Bass Pro Shop donates rods and reels to local scout groups

Bass Pro Shop wants kids to put down their cell phones and pick up a fishing pole.

Scouts from around the Baton Rouge area gathered in Denham Springs on June 7 to receive a donation of fishing poles from the Bass Pro Shop.

Put down the screen and pick up a fishing pole

Denham Springs store General Manager Seth Theriot says it’s part of the company’s annual ‘Gone Fishing’ initiative.

Every year, Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris challenges kids and families to put down their cell phones and pick up a fishing pole and enjoy the outdoors.

The company will donate 50,000 rods and reels to local organizations nationwide this summer.

“Here locally, we’re donating to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to get families and kids out away from the screens and in front of the video games and out in the outdoors to enjoy fishing and family time,” Theriot said.

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Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts from around the Baton Rouge area received several dozen rods and reels on Thursday from Bass Pro Shop.

As part of the “Gone Fishing” initiative, Bass Pro Shop and Cabela’s will also host free fishing seminars and catch and release ponds for kids over the next two weekends.

The “Gone Fishing” events will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 9 and 10 and June 16 and 17.

How the donations hep scouts

Greg Brust Scout Master of Troop 472 in Zachary explained how these donations help local scouts.

“Sometimes it’s really hard for these boys to afford the equipment they need for scouting so having a donation like this provides much more opportunity for all our Scouts,” Brust said.

“It’s really great to get a donation of the rods and reels from the Bass Pro Shop because it gives our boys an opportunity to get outside and learn more about fishing and learn more about the outdoors,” he added.

Troop troop will use the donated rods and reels during their annual week-long summer camp at Camp Avondale in Clinton, LA.

RELATED: 2017-2018 hunting and fishing licenses expire June 30

Free Family Summer Camp

Bass Pro Shop is hosting Family Summer Camps during June and July to teach children and parents about various outdoor skills.

Every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from June 23 to July 22 Bass Pro Shop experts will hold workshops on camping, fishing, shooting sports, emergency preparedness, and conservation.

  • Fishing 101 – Learn about local fishing spots, equipment needs, and the fish kids can catch on their next adventure.
  • Emergency Preparedness – Being prepared is the key to any emergency situation. Kids will learn basic first aid skills, weather awareness and more.
  • Shooting Sports – Whether you are shooting a bow, gun, slingshot, or air rifle, safety is the most important factor.
  • Water Sports Basics – Learn water safety and basic canoe strokes that will help you get on the water.
  • Campfire Basics – During this program kids will learn fire safety and what is needed to build a successful fire.

The workshops will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.