The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

July 25, 2013

City youngsters expanding horizons | Outings help teach them life's lessons

JOHNSTOWN — “I can really fish – I’ve been fishing since I was a kid.” – Deion Sanders, former professional football and baseball player.

Someone once defined fishing as a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other. That may be true. Fishing does not usually produce instant gratification. It teaches patience. And for youngsters, that is an important virtue they must learn that will help carry them through life.

On Saturday, 24 inner-city children learned to be patient when they participated in Johnstown Sportsmen’s Association annual Fish Rodeo. The children are enrolled in New Day Inc.’s summer program, which allows them to explore interests they may not discover otherwise.

“A lot of these kids never fished before,” Tracy Rhodes, summer activities director, told our Randy Griffith. “They really look forward to it.”

Learning to fish probably was not the only lesson they were taught. The youths cast their lines into the pond at Golden Rod Sportsmen’s Club near Vinco. The club owns a large amount of property teaming with wild animals and birds. They were taught about nature, conservation, the outdoors and how important it is to respect their surroundings.

“I learned you have to be patient and be careful when you get one,” 6-year-old Anayla Jordan of Johnstown told Griffith.

Hopefully the outing piqued someone’s interests enough that he or she might pursue the sport more vigorously. What a great opportunity that would be for an inner-city youth, who might influence a friend or two to take up fishing and shed the stigma associated with young folks.

Kudos to volunteers from the sportsmen’s association for providing the necessary equipment and for taking the time to introduce the youths to an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

And hats off, also, to

New Day for coming up with programs that get kids away from in front of their TVs and video

games.

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