FRV Volunteer Guides met early, 5:30am at the OHU Campus in Lindenhurst, IL.
After some coffee and donuts, Steve Kroll, Dan Koniewicz, Jerry Chwierut, Hugh Flack, Dave Leffelman, Todd Minor,
John Baumstark, Michael Bailey, Joe Erkenswick and Frank Lucido proceeded to a private launch to ready their boats
for the 19 young men, scheduled to partake in the 2017 edition of the OHU Open Water Boys Outing.
The foster boys were bused over to the launch just before 7am. Each young fisherman was given a Light 7’ Gander Mountain
Rod and Reel, a Plano tackle box stocked with panfish and bass tackle, a tub of trout worms and a tub of night crawlers.
The boys were then assigned to a OHU counselor, FRV Guide and Boat.
Fishing began as soon as the assignments were made. It was a windy, but sunny day, but that did not deter the
volunteer guides. Many bluegills, rock bass, perch and Large Mouth Bass were caught. The size of fish was not a
factor in the determination of the amount of fun, learning and smiles that were experienced. By spending a few
hours with these foster boys, connections are made. Often times, this outing is the first time these young fishermen
have spent, in a positive way with an adult male. They often become very attached to their new mentor. All because
they were taught how a lake works, learned safety rules of the boat, were explained where fish are found and how to
catch them. We rarely see a young man more than twice, OHU works to return the boy to his family and if not, to a foster
home the matches well with the young man.
One of the volunteer guides, Todd Minor, was assigned to a young man nicknamed “Q.” Q told
Todd that fishing with Todd was the happiest he had been since he was 7. Q is now 17. When they first went out on the boat
Q was all smiles. When Todd let him drive his boat at the end of the derby, Q literally hooted and hollered the entire time.
Fishing was from 7am until 11am. The boys were then bused back to OHU campus, while the FRV Guides pulled their
boats from the lake and then also proceeded to the OHU campus. A Taco lunch awaited the hungry fishermen. New tales
were relived as well as a few new “Fish Stories.” Five young fishermen were given $20 Subway gift cards not for the largest
or most fish, but for various sportsmanship deeds or by nomination by their FRV Guide. Everyone was headed home by 2pm.