by Aimee McClinton
Bend Living Magazine  June 2005

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah …
Fill up the kids’ calendar with summer-camp activities.

LlFE THROWS CHANGES AT EACH GENERATION, but summer camp has held its own: It is still, for many kids, a cornerstone of childhood. Although eating s’mores and telling ghost stories around the campfire are as popular as ever-and pioneer homes are still constructed with Popsicle-stick siding and pinecone-scale shingles-summer camp has evolved.

Kids today have a slew of interesting choices when it comes to filling their summer calendar. Here we describe a few of the programs available in Central Oregon; keep in mind that many of them began registering children in the spring, so check as soon as possible for availability. Gather the kids, weigh the options-and maybe get in some early practice toasting marshmallows.
Coyote Tracks West.

At a young age, Tom Brown, Jr., understood what it meant to respect nature. Mentored by an Apache elder, he learned valuable outdoor-survival skills that he now shares worldwide. Brown has published 17 books, trained Navy SEALS and helped law enforce­ment locate missing children and hikers.

In 1978, Brown established his Tracker Schools to teach chil­dren and adults outdoor skills, with an emphasis on Native Ameri­can philosophy. Bend’s Joe Kreuzman, a friend and former student of Brown’s, was inspired to bring the program to Central Oregon as Coyote Tracks West.

The camp is opening its first summer season with weeklong programs running from June 19 to August 19. Kids ages 7 to 17 may sign up at the beginner stage and work their way to interme­diate and advanced levels. Camp is set in a southern Oregon wil­derness area, where children learn how to build shelters of natural materials, start fires with homemade bow drills, track a variety of wildlife and make primitive pottery.

“This is a lasting experience for kids,” says Kreuzman. “The program offers them a sense of confidence in who they are and where they stand in todays society.”