How We Teach Kids

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Introducing youngsters to the joys of the outdoors—and teaching them about aquatic natural resources along the way—is one of our favorite endeavors. We work through schools, clubs, camps and scouting organizations to accomplish this goal.

One example is Trout in the Classroom (TIC), a curriculum developed by Trout Unlimited nationally, in which students raise trout from eggs to fingerlings, finally releasing them in suitable area streams. Currently we have TIC programs in three area middle schools; volunteers from the chapter support teachers as they carry out a wide variety of lessons based on the baby trout and the environment they’ll need to survive in the wild.

Kids Fish Free Day is conducted in June on the Saturday designated by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as the state’s annual free fishing day—this year, it’s June 8 (for details, click here). Children fish the Clinch, tie flies, take boat rides and learn about the river. We provide equipment, instructors, refreshments and door prizes.

Several chapter members have become certified as Boy Scout merit badge counselors and help scouts complete requirements for fishing and fly fishing merit badges. A similar effort with Girl Scouts is planned.

Our chapter has been instrumental in establishing the Great Smoky Mountains Trout Adventure Camp for middle school-age girls and boys, sponsored by the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited and held each June at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 2013, the Bluegrass Chapter of TU in Kentucky became a partner in the camp. TU volunteers serve as chaperones, fly tying mentors and fly fishing guides.  Campers need not be from Tennessee or Kentucky—for more information, visit www.tntroutadventure.org.