Sunday, July 07, 2013


Last weekend we took the girls to Leesylvania State Park.  I bought the annual pass because we live pretty close, it is well kept, and they have lots of programs for kids throughout the summer.  As an added bonus, it turns out the park  also has really nice and helpful park rangers.  When I went to the visitors center, they gave me several flyers about upcoming events and explained what a lot of them included.  Most of the kids activities are  free or $2, if it involves supplies of some sort.

Meredith and Audrey walking over the turtle pond bridge at Leesylvania State Park - June 2013
Occasionally, I make Audrey try new things in spite of her protests. This is how Audrey ended up in a fishing tournament on yesterday.  The park rangers told me it was an activity to promote fishing for kids and that you did not need equipment or experience.  They said that lots of fishing volunteers are there to show kids how to fish or to teach them a few tricks of the trade if they already know how.  I thought that sounded perfect for Audrey.  I think the rangers may have glossed over the tournament part of the activity (or I just did not hear that part).
Audrey fishing for the first time - July 2013
Audrey and I showed up for "kids fishing" and were surprised to learn that we were actually signing her up for a fishing tournament.  The volunteer (turned out to be just one that day for all the kids - dear soul) helped us pick out a pole and put a worm on the hook.  Other parents were a little more prepared and brought chairs to sit back and watch.  I just sat on the dock with Audrey.  Which was actually quite nice.  We chatted and just hung out - she had a fishing pole and I had some knitting.

Audrey with her first catch - a 1 ounce White Perch
Audrey caught just one fish that day, a little one ounce White Perch.  The volunteer weighed him and freed him from the line and then we threw the fish back in.  We were right near the volunteer station, so we got to see all the different types of fish that the others caught.  The biggest catch was a 3 pound catfish and was caught by a little boy who's grandfather had bet him $5 that he wouldn't catch a fish his first time - instead he won first place (and $5 from grandpa)!  In addition to catfish, we also saw a snakehead fish, a bass, an eel, and a couple other white perch.

Audrey with her 2nd place fishing trophy! The fish on top of the trophy is bigger than the one she caught to win it.
At the end of the time limit, the kids all gathered under the volunteer tent for the awards ceremony.  The volunteer asked the kids what they had learned and gave them a little speech about fishing.  All of the kids got goody bags (including a frisbee and fishing and park paraphernalia) and they gave out trophies for 1st and 2nd place in each age category.

It was a really fun activity. I loved the relaxation of just sitting there chatting with little Audrey.  Audrey really enjoyed herself as well.  I was surprised that she was not at all squeamish about putting the worm on the hook and did it herself the second time. It was a great way to spend a morning.

It got me thinking about community activities.  Parks, libraries, rec centers - they put together some really good programs and they are usually cheap if not free.  This one was free (after the park admission fee) and it taught Audrey a new skill and was fun.  Now that I am going to be with the girls for the rest of the summer, we will definitely be taking advantage of more of these community activities. 

1 comment:

Sylvan said...

Looks like fun for everyone. Audrey's trophy is almost as big as she is! The girls are sure getting big.