OCOA Takes Ottawa Kids on Northern Ontario Fishing Adventure

Foleyet, Ontario – Are you looking for the recipe for the perfect fish fry? Mix 20 kids from the city, add 12 dedicated Ontario Conservation Officer Association (OCOA) members from across Ontario. Season them with generous donations from private and corporate sponsors. Mix well for 5 days at a first class northern Ontario fishing lodge. This is guaranteed to produce memories that will last a lifetime.

The Ontario Conservation Officer’s Association (OCOA), Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and Horwood Lake Lodge teamed together to provide a once in a lifetime northern fishing adventure for 20 inner city youth from Ottawa. This type of activity, where our youth are educated about the proper use and respect of our natural resources, is one of the goals of the OCOA.” said President, Dan VanExan.

From July 17 to 21, 2007, girls and boys from the Ottawa Boys and Girls club experienced the adventure of a lifetime, fishing, swimming and enjoying great, northern hospitality provided by Horwood Lake Lodge hosts Denis Manning and Dale Latner and 12 members of the OCOA, most of who were also Conservation Officers.

For many of these kids this was the first opportunity that they have had to ride in a boat, bait a hook, see moose, bear, bald eagles, loons, eat fresh fish and gaze at stars, unobstructed by city lights. Every child caught fish! Most of the kids had never baited a hook, sat in a boat or met a Conservation Officer before. During the five days they were taught survival skills, canoeing and given demonstrations on the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) Canine program. According to Tim Rochette, one of the OCOA organizers, “We created memories that will last a lifetime and believe me it won’t be just the kids that have these memories”.

With the generous support of sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Johnson Outdoors Canada, McDonalds (North Bay), Wal-Mart (North Bay), OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union), Big Bear Camp, Ottawa Rotary Club, Ontario Out of Doors, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, MNR Enforcement Branch and private sponsors Donna Covey & Dr. Fuzy, Corbeil,ON, these kids were provided with all of the gear they needed to camp, fish and experience natural resources and Ontario’s northland in all its glory.

As the bus left the tired, smiling kids off in Ottawa these boys and girls were leaving with rods, reels and tackle, sleeping bags, rain suits, hats and memories for a lifetime.

For more information contact:

Dan VanExan
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(613) 478-6132