x-box, computer and everything technological for an educational and bonding experience?
Nature has so much to offer and unfortunately we often forget to enjoy it. That is what Fishing's Future wants to remind all of us.
During a Kids Fish Camp, kids learn the basics of fishing and experience the excitement of catching their first fish. Parents or guardians are required to participate with their children.
At these camps, children learn water safety practices, fish identification, fish measurement, proper catch-and-release techniques and everything else associated with the sport. They even learn, along with the adults, about state fishing regulations. As part of the experience, everyone takes part in a litter clean-up and is also introduced to the "Leave-No-Trace" philosophy.
Youngsters who participate in this type of program benefit holistically.
According to Fishing's Future, research shows that children who spend time outdoors show significantly higher levels of creativity, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline.
They perform at a higher level academically, master science concepts faster, resolve conflicts better and are better problem-solvers. They experience less stress, are more sociably adept and are generally healthier than those who stay indoors.
Yet, the average child spends over six hours daily watching television, playing video games or on a computer. It is estimated that one in three children and adolescents are obese. Obesity is rising and so are the many other health hazards associated with it like lower self-esteem, higher occurrences of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, breathing problems and diabetes.
Additionally, Mr. Shane Wilson, Board Director of Fishing's Future who founded the program in 2004, says that the focus is on the family, especially in these times of high divorce rates by involving parents in the lives of their children.
He adds that "when an adult learns to fish with a child, the child is much more likely to go fishing than if the child completes the two and one-half hour program alone."
South Texas is blessed with many exceptional fishing locations either along the coast or further inland. And even the most experienced fisherman or woman can gain from the program because it promotes families coming together.
As a State Senator my schedule is very tight, yet I was glad that I took the time to participate in the Kids Fish Camp with my grandkids because we all learned so much, enjoyed each other's company and helped conserve our environment.
For more information, on Fishing's Future or to sign up for a Kids Fish Camp, please log onto http://fishingsfuture.com/cms/ or call (956) 238-9476.
As always, if you have any input or questions regarding these or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact Doris Sanchez, my Communications Director, 512-463-0385.