KINGSTON — At 7:10 on a recent morning, Danny Cavett's voice carried throughout the dock area at Catfish Bay Marina at Lake Texoma: “The kids are here.”
Cavett is chaplain at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center. He also is the man for whom the Cavett Kids Foundation based at OU Medical Center is named. The foundation's mission is to provide camps, including Camp Cavett at Lake Texoma, and other events for children who have life-threatening and chronic illnesses.
As the doors on the large white buses opened, fishing guides and other volunteers line up along one side of the walkway from the parking lot to the dock.
Within minutes, children wearing life jackets walk with their boat captains and camp volunteers to the boats.
“Down here or wherever we're at, we use whatever they have to offer to teach kids about how to cope, about character and connection,” Cavett said. “This morning at Camp Cavett, we're using the fishing experience.”
About one-third of the children had never been on a boat or been fishing, he said.
“So they will be learning a little patience today, a little character stuff,” Cavett said. “Whatever we do we try to emphasize things that will help them in life.”
Camp started in '93
Cavett has had this camp since 1993, and it is now at its capacity with 180 children, he said.
“It takes a lot of work, a lot of volunteers,” he said. “You're talking about the striper guides here, they have to take off work to come and just give their time to us. So, that's about 50 boats here for this one.”