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The On River Time Experience

“It’s an experience that I will ALWAYS remember.”
-8th grader, Big Oak Boy’s Ranch

“The fact that I was chosen to go just meant the world to me.”
-12th grader, Big Oak Girl’s Ranch

“I am really thankful. That was the best week of my life”
-8th grader, Big Oak Girl’s Ranch

“You will never know what a difference you’ve made in some children’s lives. Thank you for caring and loving our kids.”
-Reagan Croyle Phillips, Big Oak Ranch Childcare Team Director

“The On River Time fishing trip opened the door to new friendships, new opportunities to serve, new positive memories”
-Wes Priest, Still Creek Ranch Resident Program Director

“I had such an amazing time. I will never forget this trip.”
-10th grade girl, On River Time alumnus and former resident of Big Oak Ranch

“I made memories that will last a lifetime … My favorite things were waking up early and eating a good breakfast and then going fishing.”
-11th grader, Big Oak Boy’s Ranch

“Getting to fish, connect with other people, and see new things blew me away! The trip really touched my heart in many different things … If there is any way I can give back, I’d love to!”
-12th grader, Still Creek Ranch

“Watching the kids just seeing them bond and grow together was fantastic. The relationship that I have with my son was enhanced ten-fold. That was really special to me.”

“I enjoyed getting to know you and loved our conversations. I can not wait to come back as a senior.”
-9th grader, Big Oak Girl’s Ranch

“It was awesome. The funnest (sic) thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was so cool!”

“It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, and just to see all of these boys grow in their relationships and to be able to witness that was truly something special.”
-Brodie Croyle, Executive Director, Big Oak Ranch

“Thanks for all the bus ride talks we had about school and other things.”

“I had so much fun hanging out with you while we were fishing! As a first time fishing trip it was a blast no matter how many times we hooked each other! I thought we made a great team!”
-9th grader, Big Oak Girl’s Ranch

“Our Children who call Big Oak Ranch their home have ALL come from dysfunctional families and most of their early childhood memories are NOT positive. Thank you for your support and love for our children.”
-John Croyle, Founder of Big Oak Ranch

The On River Time “Camp” was designed to provide an opportunity for children ages 8 to 17 who have suffered abuse or neglect to spend a week on the river fly-fishing with a parent or guardian. Our program is recreational and educational.

On River Time is all about having fun in a serene outdoor setting far away from the challenges these youth face everyday. It’s a place to unplug and unwind while tuning into the lessons that the outdoors has to offer. More than anything, it’s a safe place to interact with other kids who have had similar life experiences and meet positive mentors.

Even before our program participants step foot on the grounds of the Lodge, we make sure they are provided with the resources they need for a successful fly-fishing experience. All kids and parents or guardians are equipped with free rods and reels, flies, hats and T-shirts. Throughout the fishing excursions, all children and adults are accompanied by an experienced fly guide to instruct them on the sport and teach them about the ecology of the river.

In addition to fishing, children get an up-close and personal experience with the wildlife along the river. It is not unusual to spot a moose, beaver or bald while drifting down the Snake River.

We pack a lot into our week-long camps. Here’s a snapshot of a typical On River Time experience.

Day One:

  • Cowboy Breakfast at the Diner
  • Beginner Lessons at the Casting Pond
  • Morning on the River Fly-Fishing and Picnicking
  • “A Bug’s Life” Workshop
  • “Fly Tying” Workshop
  • Photographic Scavenger Hunt
  • Cookout and Campfire songs

Day Two:

  • Good Morning Sunshine Breakfast at the Lodge
  • Morning on the River Fly-Fishing and Picnicking
  • Treasure Hunt on the Grounds
  • “The Ecology of the River” Workshop
  • “Fish Prints” Workshop
  • Big Fish and Most Fish Awards
  • Closing Ceremony, Dinner and Slideshow

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.

Selecting participants from reputable nonprofit partners, On River Time pays all expenses for these young people and their guardians to enjoy fly fishing at The Lodge at Palisades Creek on the banks of the Snake River in Idaho. They also learn about river conservation and tour Yellowstone National Park. More importantly, they make connections with others who uniquely understand them. On River Time, founded in 2012, is based in Birmingham, Alabama and currently serves children from Big Oak Ranch in Springville, Alabama and Still Creek Ranch in Bryan, Texas. On River Time is a “For Impact” organization.


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