A vast blue sky, unseasonably warm temperatures, and the beautiful Oregon Coast made a perfect recipe for a crabbing adventure.
On Saturday, November 8, the Cadet boys’ group of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, spent a full day on the Pacific Ocean. Setting up boats in Newport Bay, 16 boys and men learned how to set traps and catch crabs, returning home with a bundle of dungeness and rock crabs.
Kris Stalnaker, head Cadet counselor, has been crabbing since he was a young boy. “It is something I wanted to share. There is value in the hunt and gather skills. It challenges me personally teaching them.”
Crabbing is a team effort that usually generates success for everyone. Stalnaker taught the boys to set up the traps a few hours before high tide when the crabs come out to feed. While waiting for the traps to fill, the boys enjoyed eating lunch in the boat.
A few hours later, Stalnaker helped them pull in the traps, measure the crabs caught, and distinguish between the rock or dungeness crabs. “The boys were excited to get in the traps. It was neat to see them not fear the crabs.”
Connor, 8, said, “I enjoyed pulling up the crab pots the most.”
After returning home, Stalnaker gave each boy some crabs to take home with instructions for preparing the crabs to be cooked, an activity the boys could do with their parents.
This is the fifth year Stalnaker has taken his Cadet group crabbing. “I love to see kids who have not experienced [crabbing],” he said. “Their faces light up and they want to go back and do it again.”