Sunday, February 24, 2008

Letter to Supporters, January 2008

Note from Editor: This was recently written and sent by Officer Clarke to NCPC supporters.

Dear Supporter:

As I type this letter I am sitting in my dad’s camp with my computer on my lap looking out over the lake through the big picture window.

My trip up here started with a plan of a couple of days off for the New Year and turned into a phone call to my boss asking for a weeks worth of vacation days. It’s no wonder to me why my dad and my dad’s dad choose to retire up here at the end of their careers with the city. It is my plan also, to retire here.

I am currently in the process of closing the sale of my camp so that I can complete the purchase of my dad’s camp.

Dad was no carpenter and there is still a lot of drama surrounding the property and a neighboring camp. But I am trusting I will eventually be able to wade my way through all these issues and retire peacefully up here a few years from now.

Every time I come up here I always lug along my laptop thinking I might find some time to catch up on Police Center work. Generally, I lug it back and forth with out even taking it out of the case. But, this time I actually am catching up on a lot of Police Center work.

I have finished my Christmas thank you card (which will go out before this letter, to those of you who helped with the party), I have completed my monthly stats for December, I have written a couple of memos to my Lieutenant and now I am working on the ice-fishing letter.

I guess a foot of snow and a few days of below zero degree temperatures managed to keep me inside, sipping coffee and working on my computer. Not to mention, I had to wait for a local farmer to come down with his tractor to plow my road so I could get out.

Walking a half-mile out on the lake in knee deep snow to ice-fish produced only one 3” perch. No wonder I am working on my laptop. I can see I will need to invest in a plow and a snowmobile in the near future.

Now is a good time to start preparations for our annual ice-fishing trip. Most of you know, every year we take a few area youth on a weekend ice-fishing trip to my camp on Black Lake. This year I have moved my small camper over to my Dad’s camp. We will all be staying in his camp and in the camper.

At dad’s camp we have more room, running water and a kerosene stove (a nice upgrade in amenities from my camp). The driveway is a little more of a grade and longer where the kids enjoy sledding all weekend long.

Our weekend starts with loading everyone up at the Police Center on Friday as soon as they get out of school. Then there is a two-hour ride to my camp on Black Lake.

After arriving and unloading we take a short ride to the Black Lake Fish & Game Clubhouse where we enter everyone in the ice-fishing derby. The kids walk around the clubhouse pointing out fish mounts, wondering if they will catch fish as big as the mounts. We then return to camp, picking up 3 or 4 pizzas along the way.

From that time on we spend the weekend fishing. We put out 70-90 tip ups and each child gets a jigging pole to fish with.

The rules for the tip ups are simple. When a flag goes up, the first one to the tip up gets to pull in the line. Because the tip ups are scattered all over the ice in front of camp everyone gets a chance to pull in fish.

On Sunday morning we have breakfast and then re-bait all our tip ups. After that, we drive around Amish country and visit a local church. We eat lunch at a small restaurant close by camp. We return to camp, do a little more fishing, give out prizes and then it is time to pack up for the trip home.

Any of you folks interested in coming up to participate in the ice-fishing trip are welcome. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested. The trip is planned for February 15th –17th.

If you are interested in helping us with this adventure you may help in any of the following ways: Ice-fishing line, poles, lures, spuds (someone loses a spud thru the ice every other year), bait, grubs, wax worms, large minnows (are .75 ea. and we generally use 250 of 'em), food clothing, (especially boots, socks, hats and gloves).

Monetary donations are used to purchase any of the needed items listed above, plus the Black Lake Fish and Game Association memberships for everyone (this qualifies them to fish in the derby), renewal fees for our Adventure Explorer Post (this provides our liability insurance thru the Hiawatha Seaway Council), gas for vehicles and ice auger, pizzas (Friday night) and lunch (Sunday afternoon).

You may drop off or mail donations to our office (255 Wolf St.). For monetary donations, checks may be made out to the Northside Community Police Center. If you have any questions please give me a call at 471-3257.


James K. Clarke

Police Officer

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