Scouts in New Jersey go fishing

Photo courtesy of Joan Guggenheim
Antonio Gomez poses with one of the young anglers at a Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts event.

HOPEWELL, N.J. — Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts kept Antonio “Go Go” Gomez on the go again this spring during a Chuck Wagon Cubarama and Camporee, April 21, at Rosedale Park.

The New Jersey B.A.S.S. Federation Nation youth director conducted the fishing segment of the event sponsored by the Mercer Area District of the Central New Jersey Council (CNJC) of the Boy Scouts of America. More than 700 scouts and their parents attended the event, with 300 Cub Scouts and 120 Boy Scouts taking part in chuck wagon races, tomahawk throwing, calf roping, knot tying and other activities.

Gomez handled the fishing event by himself and supplied all of the equipment. “It was Go Go going for everything,” said Gomez. “I taught them the easiest way and the quickest way to catch fish. That’s what it’s all about.” The youth director instructed the scouts on how to bait their hooks and how to cast and reel in a fish.

The scouts put their lessons to the test during a fishing contest with awards handed out in various categories. The biggest fish was caught by Kyle Hornak of Troop 33 in Trenton. Stanley Liu of Pack 556 of Hopewell caught nine fish to win the “most fish caught” award.

Gomez got plenty of experience teaching a large group of scouts about fishing when he manned the fishing station of the CNJC Frontier Trek in spring 2011 at Yards Creek Scout Reservation. During that event, Gomez had more than 600 Scouts show up throughout the day to learn how to fish.

In a letter Gomez received after last year’s event, Richard Pfaltzgraff, Cub Scouts program director, praised the efforts of Gomez by writing the following: “I heard many of the scouts remarking how much they enjoyed visiting your station and learning about fishing — and especially getting an opportunity to fish. … For many of the scouts, this was their first time fishing and you helped introduce them to a whole new hobby that some of them may pick up and continue through life.”

During this year’s Camporee, Gomez provided some of the Scouts with information about the Junior Bassmaster program, so he said he believes the Scout events could serve as good recruiting grounds in the future.

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