Bass Pro donates thousands of rods and reels to encourage kids to put down smartphones, enjoy the outdoors

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Hundreds of local kids will get to experience what it's like to go fishing this summer thanks to a big donation from Bass Pro Shops.

The company donated more than 40,000 rods and reels to kids to kick off a nationwide effort in the U.S. and Canada called "Gone Fishing," which challenges kids to put down their digital devices and discover the great outdoors.

Locally the donations will go to the Salvation Army's Three Trails Camp and Retreat Center, located at 40-Highway and Lee's Summit Road, where more than 1,200 kids are signed up for summer camp.

The goal of the donations is to inspire future generations to enjoy, love and conserve the great outdoors.

The gently used rods and reels were collected and refurbished earlier this year. Organizers say they'll definitely get some use.

"Get them off the couch, get out of the electronic piece, and being partnered with the Salvation Army to be able to donate all these reels and rods is incredible," Ryan Eberly with Bass Pro Shops said.

There are other "Gone Fishing" events planned at Bass Pro Shops this weekend and Father's Day weekend including how to cast a reel at a catch and release pond.