You often hear Vermont refered to as the green mountain state -- but don't be fooled -- there's gold in them thar hills. You just have to know where to look for it. If you're not ready to try to strike it rich on your own -- you can take the gold panning class at Smuggler's Notch Resort.
When it comes to mastering any new skill the key to success is practice, practice and more practice. No one knows this better than the organizers of the Youth Education Challenge. A daylong event that’s been held at the Edward Kehoe Conservation Camp each spring since 2011.
Vermont’s youth deer hunting season is a lot more than passing on the skills of pursuing white tail deer. Time spent in the woods with a son or daughter create memories that will last a lifetime. We spend time on a successful youth hunt with Lawrence and his youngest son Jake.
For several years now, the second Saturday in June has been Free Fishing Day in Vermont, where anyone can try out the sport of angling without a license. At the Ed Weed Fish Hatchery the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has hosted the Grand Isle Fishing Festival to educate, inspire and hopefully hook both children and adults to the joys of angling.
Lake Champlain International or LCI hosts several fishing derbies every year. It’s one of many ways that this non-profit organization educates and advocates for a cleaner, healthier lake. All of their events are well attended but none are bigger than the LCI Father’s Day Derby held in June.
Close to four dozen baby spiny softshell turtles were collected last autumn by Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Biologist Steve Parren. They over-wintered at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain under the care of ECHO’s Animal Care staff. In late June a group of volunteers and staff released the turtles back into Lake Champlain. This marks the seventh year of this important animal preservation program.
New England is home to hundreds if not thousands of summer camps every year. But if you’re looking for a camp that specializes in fly-fishing they are few and far between. In 2011 the Mad Dog chapter of Trout Unlimited launched its first fly-fishing camp for teens. Since then they’ve been spawning a new school of enthusiastic fly fishermen and women every summer.
Since 1997, Groton State Forest has hosted Vermont’s Becoming an Outdoor Family workshop. For three days each spring, this annual event gives families the opportunity to camp, enjoy the park, and learn outdoor skills. More than 40 different hands-on classes are offered during the weekend. They showcase the wide variety of outdoor activities available to Vermonters, and help instill a basic understanding of environmental conservation. The only thing better than spending time outdoors, is spending time outdoors with your family.
For the Adopt-a-Salmon Family program at the CP Smith School in Burlington, two fourth grade classes raised a salmon family from eggs. Five months later the one-inch fry were ready for release into Mill Brook in Jericho. OUTDOOR JOURNAL visited the school to see what the students learned from raising the fish and then attended the release, complete with ceremonial reading of poems by the students.
With more activities available to kids than ever before, fewer are taking advantage of the wonderful fishing in their own backyard. The best time to get someone interested in fishing is when they're young, and Vermont offers dozens of events to help introduce your child to the ancient art of angling. One of these events is the Gunner Brook Fishing Derby held in Barre, Vermont. Created over 70 years ago, It's the first fishing derby just for children in the United States. It's traditionally held on the Saturday before Father's Day and attracts children from all over the state. It's organized by the Barre Fish and Game Club. Participants must be 14 years or younger and there is a 3-fish limit per angler. We visit the 2003 derby and host Lawrence Pyne heads out on Monkton Pond with his kids to share some tips on how he keeps fishing fun and exciting for his family.
- Bare Fish & Game Club
PO Box 130
Barre, VT 05641