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June 27, 2013 8:20 am

Hike, camp and climb at NWC youth camps

Written by Dante Geoffrey

The graduation requirements of a Northwest College student will bring a variety of outdoor opportunities for Powell youths this summer.

Kym Casner, 24, is an outdoor education major who plans on graduating in December. She is working this summer on her practicum, a required project that will gain her real-world experience in her field.

In conjunction with the Powell Recreation Department and Northwest’s DELTA (Dedicated to Experiential Learning Through Adventure) program, Casner organized three summer camps for kids ages 11 through 16.

The camps will introduce kids to a handful of outdoor recreation activities, Casner said.

“We’re trying to get them away from the computers and outdoors and start enjoying the sunshine during the summer,” Casner said.

The Outdoor Adventure Day Camp will run from July 15-19, each day focused on a specific activity. Campers will rock climb The Island, a granite alcove just a few miles west of Cody, raft the Shoshone, hike Heart Mountain and explore Spirit Mountain Cave on Cedar Mountain.

“This camp is designed to give them a little taste of everything,” Casner said.

A rock climbing camp will run from Aug. 5-9. Participants will be taught about climbing safety, techniques, movement and more by a certified climbing instructor. Recent Northwest graduate Ryan Quinn is certified through the Professional Climbing Instructors Association and will spend the first day (Monday, Aug. 5) of camp teaching campers the basics at Northwest’s rock wall.

Casner said the rock wall will help young campers to trust each other while climbing.

“When you’re rock climbing together you always work a little bit better if you’ve been comfortable with each other,” she said.

The following four days will be spent at popular rock climbing locations near Cody.

Climbers will be introduced to two main types of rock. Bridge Bands, in the Shoshone Canyon, is a site made mostly of dolomite, whereas The Island is a granite formation.

“We’re going to introduce them to both so they learn different (climbing) techniques,” Casner said.

Casner’s third and final camp is a four-night backpacking trip. The first night will be spent at the A.L. Mickelson Field Station along the Chief Joseph Highway.

The second night the group will head towards Sunlight Basin, learning about vegetation and wildlife along the way.

“The whole purpose of this camp is to introduce them to living in the outdoors,” Casner said. “You’re going to need to know how to cook, how to set up your tent, what tent-sites to look for (and) what to look for in animal footprints when you’re scouting out the area.”

The week-long trip will reach its pinnacle at the summit of Pat O’Hara Mountain, a 9,971-foot peak northeast of Trout Peak in the Shoshone National Forest.

During their trip, campers will employ the seven principles of Leave No Trace, which are designed to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while nurturing a healthy environment.

Casner is a native of Sonora, Calif., but has lived all over the Golden State, where she was a lifetime Girl Scout, a group leader of the San Diego Girl Scout’s resident camp in Julian, and worked as a tour guide for Peak Adventure.

“I love working with kids and Girl Scouts made the biggest impact (on) my life so I like to return that impact to kids around here and show them all the awesome outdoor activities you can do and the friendships you can make,” Casner said. “I feel like you just become a better person if you push yourself out of your comfort zone for a little bit, whether it’s climbing up a vertical rock wall or hiking up a mountain.”

Campers will be transported via van by Northwest professor Keith McCallister.

Kids are to be dropped off at 8 a.m. and will be ready for pick-up at 4 p.m. in front of the Cabre Gym each day of both day camps.

A cap of 10 campers will be enforced for all three camps due to transportation restrictions. Wait lists will be created for kids wishing to attend full camps.

The two day-camps cost $165 each. Lunch will not be provided.

The overnight backpacking camp costs $250 and all food will be provided.

To register either visit the Powell Recreation office, its website (www.powellrec.com), call 754-5711 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

A deposit of 50 percent of the cost is due at registration. Refunds for cancellations are given up to two weeks before the first day of camp.

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