I know that I am totally blessed and get to do a lot of cool stuff through no talent of my own. I get to conduct seminars in 'Vegas at the SHOT Show, Safari Club International Convention, and all kinds of events from Texas up to 'Vegas and on up to Alaska. But getting to help at the Scooters Youth Hunting Camp is hands down, the coolest event that I get to do all year and it is right here in little ol' Emmett, Idaho.

Due to more than generous sponsors like Smith’s Consumer Products, Riton Optics, Knives of Alaska, Spyderco, Swab-Its, Alps Mountaineering, Blue Lizard, Otis, 5.11, MyTopoMaps and way too many other companies and volunteer help to mention, the kids get to attend the camp for free.

I first got acquainted with the Scooter's camp years ago when my wife, who is a school teacher, told me that she had signed up two kids for something called SYHC and I had to take them to it. It occurs the first Saturday in May.

Spring time is magical in Idaho. Whistle pig hunting is in full swing, crappie fishing is red hot, bear hunting is getting warmed up and what about Idaho’s No. 1 delicacy — the morel mushroom, which is popping up!

Well, I was doomed. She’d already signed me up. But, after attending the camp I was all in and have been a volunteer since I think 2004 or 2005. It is the coolest camp in the world, and your kid would love it. In the beginning you mailed in a registration but it got so popular that we had to go to an online registration. It fills up with 250 kids in 1 minute and 47 seconds.

A few of the general rules:

  • The Camp will be held Saturday, May 1, at the Gem County Rod & Gun Club.
  • The Camp is limited to children ages 9 to 16. (Kids must be at least 9 years old and no older than 16 by May 1.)
  • The cellphone number you provide must be a reliable emergency number for the day of the camp.
  • SYHC provides all guns, bows and ammunition — please leave yours at home.
  • This camp is covered by the media and there are photographers — do not sign up if this poses a risk for your child. 
  • Camp will be held come rain or shine. 

Here’s the camp format. Check in at the designated time. Say the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer is said and kids hit the stations. There are six stations:

  • Blackpowder Range 
  • .22 Range
  • Archery Range 
  • Survival Station 
  • Trap Range
  • Knife Sharpening/Gun Cleaning Station 

The kids hit a station and then re-group in the commons area and a seminar is given by a local Prostaff member. They are great seminars. I always learn something at them. They then rotate to the next station.

Snacks are provided all day but at lunch a group of volunteers serve us hotdogs and burgers. The food is donated by local stores as well as the water, buns, chocolate milk and the list goes on. But the highlight for little Tommie is that HeBrews coffee in Emmett brings in a donut wagon. Not that I have frequent flying status with but I have my own donut lane and if anyone gets in the way of me and the cinnamon sugar donuts well, let’s just say, they’re going to be visiting Rob at the Survival Station for medical attention. (JK)

Then at the end of the event we have what is Scott’s favorite time — The Kid’s Drawing! I know companies are in business to make money and they donate for advertisement and so forth but still, every year I am overcome by their generosity. The gifts the kids win aren’t rinky-dink finger pulling toys. Nope, all manner of cool outdoor gifts are given out to the kids. Even hunts and fishing trips are given out.

To help support the camp there is a raffle table to raffle off a few donated items. Every year there are numerous items that I bid on. The raffle table alone is worth an adult coming for.

I could write another 1,500 words but you get my drift. This is the coolest camp in the world. You ought to sign your kid up. Registration opens at 10 a.m. on April 1. Good luck.

You can contact Tom at tomclaycomb3rd@gmail.com.

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