Fourth graders from Bellamy, Denti, Gansevoort, and Staley Elementary Schools trudged through the snow to learn how to ice fish at Delta Lake on Tuesday. They’re all participating in a program called C.E.A.L. Camp.
Melissa O’Rourke is the Executive Director and explains what the purpose of the camp is.
"C.E.A.L. stands for Character Education thru Adventure Learning, and what we basically do is teach character traits through activities, and some of our activities we do are adventure activities and today’s an example of one. It’s ice fishing."
In addition to learning how to ice fish, the D.E.C. are teaching them about regulations, safety, and fish identification. They’re also getting a lot of exercise. RFA Physical Education Teacher Jerry Tabolt says that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
"In order to keep the hunting and fishing sports alive you have to bring young kids into it because there’s not as many licensed fishermen, not as many licensed hunters, so the more kids we can get into the outdoors and the outdoor activities when they’re younger, hopefully they like it, they pick it up, and want to do it later….you know through their high school years, college, teenage, it doesn’t matter. They can do it right up until the day they die."
This is the 13th year of the program and it has grown from just two schools to now four.