Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fishing for Fish Campers

I was ten years old when my father, Ronald D. Mahan, created Fish Camp - a diving, skiing, sailing and fishing camp in the Florida Keys for boys, 9-16 years old. I recall when he decided to advertise at the Miami Boat Show. He had not yet operated the camp, but had created a brochure. We had a boat, I believe it was an 18-foot Woodsun.

He was unable to get into the boat show, so he talked the owner of a nearby hotel into allowing him to launch the boat, fully rigged with rods and reels and outriggers, into the hotel swimming pool.

He rented two rooms - one for himself and the other for food and drinks. He then called the Miami Herald and shared his dream of Fish Camp with them. The Herald printed a story on the front section of an inner portion of the the newspaper, maybe the community section or something.

Anyway, this attracted quite a crowd and he began signing up children to attend the summer camp and used the money to lease a hotel in Tavernier.

I attended Fish Camp as a camper, counselor and finally co-director in the late 1970s before it closed.

I'm hoping this blog will find its way around the world and allow others who experienced Fish Camp to share their stories.

I'm a potter in Seagrove, NC, now and I met another potter from Greensboro, NC, the other day. He said something about having a home in Tavernier, Florida, and I told him my father had a boys camp down there.

He then told me his son went to Fish Camp.

I'm sure the camp started in 1968, and I'm guessing about the year it closed. If anyone remembers differently, let me know, and please share some stories.


Michael Mahan