SUNNY BRAE – They were reeling them in fast and furious at MacKinnon Lake.
A three-mile drive through the woods in Sunny Brae brings visitors to Camp Roderick, a Scout camp that has been there since 1928. On Saturday, despite the constant annoyance of stinging insects, a fishing derby was held at the camp, a few days after the lake was stocked with trout. Plenty of kids (and a few adults) gathered on the floating dock at the edge of the lake, or cast their lines from solid ground along the water’s edge, while a couple of small boats sat idly out on the lake.
“They put in about twelve hundred trout, I’d say,” says Scott Murdoch, area Scout commander for the northern Nova Scotia region.
The fishing derby was a modest fundraiser to help with maintenance and upgrades at Camp Roderick, which has eight youth cabins, two leader’s cabins, a cookhouse, first aid building and a dining shelter.
Camp Roderick, which survived an act of vandalism in 2011 that caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, is available for rental – family reunions have been held there and various organizations have rented the camp over the years.
“We even had a wedding here a couple of years ago,” Murdoch said.
This was the 10th year for the derby, which expected to raise somewhere between $600-800.
While the Scouting movement isn’t as strong as it once was, there are local Cubs and Scout troops in Pictou County that are still managing to survive.
He said the biggest need isn’t for more young people to get active in Scouts (although that wouldn’t hurt), it’s the lack of adult volunteers that can sometimes be an issue.
“The 50s and 60s were the heyday for scouting, when the baby boomers were all kids, but It started petering put in the 90s,” Murdoch said.