Creating a new generation of Minnesota anglers who love fishing and respect Minnesota’s beloved fishing resources is the goal behind a donation by two Minnesota-based organizations to Camp Fire Minnesota.
The Minnesota Sportfishing Foundation and Coalition (MN-FISH), located in Walker, Minnesota, is donating a 12-foot Alumacraft fishing boat and an Evinrude outboard motor to help Camp Fire campers at Tanadoona learn boating skills while fishing. Tanadoona is a summer camp located on the shores of Lake Minnewashta. Rapala® USA is supporting MN-FISH’s boat donation by contributing more than $500 worth of fishing lures, fishing line and rods and reels that will allow Camp Fire Minnesota to expand its efforts in helping its campers learn about fishing.
MN-FISH (mn-fish.com) received the boat from the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). In donating the boat, Mark Rudolph, Planning Manager for the Commission said: “I heard about MN-FISH while listening to WCCO radio on my commute to work. With what is happening in the world today, my happy spot is on the lake, and it made me think. Many kids affected by last year’s civil unrest and this pandemic probably do not have access to a boat to get away. The MAC owns a fairly good boat that has been used one time in the last 20 years. Why not find a local non-profit to assist getting this boat to help kids to get their minds off of all the challenging stuff and let them feel what you and I feel on open water.”
When MN-FISH received the gift from the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the non-profit knew it was important to donate the boat to a program within the Twin Cities that brings kids of all different backgrounds together to experience time in the outdoors. Each summer, Camp Fire Minnesota attracts youth and teens from throughout the Twin Cities to participate in day camp and overnight camp outdoor experiences. With the donations from MN-FISH and Rapala, the staff at Tanadoona will be able to offer a more robust introductory fishing experience to their campers.
“What better way to have an immediate impact on the future of Minnesota fishing than by donating a fishing boat that will allow kids to experience the fun of fishing firsthand while learning important boating skills,” said Ron Schara, president of MN-FISH, who is well-known as the host of the Minnesota Bound television program.
With a focus on connecting kids with nature, Camp Fire Minnesota energizes youth to discover their spark so their futures glow brighter. Camp Fire programs, such as those offered at Tanadoona, kindles an environment where youth, ages 7 to 17, feel welcome, discover their sparks through nature, become stewards of the natural world, and develop as leaders.
“Fishing is one of those universal activities that connects kids. The excitement of catching fish, of being by the water, and of creating memories of being in the outdoors, makes these donations a perfect fit for us,” said Jessica Ayers-Bean, acting President & CEO of Camp Fire Minnesota. “We are grateful for these donations and we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to MN-FISH and Rapala USA.”
“In addition to Tanadoona, we also plan to use these gifts in our Minnewashta Adventures,” added Ayers-Bean. “It’s a specialty day camp program that specifically focuses on all things water, including fishing.”
About Camp Fire Minnesota
Camp Fire Minnesota is a non-profit organization founded in 1912. Camp Fire catalyzes growth through nature-based learning for youth – year-round. Programs include summer and school break camps, K-12 environmental education and team-building field trips, and community-based out-of-school time. A recent capital campaign successfully raised more than $6 million to further this mission.
The MN-FISH Coalition, LLC is a 501c4 grassroots sportfishing, marine and angler advocacy network that gives anglers a legislative voice and works to achieve public policies. The MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization designed to inspire Minnesotans to restore, protect and enhance sportfishing for the present and future generations to enjoy.