Wilderness Adventures holds summer camp outside Granby
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
This week on Carl Nordstrom’s 400 acres near Granby, Wilderness Adventures camp director Mark Hotaling and volunteers are hosting summer camp.
Open to youth between the ages of 8 and 13, it is a Christian-oriented camp that incorporates Bible study and wilderness skill tactics throughout last week.
“We have kids coming from our area, eastern Colorado, the Front Range, Colorado Springs and even Nebraska,” Hotaling said.
Hotaling said he wants people to know that even though it is a biblically oriented camp, not everyone has to be involved with church.
“It is for kids who don’t go to church, all the way up to kids who have been raised in a church,” Hotaling said.
“Throughout the week we teach anything from survival archery, firearm – with use of BB and pellet guns – to home first aid, and wilderness first aid,” Hotaling said. “We even teach tool safety, including how to sharpen knives and arts and crafts.”
Although it may seem as though the camp would hold the interest more of boys, Hotaling said that is not the case.
“As the camp grows, it seems like more girls see it’s not just about hunting or fishing, there are many other activities as well,” Hotaling said.
He said some of the best firearm safety shooters are, in fact, girls.
“I absolutely love teaching young kids how to shoot,” Hotaling said, “and make it enjoyable and safe.”
Hotaling feels it is vital for young kids to learn firearm safety in case they encounter a dangerous situation.
“It is important to teach them how to use a firearm properly and show them right from wrong,” Hotaling said.
The schedule for the week consists of classroom lessons toward the beginning and throughout the rest of the week the campers apply those lessons hands-on.
Hotaling said the campers can choose to do arts and crafts rather than outdoor activities, such as fishing or fire building. However, Hotaling and the volunteers of Wilderness Adventures encourage campers to try their hand at every single thing.
“Getting kids to step out of their comfort zone is a big part of the week physically and spiritually,” Hotaling said.
At the camp, girls and boys sleep in separate tents with individual tent leaders.
Hotaling explained at night the kids have free time, but they also review and answer questions with their tent leaders about the biblical lesson for that day.
“It is a really neat experience for them,” Hotaling said.
Hotaling said they have no shortage of children and would love for more people to help out with the camp in the future.
Wilderness Adventures also holds different events throughout the year.
Other activities include fly-fishing, ice fishing, backpack trips and camping.
A board member who volunteers with the camp is Larry Archer from Fort Collins.
Archer said Wilderness Adventures is also open to other organizations that wish to have a camp for their youth.
“We will provide everything, we are a completely mobile ministry,” Archer said. “We can support any group, anywhere and we can even bring camp to them.”
“We have the materials to be able to support any church in outdoor camping,” Archer said.
Although this year’s Wilderness Adventures camp in Granby is finished, the group’s Web site at wacolorado.org offers more information about next summer’s camp and other activities the group hosts.
– Ariadyn can be reached at 970 887-3334 ext 19605 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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