PCI youth fishing rodeo reels in 70

Published 1:09 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The opportunity for kids to spend quality time with their parents came this weekend when approximately 70 children and their chaperones camped out and went fishing at Creek Indian Enterprise's Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve during a Youth Fishing Rodeo.
Alex Alvarez, PCI Cultural Education Coordinator, said the event was not necessarily about children fishing and camping, but more about teaching them the importance of spending time with their family.
"The kids had to have a chaperone to get in," Alvarez said. "We want to encourage families to be together. This was about family experience and having a good time in a safe environment."
Jacob Rackard and his father, Kevin Rackard, were a pair at the event. Jacob Rackard spent some time on the water, catching more than 10 fish before noon on Saturday. He said it was a lot of fun spending time with his father while they were doing something outdoors.
"It's good to spend time with my family and fish with my daddy," Jacob Rackard said about the Youth Fishing Rodeo.
Kevin Rackard also enjoyed his time at the Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve spending time with his family and enjoying nature.
"I've enjoyed myself," he said. "I always enjoy myself when I'm spending time with my family and when I'm fishing."
This year was the inaugural Youth Fishing Rodeo event for CIE, according to Alvarez.
"This is a fun family event we threw together," he said. "We thought it would be a fun idea."
There was a hidden message behind the camping trip, other than family bonding.
"It's good to get kids out to enjoy nature and what has been here for our people for a long time," Alvarez said. "We are also doing this to help prevent substance abuse and Wildlife has been more than helpful for doing this."
The camping began Friday afternoon when the family members got to enjoy a cookout. Poarch senior citizens got up at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to make breakfast for everyone.
"The senior citizens are taking care of all of our food for the day," Alvarez said.
The event ended around 4 p.m. Saturday. Before leaving the campground, each kid was given a special gift just for being a part of the event, according to Alvarez.
"All the kids got a new fishing pole," he said. "We gave out prizes; tackle boxes, water coolers, air mattresses, all kinds of fun stuff."
Alvarez said next year CIE will host the second annual Youth Fishing Rodeo because of the feedback the event received.
"Most definitely," Alvarez said when asked if the event will occur again next year. "The positive response was overwhelming. It was a blast.

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