VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - A Choctaw Tribe in Vancleave is doing what it can to get kids out to enjoy the outdoors. The Live Oak tribe is inviting kids out on the water for a week of fishing.
Fishing is a skill that leads to hours of fun, and according to Emery Waltman, one that could lead to an appreciation for a culture gone by.
"Our ancestors before us, they knew how to live off the land. To survive when they didn't have grocery stores," said Waltman.
According to Waltman, or GentleHeart, it's crucial that the Vancleave-based Live Oak Choctaw tribe's culture remain alive. But she also wants to make sure the younger generations know the basic skills it takes to survive. To do that, Waltman and other members of the Live Oak Tribe invited kids to learn how to fish on the Pascagoula River. And they didn't stop at casting and reeling in.
"They learn how to put the hooks and sinkers on. They learn how to clean the fish," said Waltman.
They also get to see how beautiful and tranquil life on the river can be, which is pretty clear when surrounded by the natural scenery on the Pascagoula.
"It's peaceful and relaxing and I really like it," said Waltman.
The tribe invited all skill sets and ages out for the fishing trip. Debra Hand got to help her son, Tristan, become a fisherman for the first time.
"It's a great opportunity because we need this and the kids need to hang out with some of their tribe members," said Hand.
Waltman said it's not just about the tribe members. She wants to help create enduring memories for children from all walks of life.
"When they're smiling and catching that fish, it's such an excitement on their face. It's something they're going to remember for the rest of their life," she said.
The fishing camp lasts all week. If you, or someone you know, is interested, you can call Waltman at (601) 530-2581.