By Robert Lucke
This is the third year of a wonderful camp for single parents and children put on by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks along with the Montana Bowhunters Association.
Called Discover the Outdoors Camp, this year it will be held on July 6, 7 and 8 at the Beartooth Game Range facility near Holter Lake between Helena and Great Falls.
The camp is free to single parents and youths aged 11 to 15. It provides them the opportunity to try different outdoor skills so they will be more comfortable with being in nature and gain an appreciation for the outdoors and learn natural resource ethics.
Attendees will actively participate in programs which include camping, outdoor cooking, bow and gun shooting, fishing and evening educational programs.
"In addition, we will maybe doing boat trips to the Gates of the Mountains," said Cherrie Angel-Kieninger, who is the Havre contact person. "And I will be doing a reptile and amphibian talk with live animals on Sunday."
Dutch oven cooking is just one more treat in store for camp participants.
There is a ten-couple maximum for the camp, so it is important to get applications in soon.
Participants will stay in cabins at the camp and should bring a sleeping bag or bedding, pillow, towel, etc. Classes will be held rain or shine so bring clothes appropriate for different weather conditions.
All equipment and supplies will be provided. Tents will also be available for those who want to try sleeping outside. The camp staff will prepare meals.
One goal of the camp is, because some single parents may not have the time, resources or knowledge to take their children outdoors, an outdoor sport such as fishing or camping may provide a parent and child a life-long pursuit they can enjoy with each other. The Discover the Outdoors camp will provide an introduction to different outdoor skills that the parent and child can learn together.
"This is a great opportunity for a parent and child to spend quality time together with no distractions and for each to learn something new," a 1999 participant said.
The parent and youth must both complete an application form and return it by June 1, 2001.
Write or call for application forms to the Montana Bowhunters Association at Box 1942, Great Falls, MT 59403 or call toll-free at 1-888-404-3238.
For further information and questions answered, call Havre contact person, Cherrie Angel-Kieninger at 265-5187.