Some of us have kids that love typical sports – baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, and the list goes on. It’s pretty easy to find a camp or summer league to fit into that category, which is great!
But what if you have a child that really doesn’t care too much about that, but loves the outdoors? I’ve got the perfect answer for you!
For my 5-year old, fishing has always been his favorite. Basically since he could walk, his Gunny would take him fishing every time we went to my parent’s house (every week.) They would load up on the gator, with a huge smile, and take off to the tanks. After an hour or so, they’d come back, sweaty and muddy, but with smiles even bigger. My son caught his first fish at those tanks and Gunny sent me a picture with a giant smile and and an even bigger fish on the line. Since that day, my son wants to fish non stop. He casts in the yard, watches hours of Cyril Choquet (if you don’t know watch Chasing Monsters on Netflix – start now), and can tell you more about fish, lures, and bait than I even knew existed.
6 months ago, Gunny passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. We took my son to the tank they often fished and let him know Gunny was fishing with Jesus now, and we’d have to take care of the rest of the fish down here. Since then, my husband has filled in as his fishing partner, but we still often talk about the things Gunny taught him on their trips to the tank and even once out on a guided fishing trip with Captain Corey.
When I heard about Otolith Fishing Camp, I signed up within 24 hours. I knew this was right up my son’s alley and he would have an absolute blast, even if he knew no one in the class. And he did! Every day he would leave asking if he could go again. And for that reason, he’s taking a 2nd session this summer and cannot wait!
*And can I be honest? It took me 24 hours because I asked around to mutual friends between the instructor and I, because I didn’t know him personally. I wanted to make sure that my child would be safe with someone I knew nothing about. And EVERY SINGLE response was glowing. And now I fully understand why.
Here are the reasons we absolutely love Otolith Fishing Camps:
- “Mr. Keith” is extremely knowledgable about all things fishing. I don’t even know all his credentials, but I know the list is long and impressive. My son would tell me how big of fish Mr. Keith caught, random facts they learned, and that he could tie the best knot ever. My son is very into learning details, and he came home daily with new details about fish, fishing rods, wildlife, and more!
- Mr. Keith is patient. My son is 5 and as “all-boy” as you can get. And when it comes to fishing, he likes to make sure YOU know how much HE knows and waiting around for a fish to bite isn’t always his strong suit. But every day he caught a fish, and one day he caught multiple! And every day he told me that Mr. Keith taught him how to wait for the fish. Clearly it worked!
- It’s different. Summer camps are fantastic, but often run the same similar programs. A mix of dodgeball, kickball, balloons, art, etc. There is not a single thing wrong with that, but sometimes you have a kid who likes to get dirty and do something different. This camp is for that child. They take nature walks, learn skills, fish, work together, and SWEAT. They spend 4 hours outside, and 0 hours in front of a tv. They get to enjoy the hot, sticky air and leave asking for more! I don’t want my children to grow up spending summers in the AC, I want them running around, half sunburned and sweaty, the way I did. And Otolith Fishing Camp achieved that (minus the sunburn. Don’t freak out.) I picked my son up everyday WORN OUT from fun in the sun, but packed with new knowledge.
- It’s 4 hours a day! Let’s be honest.. nothing is worse than a 2-3 hour camp that is just enough time to get your kid dropped off, ruin kid #2’s nap, drive home, load everyone back up 30 minutes later, and go pick up the kid at camp. We live in the middle of nowhere, so 2-3 hour camps drive me NUTS. Otolith is a solid 4-hour chunk and it. is. GLORIOUS. And it starts at 8am for the younger ones, so all you mamas with early risers get to get out of the house and back home in time for 9am naps!
- Nothing says “TEXAS SUMMER” like a few days fishing with friends. Even if you don’t think your child is the fishing type, you might be surprised. When my daughter gets old enough, she will go to this camp also because I believe in the values and information being taught. I want her to learn to fish and enjoy nature as much as I want her to be a princess and get pedicures. If you are thinking this camp doesn’t apply to your child, it does. My son’s class had boys and girls ages 6-10 and every single one looked as happy at pick up as they did at drop off. Some were wearing giant hair bows and some were barely out of pjs (ok that was mine. He was the homeless looking one. #dontjudgeme)
- Class size is small. Every class is capped at 10 kids, so you can guarantee your child is getting very close supervision, instruction, and attention.
- It’s for any age! While the classes are broken down by age, it’s for anyone ages 6-99. And if you have a “not-quite-6-year-old” – I’d recommend reaching out to Keith and seeing if there could be a fit for your child in one of the classes. Adults can learn to fish, fly fish, and more. And there is even a private family session! What a fun evening together.
And finally, one the absolute best parts of Otolith Fishing Camp – SCHOLARSHIPS!! Keith has generously offered scholarships for any child who wants to participate but doesn’t have the funds. Anyone offering scholarships to their camp gets a vote in my book. It tells me that he cares more about the child and what they are learning than any monetary value.