MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - For the second year Urban Explorers gathered children with military parents and gave them the resources, equipment and supervision to try ice fishing.
Josh Cam brought his kids, five-year-old Eli and seven-year-old Kailee to Lake Harriet so they could ice fish for the first time.
Serving in the Air Force and now the National Guard, the family recently moved to the metro from Seattle.
“I don't get a chance to spend a lot of time with my kids on military weekends and what not and I work downtown as a civilian,” Cam said. “It's really hard to come back, so this is really wonderful to spend time with the kids and do something different.”
Like many military families, Cam and his kids know the sacrifices of deployments and various duties that too often keep loved ones apart.
Karl Erickson started this Urban Anglers event last year in attempt to grow his favorite winter pastime and offer a bonding experience for veterans and their kids.
“I’ve served too and I know what it's like to be away from family,” Erikson said. “So if we can get them out here reconnecting with family and enjoying the time and get rid of that deployment longing, I think that's the main point of this whole event today.”
Unlike last year, when no one caught a single fish, this year was already a huge success.
“I like that you can catch fish and it's really fun.. It takes patience. It does take patience. And then we can go eat them sometimes,” Savannah Schultz, 9, said.
Everything from the poles, to the tents to the hot chocolate and cookies were donated. Optional donations were also collected for Wounded Warriors Guide Service and Outdoor Heroes.