P.O Box 41194 Eugene, OR 97404

Going Back To Camp

Jun 6, 2024 | Blogs

As the days get longer and the temperature warmer, summer days lead to fun opportunities. We are looking forward to July and our return to Youth Hunting Camp! This will be our third year in attendance and teaching rifle classes at the camp. The camp is held near Fort Rock, Oregon on a 160-acre ranch that is an outdoor wonderland. The best part is no cell service and it gives us the ability to teach our gun safety classes for kids. Plus we get some downtime and get the chance to recharge. Our safety dog, Zoya goes with us and is a big hit with the kids. If you don’t know about Zoya, she is a white French Bulldog, who quickly turns dark brown only minutes after arriving at camp. Mostly because she likes to roll in the dirt. It is hilarious until it’s time to share a sleeping bag at night. She is lucky that she is cute and that I love her dearly. Upon our arrival, we pick our spot and set up our camp for the weekend. The REV (Rapid Education Van) our Ram Promaster serves as our bunkhouse for the weekend. The van gives us the ability to haul all of our gear, unload, and then put up a cot. It is the home sweet home for the weekend.

The Youth Hunting Camps are put on by Randy and Candy Yow. They are professional sportsmen with a focus on conservation and empowering the next generation to continue the traditions of hunting, going into the future. We teach several classes during camp. We teach our flagship class, Kids Firearm Safety 1, and then we transition to the range to teach our Kids Firearm Safety 2. We then adapt our Teen Rifle class from rimfire to centerfire rifles. We start with the youngest children and teach them how to shoot in a smaller and comfortable environment. What makes this camp truly special is all of the volunteers. Everyone involved gives of themselves to ensure safety and quality experience for all in attendance. We all pitch in to make the camp a success, from the cooks to everyone behind the scenes. Did I mention the food? The food is amazing and we are served 3 meals per day. It takes a great team to put everything on.

At the Youth Hunting Camps, the kids will learn outdoor skills, hunting skills, and our favorite topic, gun safety! There is a schedule and the kids will rotate from class to class to maximize their time learning. It is very much like a finely tuned machine. While on the range the kids get the opportunity to shoot steel targets out to 380 yards with a 6.5 Creedmor. What is fun about
shooting steel targets with either a rimfire or a centerfire rifle is the audible “ping” from the report of the bullet impacting the steel targets. We all celebrate their shots and you can see the smiles on their faces. It is this experience that creates important memories that they will cherish for years to come. This makes our experience at camp very rewarding and this is an
event that we look forward to every year. The temps do get warm during the day but it does cool off at night. Central Oregon is beautiful and being out of the valley is a nice change. Another class that we offer at Youth Hunting Camp is Introduction to Gun Maintenance. This gives us the chance to expose the kids to a basic form of gun cleaning in a controlled environment. We start by making sure every gun that we are cleaning is “clear” and there is no ammunition anywhere in the area. While being mindful of the 4 Basic Safety Rules:

1. TREAT EVERY GUN AS IF IT WERE LOADED!
2. KEEP YOUR MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION!
3. KEEP YOUR FINGER STRAIGHT AND OFF OF THE TRIGGER!
4. MAKE SURE OF YOUR TARGET, BACKSTOP, AND WHAT IS BEYOND!

We show the basic breakdown of bolt-action rifles and teach the kids the common terminology involved with responsible gun ownership. This is all part of normalizing gun ownership. Plus it is a fun way for us to get help maintaining the rifles that they shot at camp. This is another way to also reinforce safe gun handling at all times. In this class, we get the showcase products from some of our great sponsors like Wheeler Tools and Tipton Gunsmithing Tools. We utilize their equipment at all times when it comes to maintenance of our equipment. Quality tools help ensure all of our firearms are safe and functional.

My favorite part of camp and why I highly recommend this experience for your family. After a day of learning, the kids run around, explore, and just be kids. It is refreshing to watch and there is not a piece of technology in sight. No phones, no video games, only fun with other kids while using their imaginations. Just like the good old days. It warms the heart and is fun to be a part of. If you are interested in joining us in July near Fort Rock, you can find links to register on our calendar. It is fun for the entire family. Until next time. Be safe!

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