By Paige Nash
The Webster Parish Convention and Tourism Commission (WPCVC) is partnering with the Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society to host a Kid’s Day at Caney on June 24.
This event will focus on water safety and an introduction to kayaking.
“The goal is to make it a free event for the kids in our community,” said WPCVC Executive Director Serena Gray. “There are a lot of children who are going to have a lot of time on their hands this summer, and I would love to see them at our parks, but I want them to be safe.”
Gray mentioned an incident that occurred a couple of years back when a young boy jumped off a dock at the lake and lost his life and another incident that happened where two high school boys flipped their boat on Lake Bistineau and one passed away.
“I feel like we are the perfect organization to help advocate for the importance of water safety, including wearing the appropriate PFD (Personal Flotation Device). This Kid’s Day at Caney is definitely a step in that direction.”
Gray has spoken with Jerry Madden in regard to reestablishing a boat safety program at the parish schools.
“He used to do that program and he said it is low to no cost,” said Gray.
Madden would bring his boat and park it in the lot outside various schools and provide a demonstration and speech on boat/water safety.
“We have had kids in elementary school and kids in high school who have drowned,” said Gray. “I think we would start off with elementary, but eventually I would love to see this for elementary, junior high and high school kids. The bayou runs the length of the parish, so every community has access to the water and I just want them to be safe and have fun.”
Gray is also throwing around the idea of beginning a life jacket giveaway on an annual basis before school-age students are out for summer and ready to hit the water over their break.