Title of Project:
Oceanside Senior Anglers / Kids Trips / Wounded Warrior Trips
Oceanside Senior Anglers
The Oceanside Senior Anglers club (OSA) was formed in 1994 to provide a sportfishing outlet to seniors of Southern California and elsewhere. The club is open to seniors over the age of 50, and membership includes a spouse or significant other.
The club has grown steadily year by year and by the end of 2008 there were about 400 members and almost 700 including spousal members. Club activities are centered around chartered saltwater fishing trips for members and, in addition, they hold social events including numerous picnics and an annual banquet, as well as various events to raise funds for Kids Trips and Wounded Warrior trips that are hosted. The Oceanside Senior Anglers club is one of largest fishing clubs in California, and has a conservation policy that encourages all members to follow on club trips and on any other fishing trips that they participate in.
Oceanside Kids Fishing trips initially began during the years of 1997 thru 1999 when some of the club members supported Kids fishing trips out of Seaforth Landing. OSA members volunteered their time and fishing knowledge, assisting the Captain of the Seawatch and Friends of Rollo to provide Kids Fishing Seminars and hands-on fishing education onboard the Seawatch. In 2000, OSA members decided to provide a one-day trip each summer that was fully sponsored and paid for by the club. Club members held raffles, provided donations and volunteered their time so that kids ages 6 to 15 were able to have the opportunity and experience of ocean fishing, many for the very first time.
The Club continued one trip each summer until 2003 when OSA obtained additional funding from the San Diego Fish & Wildlife Commission. With funds the club received from raffles and donations, along with grant funding from the San Diego Fish & Wildlife Commission, the club was able to increase the number of summer fishing trips for Kids to four half day trips out of Seaforth Landing. Starting in 2007 OSA was able to provide four individual 3/4 day Kids Trips with Capt. Joe Cacciola, skipper of the Sea Star out of Helgren's Landing in Oceanside. This increased the club's ability to provide more time teaching and educating kids on proper boat procedures, ocean safety, rod & reel training, live bait handling, legal size fish (keepers) & limits, clean ocean environment protection, and very importantly ocean conservation education. On these trips they further provide meals, soft drinks, and a trophy to each kid which identifies all kids as winners and provides a remembrance of their trip experience.
The majority of kids sponsored are from North County Boys & Girls Clubs located in Oceanside, Vista, San Dieguito, Carlsbad, Escondido, Poway and Ramona. Additionally we set aside trips for kids from Camp Pendleton YMCA along with summer camps from Escondido, San Marcos, and Vista. Many of these youngsters are from single parent households. Since the Oceanside Senior Anglers Kids Trips have been established, we have provided over 1200 kids the opportunity to realize the pleasure of open sea fishing and the great joy nature presents.
In 2007 OSA started a program to recognize our military "wounded warriors" who suffered injuries serving our country. To accomplish this they have received donations from many club members, the Escondido Rotary Club and Genentech Corp. and with added funding in this effort by having a booth at the Del Mar Fred Hall Fishing Tackle Show and Harbor Days in Oceanside. They were able to hold three fishing trips (¾ day) for twenty-five (25) warriors on each trip.
The Heroes came from the Camp Pendleton Wounded Warrior Center and Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. OSA has continued this program since 2007 and plan on its continuation for 2010 and future years. They have used boats (whose owners were very gracious) from the Oceanside Marina, Seaforth Landing and Dana Point Landing. To date they have taken over 200 Wounded Warriors on these open-ocean trips.
There is absolutely no cost for those who attend. Everything needed for the day is furnished, including food, fishing license, and equipment. Depending on donations, their goal for 2010 is again for at least three trips. This is so they can in some small way say "THANK YOU", and honor our country's Heroes.
Each trip, both kids and wounded warriors, requires at least 6 OSA club members. The OSA has designated 6-8 members a year as "fishing staff". These members are selected not only for their knowledge of fishing and techniques but also their communication and interpersonal skills as well as their desire to educate and share information.
Rods and Reels that have been both donated to OSA and purchased with funds from OSA events are taken on trips for both the children and veterans to use. Tackle is provided by OSA funds.
No permits are needed for these events
The board members as well as OSA volunteers work throughout the year to organize charter schedules, work with the wounded warrior program at Camp Pendelton as well as the Boy/Girls Clubs of San Diego County.
Estimated Costs: Each of these trips is estimated to cost $1200-$1500. This includes cost of the vessel as well as food for the passengers.
Estimated Time Requirements:
There are a total of 8-10 trips throughout the year and each trip is a ¾ day trip. Approximately 10 hours per person per trip is required.
As always, funding can be a problem. Since funds are raised through various club activities throughout the year, the success of these activities and the funds raised will determine how many kids trips and wounded warrior trips can be scheduled. Donations by members are also accepted. This year the club is applying for a grant to try to help with some of these funding issues.
The benefits to these programs for the club members is to see the joy on the faces of the children and military personnel that participate in these events. Many of the kids have never been on the water. The members are able to share with them and see these new experiences through the eyes of a young child.
The children benefit by learning about the marine environment in a fun, relaxed way.
North County Boys and Girls Club, Camp Pendelton YMCA.