When it comes to teaching children to fish, Woodgate resident Alan Woodruff might just be an expert.
Woodruff, 77, has been teaching summer campers the secrets of the sport for six decades.
He said he worked 58 years at Camp Russell, the former Boy Scouts camp.
“I started the day after I graduated high school,” he said.
Over the years, he also served as the waterfront director and managed backpacking trips for campers.
His 58-year tenure at that camp ended when it was sold, and for the last two years he has taught the outdoor art at Camp Nazareth in Woodgate.
At Camp Nazareth this week, he is working with groups of youths between 8 and 15 years old.
“I love their enthusiasm,” he said. “Some are scared to death of worms.”
But after a while you can see some of them gain confidence, he said.
Camp Nazareth receives funding from the Observer-Dispatch’s Operation Sunshine charity. The mission is to raise money to send as many kids as possible to summer camp in the Mohawk Valley.
From a pond at the camp, the children can catch what Woodruff refers to as “panfish” — perch and undersize bass among the species.
But, for the kids, they get just as excited as if they had caught a giant fish, he said.
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