Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Living in harmony with nature

Organization plans fundraiser for eco-retreat on Big Lost River

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy photo Idaho BaseCamp is located on 13 acres of waterfront on the Big Lost River below Mount Borah, the tallest peak in Idaho.

Idaho BaseCamp is a facility dedicated to education, creative expression and the development of a sustainable relationship with nature. Its aim is to expand understanding and create a working consciousness for the environment, community and self.

As stewards of the land, Idaho BaseCamp's primary mission will be to teach people how to live in balance with the environment in a nature-based classroom setting. In the building of an eco-retreat center on the Big Lost River east of Ketchum, Idaho BaseCamp wants to create a space where healing arts and experiential education are at the forefront.

Idaho BaseCamp is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization that will seek education and environmental grants.

A fundraiser for Idaho BaseCamp will take place on Sunday, Aug. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. south of Ketchum off state Highway 75. For directions and details, call 309-3076 or e-mail

This brunch event will be a family-friendly afternoon with games for kids including a scavenger hunt. In addition, the fundraising event will have live music, food by chef Ric Lum and libations. Games will be organized by Mountain Adventure Tours and a silent auction will include a river trip, 5B skis, a private stay at Idaho BaseCamp with meals and fly-fishing, and a weekend at a cabin on Pettit Lake.

< "We will unveil the master plan for Idaho BaseCamp at the event," said Mat Gershater, BaseCamp chief executive. "And, we are selling bricks for a walkway at Idaho BaseCamp with donor names printed on them."

Idaho BaseCamp plans to have many roles, especially to get kids excited about environmental education.

"It offers a place to reconnect with the outdoors," said event organizer Whitney McNee. "It will be built as a sustainable four-season and year-round facility."

"What makes Idaho BaseCamp unique is how close it is to Sun Valley, which has a lot of influence, and it can also have regional use by Blaine County and Custard County organizations," Gershater said.

Idaho BaseCamp wants to operate 40 out of 52 weeks per year as an educational facility with the look and feel of an upscale spa retreat center. The design and construction of the facility will include renewable energy sources, organic gardens, "breathing" walls and water-purification systems.

Idaho BaseCamp would like to attract universities, public- and private-school students, continuing education for professionals and people seeking self-awareness and environmental education. It plans to be available for private workshop and conferences.

This year, the organizations festival will take place at Idaho BaseCamp Sept.17-19, with live music by Ethan Tucker.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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