Kids Day of Fishing returns to Lake Solano for summer camping

Originally published In the on July 25, 2016 By Susan Hiland
Kids Day of Fishing returns to Lake Solano for summer camping
The heat didn’t bother the children at Lake Solano Park on Sunday: They were having too much fun to notice.
Kids Day of Fishing at Lake Solano was the first fishing trip for Ana Mah, 19, of Suisun City, but it was 24 hours she will never forget.
Most of her family came out to join the young woman, who has Down syndrome, for a family day.
“I liked using the binoculars,” she said.
Mah showed off the necklace she made Saturday with soft soapstone, and a bracelet of black-and-white beads.
Her mother couldn’t have been happier because she said it’s hard for her daughter to focus for a length of time.
“She just doesn’t do crafts,” Elizabeth Mah said. “When we came back from being on the water, she said that this was the most fun she had in her whole life.”
Ana Mah wore the beads for several hours, also a first for her. She usually never wears jewelry.
Kids Day of Fishing at Lake Solano, in its ninth year, brought 30 youth out for a weekend of camping, fishing, hiking, crafts and learning.
The nonprofit organization raises about $20,000 each year and, with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Napa, puts on summer fishing events to help encourage children to get out and enjoy themselves.
“It is a two-day educational event for kids,” said Mike Johns, founder and president of Kids Day of Fishing Inc. “They will learn about ecology, camping and fishing.”
A parent brought vegetables from the family’s organic garden, and Grace Hindes chopped them up for the finale lunch of the event.
Johns cut the fish the children caught into small pieces for frying to serve with the veggies. They also served hot dogs for those who didn’t want fish.
Hindes became the unofficial cook in 2009. She puts on the meals for about 50 people, including the parents and volunteers.
“It seems I have a knack for it,” Hindes said.
Lourdes Hernandez of Fairfield has been helping with the event for the past 10 years, doing a variety of jobs.
“It feels good to help special needs kids and we have been able to help disadvantaged kids also,” she said.
Ron Goodwin is an eight-year participant and has become the nature guide. He took the children and teens on a nature hike trail, introducing them to native California plants and some of the natural-growing foods in the area.
“This is a fun program that is also educational,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin’s grandchildren also came out for the day and helped with the camp.
Goodwin said that Boy Scouts came out and earned a fishing badge for participating and a service badge for serving dinner.
It was the first time many of these children had been fishing.
It wasn’t a new experience for Eliza Mah, 11, who came out to fish with her grandparents and her aunt Ana, but it was the first time at the Kids Day of Fishing at Lake Solano.
“I really liked the arts and the crafts,” she said.
The younger Mah said fishing, crafts and hiking made for a great weekend she and the rest of her family will never forget.
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Kids Day of Fishing returns to Lake Solano for summer camping_2
Susan Hiland
Susan graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a B.A. in Communications. She has eight years experience working for newspapers in Nebraska.