Children in the Stream Conference Seeks to Train Youth Instructors

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Alberto Rey shows his two kids how to read water on a local trout stream.

photo by Cindy Ferraro

Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing guide Alberto Rey has announced the launch of a new summertime conference to train people who want to teach kids how to fly fish. According to the event website, the Children in the Stream Conference is an ground-breaking interdisciplinary approach to education through the sport of fly fishing for educators, community members, and educational programmers who are looking for a way to integrate outdoor experiences into their curriculum or communities. The event will be held June 25-28 in the small, steelhead-fishing village of Fredonia in western New York.

Here’s what Rey has to say about this exciting new approach:

“I started S.A.R.E.P. Youth Fly fishing Program about 13 years ago and have been running it with a few other community members since then. Even though we do a good deal of community conservation projects, I have, for the past eight years, been thinking about how we can do something to reach a wider audience about the benefits of getting kids hooked on the outdoors and fly fishing. My wife, Janeil, is a professor at our local university, State University of New York at Fredonia, and she specializes in getting teachers ready to become very effective leaders in their schools. She thought that a good way to reach the youth would be to providing programming to the teachers that would allow them to bring fly fishing and the outdoors into their curriculum. We pitched the idea to a good friend and neighbor, Mike Jabot, who also teaches at the same university and who is an national expert on introducing science into the middle school and high school curriculum. He was very excited about what we could provide and how this reflected what was becoming a major concern across the country.

Over the past six months, we have been meeting at my house and trying to figure out how to organize and include all the information that we thought was important to provide educators and community members who wanted to incorporate fly fishing, science, literature, social science and art into their programs. This is truly a unique truly interdisciplinary approach.

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Alberto Rey believes that education can be the key to getting more kids excited about the outdoors, and his new conference aims to help
others start new programs.

photo by Cindy Ferraro

What is really exciting about the Children in the Stream Conference is that we hope to provide everything an individual would need to go back to their schools and communities and start their own youth fly-fishing program or integrate fly fishing into their curriculum. Everyone will be able to create their own customized curriculum and program from this conference.

Over the years of running the our youth fly-fishing program, I have learned that, while we start by trying to reach the children, the parents and grandparents often get ‘hooked’ in the process and find an opportunity to do something that brings them together in nature. These become the mermoies that last a lifetime and shape one’s character.

We are very excited about the possibilities and are already planning for follow up sessions the following years for those who want to come back and learn some more.”

Click here to see the schedule for the Children in the Stream Conference.

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