Boats are needed Thursday and also Saturday to help take a group of children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses fishing on Lake Texoma as part of Camp Cavett.
Camp Cavett is a weeklong camp that offers outdoor experiences to children who are undergoing treatments for illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, sickle cell anemia and other childhood illnesses. Each year, part of the week's festivities includes fishing on the lake, for which anglers and boaters from across Oklahoma, Texas and even Louisiana volunteer their time and their boats to spend time fishing with the campers.
Larry Cavett, past president and current board member emeritus of the Cavett Kids Foundation, said the camp helps kids learn coping skills due to the education process entwined in camp activities.
"Camp Cavett is a place where these children can come together and have fun while learning crucial life lessons from one another," Cavett states in a letter to volunteers.
"We ask our kids, 'What activity is the most fun you had at camp?' Their answer is usually 'fishing,'" Cavett said. "These kids are resilient. They slowly walk to dialysis, then run back to their favorite event of the day. These kids could give adults lasting lessons in life on how to cope with what life has dealt them."
Gene Gilliland, assistant chief of fisheries for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and active volunteer for the Camp Cavett fishing days, said the campers who come to Camp Cavett might have endured some tough times, but just like any other kid, they love to go fishing and take a boat ride.
This year, campers will target stripers on Thursday and black bass on Saturday. Prizes will be awarded to campers who catch the largest black bass, panfish, catfish, striped bass or rough fish.