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Camp season in full swing for non-profit


Courtesy Photo

AQUASIZE - Project ASCENT participants learned the basics of kayaking on Bull River during a recent camp.

If you're looking for a fun summer activity that is full adventure, the Project ASCENT camps might be the perfect fit. Project ASCENT is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation aimed at getting kids outside and to develop an appreciation and understanding of nature.

The group has held three camps so far this summer. Two camps were held at Bull River for ages 12-17.

Each of the camps were structured the same to provide the same opportunity to the greatest number of youth participants.

On the first day, the campers had a lesson on camping etiquette and how to keep the campsite organized. They were also given a lesson on camp stove use and safety.

The youth campers at Project ASCENT are responsible for cooking their own meals on each trip. There are different groups assigned that take shifts for the cooking and the cleaning up afterward. The campers get to make Dutch oven stew and cobbler under the supervision of a local Dutch oven expert. Also on the menu is spaghetti, salad and rolls, tacos, and breakfast burritos.

For the remainder of the trip, the campers are trained in fish identification and tracking as well as getting to know certain indigenous plants and animals. There are also daily lessons on camping necessities like First Aid, tent prep, food storage, and obtaining firewood.

Project ASCENT has one camp left on their roster for the summer. The second Blossom Lake Backpacking trip will be July 30 to August 3. This 5-day, 3-night program is designed to expand the camper's knowledge of the area, the different flora and fauna, and to create an appreciation for the natural areas.

The first day of the camp will feature a lesson in trip preparation, wilderness safety, and a "Leave No Trace" lesson to ensure that the wilderness is preserved for the next visitors. The next four days of the camp will feature a hike to a Blossom Lake, experiences to use rappelling equipment, fly fishing and other camp activities. The campers will also get a chance to pick huckleberries that will be used for huckleberry pancakes the next morning.

Aside from all the learning objectives that are covered in the Project ASCENT camps, there is plenty of time for fun and relaxation. The campers have time to go kayaking, canoeing, and floating on the water. While the hikes might seem intimidating, most of the campers expressed that they enjoyed all of the hiking and getting to utilize the skills that they were taught.

Each camp professional will be equipped with GPS and handheld radios for communication and safety purposes. More information can be found on the Project ASCENT website at or on their Facebook page, Project ASCENT Thompson Falls.


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