One of our favorite summer outings is taking trips to the lake for a pontoon boat ride, especially on the warm summer days. Nothing is better than the sunshine on your face, wind in your hair and fresh air.
In the past, we typically rented our own pontoons and trailed them to the lake (well, if I am being honest it was more like around the rental place – so we wouldn’t get lost). When we rented the pontoons, myself or our Maintenance Supervisor, Ben Abel, played the part of Captain. That was until this year.
Sometime in January I sat down at my computer and opened my e-mail. That is when I found out about the organization Fishing for Fun. They had sent a note out to the metro area Activity Professionals sharing that they are offering free, yes I said free, pontoon boat rides and fishing trips on Lake Johanna. How could this be? Was it true? A free trip out to enjoy the summer, the residents could fish if they wanted, the boat came with helping hands and a captain. I was sold! Where do I sign up?
So, I followed the directions to sign us up for as many trips as I could throughout the summer, which amounted to one a month. They sent a confirmation e-mail and then closer to the trip another e-mail with the directions and forms (yep, even free things have some red tape, but nothing that would make you stand back and say that is just not worth it). The captain even gave us a call prior to our trip on the day we went to see what we needed and help with the last minute details. They were very accommodating, which in turn makes the trip even that much more relaxing for those that were planning it.
This brings us to our maiden voyage with Fishing for Fun. It was Monday, July 27th, and it’s was turning out to be a typical hot July summer day with the temperature in the mid 80’s and a dew point that was attempting to match – but not hot enough to stop us from enjoying the lake breezes (which there were plenty of this day). As we were readying the residents for the trip to Arden Hills from Edina, the excitement and anticipation grew in all of us. Residents that usually take a long while to move from one place to another were practically running to the door, knowing the adventure we were about to embark on was going to be great. We got everyone and everything loaded into the car and headed to Lake Johanna. The conversations in the car on the way to the lake were light and filled with happy memories of younger years and times spent on any one of the 10,000 lakes we have in Minnesota, or in some residents cases Ohio and Florida (fun ocean time memories here, of course).
Once we arrived we were greeted by our Captain, Bob, his helper and the Fishing for Fun event coordinator, Evan. They helped us get our residents to the dock and get the life jackets on to board the boat. We got everyone comfortable and left the dock for our adventure. The boat rides usually last an hour and half, but they can and will shorten the times if needed; the time is really dictated by the needs of the group. For us it was an hour. This was the perfect amount of time to get around the entire lake. Captain Bob and his first mate, Evan, were great at giving us the tour and are very knowledgeable about the area.
The long and the short of it is that the residents loved this trip and so did we as the staff. Fishing for Fun took the stress out of doing a big, adventures outing and were great with the residents.
Then, to add to our already fabulous outing and grand adventure on Lake Johanna, we stopped by a drive up burger joint and got cheeseburgers, fries and shakes to enjoy on the way home. What a great way to end the trip. Everyone loved the shakes and the pontoons. Thank you so much Fishing for Fun!