For the past 11 years, I have attended an annual fishing camp with my father. The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock gathers annually in Thurmont for a weekend long event. The organization teaches boys ages 8-18 about preservation and conservation of natural resources using the fundamentals of fishing, and primarily fly fishing, as the medium.
Starting on Friday, kids start by fishing in two ponds well stocked with trout. Friday night after dinner the boys attend a class tailored to their age and angling experience. The education program typically takes at least six years to complete.
Saturday the boys receive fly casting, fly-tying and streamside instruction. Streamside instruction goes on for several years and includes basic casting, advanced casting, entomology and “Fishing with the Masters.” On Saturday night we gather around a campfire where the first year boys receive their official Jungle Cock patch symbolizing their initiation into the organization. After the campfire everyone heads over to an outdoor amphitheater for a presentation by a guest speaker and some lucky kids will receive prizes ranging from hats and polarized sunglasses to fishing rods and reels.
This is a great opportunity for boys to spend a weekend with their fathers, grandfathers and other friends who sponsor to build bonds and appreciate a weekend experiencing nature and the outdoors.