Operation Orphans, Inc. has taken underprivileged kids hunting in the Texas hill country for over 50 years. In 2004, a fishing program was added. To date 466 boys and girls from various child care facilities throughout Texas have come to Camp Gene Ashby and have enjoyed fishing on the banks of area rivers and tanks.
On April 13, 39 boys from Big Springs Ranch, Leakey; San Antonio Presbyterian Home, San Antonio; Foster’s Home, Stephenville; Texas Baptist Home, Waxahachie; and Sweeten Home, Brownwood came to participate. On April 27, 28 girls from Texas Boys and Girls Ranch, Lubbock; Big Springs Ranch, Leakey; and Foster’s Home, Stephenville participated.
Volunteers from across Texas serve as fishing companions and guides. The groups went to area ranches to fish and experience the wonders of the outdoors. Area ranches hosting the eager youngsters were Northcutt, Zesch, Ewing, and Dail. Operation Orphans, Inc. provides all tackle and bait. The volunteers have the responsibility of teaching casting techniques and various fishing methods such as live bait versus artificial bait.
The youngsters are always very attentive and eager to try their hand at learning to cast their fishing rods. Reactions vary however when it comes to try their hand at placing that wiggly worm on the hook or attempting to remove the slimy moss. It also can take some encouraging words to get some kids to “lip” their catch for a quick photo.
All fishing with Operation Orphans, Inc. is catch and release.
The groups have a great time recounting their fishing tales. It is really wonderful to see children who are shy and reserved totally transform after a day fishing. Many of these boys and girls have experienced tragic things in their short lives. To see them smile and laugh and express wonder when experiencing the outdoors is truly a blessing.
If you would like to host kids for the Operation Orphans, Inc. hunting or fishing programs or desire more information please contact Jerry or Lyla Crouch, Camp Supervisors, 325.347.6745 or visit the web: operationorphans.org