Fishing and things

Fisher Novencido, 9, of Fort Dodge, a member of Cub Scout Pack 10, was having a little bit of trouble Friday afternoon at the 2014 Knights of the Roundtable Cub Scout Camp during a fishing session along the shore of Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

The worms – and hook – seemed destined to part ways.

“I keep losing the worms,” Novencido said.

It was his very first time throwing a line in to tempt the fish and he was working hard on mastering the basics.

“The hardest part is to try to get it into the water,” he said.

While the five-day-long day camp will offer Novencido and the other 25 or so participants a lot of opportunity to try a lot of different activities, he was giving the fishing session high marks on his favorites scale.

“I think it’s this one,” he said of fishing. “I’ve always wanted to.”

Brandon Earls, 14, of Fort Dodge, a member of Boy Scout Troop 8, is only a few merit badges and a completed project away from earning his Eagle Scout rank.

Watching the Cub Scouts fish brought back some pleasant memories for him while he untangled lines, baited hooks and helped with the casting.

“I caught my first here at Kennedy Park,” he said.

Earls enjoys helping the younger scouts.

“I feel like I’m doing something better than sitting at home,” he said. “I’d rather be here helping people.”

His mother, Janet Earls, was helping with the fishing session too.

She enjoys working with the youths and is always amazed at the sort of questions they come up with. She does her best to answer them – even questions about where the baby fish come from.

Watching them overcome a challenge is very rewarding for Janet Earls.

“The best part is the look on their faces,” she said, “the pride when they do something.”

In addition to learning how to fish, the campers also got to learn about their environment from Webster County Conservation/Iowa Department of Natural Resources Naturalist Erin Ford.

She, like Janet Earls, gets her share of interesting comments and questions from the Cub Scouts. For instance, before the start of the session, one of them looked around the room and made note of the taxidermy.

“There’s a lot of cool dead things in here,” he said.

Ford taught the scouts about the food chain, natural resources, recycling and the importance of protecting and guarding the natural resources that are available.

“Once it’s gone,” she said, “it’s gone forever.”

Jason Ballew, assistant director of field services for the Twin Lakes District, was on hand to help out at the camp. He expects the shooting sports session to be popular with the campers.

“That’s usually their favorite,” he said.

It brought back memories for him a well.

“I went to camps like this too,” Ballew said. “It’s the highlight of the scouting year.”

During the Friday sessions, campers also learned about archery. During today’s session they will get to try out an obstacle course, learn to use a compass, make a paracord survival bracelet and take a hike.

The camp continues through Monday.