Trout Unlimited considers youth camp initiative

The next meeting of Madison County's Trout Unlimited Chapter 680 will be held Wednesday Feb. 11 at Graziano's Casa Mia Restaurant on North Peterboro Street in Canastota. The board of directors meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. The general meeting follows at 6:30 p.m.

On the agenda is discussion of the Central New York Sportsman's Show held in Oneida Feb. 7, fish stocking/restoration plans with the state Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Team in Cortland, the Chittenango Creek Walk and handicapped-accessible fishing platform, New York State Trout Unlimited youth camp, Casting for Recovery, Project Healing Waters, Trout in the Classroom and plans for the annual dinner and raffle.

At the January meeting, speaker Kurt Nelson, state TU Region 7 vice president and NY TU youth camp coordinator, gave a great presentation on the camp, including information on the success of last year's camp at the Land of the Vikings and the dates, location, costs and requirements for the 2009 camp.

Kurt talked about the corporate sponsors who have provided the support and equipment needed to get the program off the ground and the dedicated TU volunteers who helped run the youth camp or were fishing mentors to the youth attending the camp. He expressed his hope that TU chapters throughout New York would help support the camp with donations of money, flies and volunteer fishing mentors, and that groups of chapters would work together to sponsor the youth camps so they could be held in different parts of New York state in future years.

Kurt also told us about his passion for fly fishing and how it significantly changed his life. Following his presentation, he discussed how we and other TU Chapters could improve communications and cooperation in Region 7 by having regional chapter meetings, sharing information about upcoming events, speakers and projects, creating links on chapter Web sites and working together on large projects such as stream restorations, camp sponsorship, etc.

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