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Birmingham Nonprofit Uses Idaho Fly Fishing Camp to Inspire Abused Teens

Intense, vivid moments dominate our memories. Think about the events you dwell on most often. You may consider yourself lucky if you are not burdened with a traumatic memory of abuse. Around 3 million cases of abuse or neglect are investigated each year.

Birmingham-based nonprofit On River Time provides uplifting memories and positive mentors to childhood abuse survivors.

Last June, one 16 year old girl with troubling memories caused by those closest to her was able to add a formidable good memory to her mindscape. She took her first plane flight, threw her first line, learned about the ecosystem, listened to her personal guide, and reeled a 24-inch brown trout into the boat on her first day fishing. That is a lifetime fish for anyone. On River Time creates lifetime opportunities every year for abused and neglected teens, culminating in its Fish On camp. Since 2012– they have paid all expenses for fly-fishing camp experiences for dozens.

From June 3-8, eight more teens who have become model students and leaders despite their difficult circumstances will be provided a chance to let their dreams grow bigger, to trust others, and to have an array of value-affirming experiences learning fly fishing on Idaho’s Snake River.

They will learn about a new sport and a new ecosystem in a wondrous context, the likes of which they have never seen (read the 2015 camp blog here). They will sleep and dine at the 2014 Orvis Fly Fishing Lodge of the Year, The Lodge at Palisades Creek. The 5,000-ft mountain peaks will still be snow-capped. Moose, bald eagle, badger, even bear sightings are common. Orvis endorsed guides will paddle them on day-long fishing adventures. The group will also enjoy an educational day at Grand Teton National Park and leadership and team-building activities.

This is an especially exciting year as it will be the first that campers will enjoy the new On River Time Fish On cabin, completed last November. Its purpose is to provide a permanent camp home and affirm the ongoing mission of the nonprofit.

Last year, the crew of the outdoors/food series Anglers and Appetites joined us, as seen here. This year, they will return to document the camp for Discovery’s Destination America channel.

One previous attendee will be returning to the Lodge this summer, not as a camper, but as an employee. This young woman, who had never traveled beyond her home state of Alabama, had the confidence to apply to be a summer employee in Idaho.

About On River Time

On River Time exists to change the lives of children who have survived abuse and neglect. A registered 501 (C)(3) organization, it uses fly fishing and mentorship to provide middle and high school aged children with hope and the inspiration to dream big. While the program is grounded in an unforgettable fly fishing trip, On River Time’s mentor network supports participants throughout the year in a way that cultivates their ability to trust and instills a heightened sense of value.

3 Office Park Circle, Suite 240, Birmingham, AL 35223  |  205.382.4568