The Outdoor Alliance for Kids (OAK) is a national strategic partnership of organizations from diverse sectors with the common interest in expanding the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth and families to connect with the outdoors. There is great national attention on the matter of getting kids outside, moving, recreating and enjoying the natural resources that our great country has to offer, and as I have stated many times before, fly fishing is a great activity that fits nicely into this mission. Fishing is the #1 gateway activity according to the Outdoor Foundation, which means that fishing is tops in leading kids to explore other outdoor endeavors.
With this knowledge in hand, it makes good sense that the fly fishing industry should be represented in the membership ranks of OAK. The company/organization that signs on as a Partner Member will be representing not only themselves, but the entire fly fishing industry, which is good for everyone concerned. Fly fishing needs to attract more newcomers to the sport, and kids make up a very important demographic.
Take a look at the Partner’s Resolution page on the OAK website. Read up on what membership stands for. Look at the Steering Committee Members. There is room for the fly fishing industry to be represented here. Read through the list of the Member Organizations. You’ll see Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and other wildlife organizations. Trout Unlimited should be listed as well. How about the Federation of Fly Fishers? The Discover Fly Fishing arm of the AFFTA should also consider participation. Any fly fishing manufacturers that target kids with specific gear would also benefit. Redington comes to mind.
I hope that these and other organizations/businesses will take a good look at the Outdoor Association for Kids and consider getting involved. It’s good for kids, the outdoors, and fly fishing. Sounds like a win-win-win to me. Heck, the OAK logo even features a kid fishing…perhaps with a presence we can turn that fishin’ pole into a fly rod.