Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops donate 40,000 rods and reels to encourage outdoor activities for kids

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 2:03 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - In an effort to get more kids outdoors this summer, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops are donating thousands of fishing rods and reels.

‘Gone Fishing’ is a nationwide movement that encourages families and kids to put down their devices and spend time in nature.

Every spring, the shops have their ‘Spring Fishing Classic.’ During the campaign, they do a rod and reel donation drive where customers bring in equipment. In exchange, the stores give them a coupon in exchange for a new one.

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are now donating more than 40,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations nationwide. Since the program’s inception, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have donated 400,000 items to youth-focused nonprofit organizations.

Locally, the donations will benefit the Taking Kids Outdoors nonprofit organization. Taking Kids Outdoors (TKO) was formed in 2015 when a core group of individuals wanted to use their love for all things outdoors to improve the lives and opportunities of local youth.

“The important thing, as far as the children are concerned is we want to make sure that they have the opportunity to get outside and really get the education as to what’s great about fishing, what’s great about being outside, hiking, camping,” said David Asp, Co-Manager of Cabela’s in Bowling Green.

There will be events taking place at Cabela’s over the next two weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids of all ages are invited to join in on the free casting challenge, crafts, seminars and photo downloads.

During the pandemic, Asp says their store has seen an increase in outdoor equipment sales and recreational items such as kayaks.

“So what we saw during the pandemic, and a little bit after and coming into 2020-2021 is a lot more involvement in the outdoors from people,” said Asp. “They’re going out kayaking, they’re going out fishing, hunting, anything outdoors, hiking, camping, that sort of thing. So we’ve seen a big increase in business.”

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