Volunteers needed on Texoma

aacripsboatTexas boat owners can make a difference.

Boat-owning volunteers are needed July 11 and July 13 to help take a group of children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses fishing on Lake Texoma as part of Camp Cavett.

Camp Cavett is a weeklong camp that offers outdoor experiences to children who are undergoing treatments for illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, sickle cell anemia and other childhood illnesses. Each year, part of the week’s festivities includes fishing on the lake, for which anglers and boaters from across Oklahoma, Texas and even Louisiana volunteer their time and their boats to spend time fishing with the campers.

According to Larry Cavett, past president and current board member emeritus of the Cavett Kids Foundation, the camp helps kids learn coping skills due to the education process entwined in camp activities.

“Camp Cavett is a place where these children can come together and have fun while learning crucial life lessons from one another,” Cavett states in a letter to volunteers.

“We ask our kids, ‘What activity is the most fun you had at camp?’ Their answer is usually ‘fishing,'” Cavett said. “These kids are resilient. They slowly walk to dialysis, then run back to their favorite event of the day. These kids could give adults lasting lessons in life on how to cope with what life has dealt them.”

According to Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and active volunteer for the Camp Cavett fishing days, the campers that come to Camp Cavett may have endured some tough times, but just like any other kid, they love to go fishing and take a boat ride.

Getting the opportunity to go through Camp Cavett gets campers involved in the outdoors, giving them something to look forward to at camp and broadening their appreciation for the natural world. Both campers and volunteers have a great time on the fishing outings.

This year, the group will target stripers on Thursday, July 11 and black bass on Saturday, July 13, but overall, the fishing event is a “fish-for-anything” derby, with prizes for campers who catch the largest black bass, panfish, catfish, striped bass or rough fish. A free cookout is provided for all participants and volunteers following the day’s outing on the lake.

Boaters and anglers interested in participating can register as volunteers online athttp://cavettkidsfoundation.org/volunteers.

Each boat will be assigned up to three campers and a counselor, depending on boat capacity. Tackle, bait and life jackets for campers are provided, though boaters are encouraged to bring additional life jackets if they have them in sizes adult small or adult medium. About 75 volunteers and boats will be needed for the event.