Jakes Event, Ocala, FL – Feb 2010
Over the past few months many of my clients have heard me talking about taking their kids to the NWTF Jakes Event. The Jakes and Extreme Jakes outreach program of the NWTF is targeted to kids up to 17 years of age. The program introduces kids to many wonderful outdoor sports and conservation activities. This year’s annual Florida State Event was again sponsored by the Chain-O-Lakes Gobblers and they did a fabulous job!
I arrived at the Ocala Conservation center as a volunteer this year. Fearing the bad weather on Friday, I drove up hoping to get a cabin and not have to use my tent. As soon as I arrived I was immediately made to feel comfortable and shown a fantastic cabin with all new mattresses! That was a joy! I have stayed at this facility for the BOW events and they have really made some wonderful upgrades, with the help of the Chain-O-Lakes Gobblers.
Saturday morning we woke up to a clear cool morning. The Sea Cadets were coming in by the busload and in formation before the sun came up. Many troops of scouts showed up Friday evening and they were all busy getting ready for the days activities. After a WONDERFUL breakfast we gathered outside for the presentation of colors and a safety briefing. Soon after all the kids we heading off to their classes. Jakes were taking hunters safety, BB Guns, fly fishing and cane pole fishing, mock turkey hunt, and even a beading class! Xtreme Jakes (the older kids) were taking handgun and shotgun classes, tree stand safety, kayaking and many others classes to!
What I found so exciting was that these kids were just sucking in all this information. Over 140 children attended the event and there was not a misbehaved one in the bunch.
The Sea Cadets that came in from Jacksonville and GA we especially respectful. IT was wonderful to see all the children and parents excited and interested in trying and doing new activities.
After dinner was served there were many drawings for hunting trips, caps, shirts and other prizes and the silent auction offered beautiful paintings, shotguns and even a chain saw!
The local support for this event is fabulous! So many companies and organizations stepped up to make this event possible. I tried to take photos of all the local business sponsorship signs. If you are ever in the area, please stop in and thank them for their support of this wonderful program. Next year I hope to see you and your family there!
Until next time,