Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Explore the great North Valley

Galena camps full of adventure

Express Staff Writer

Galena Lodge is known and loved by adults for its cross-county ski trails and snowshoe loops as well as its summertime hiking and biking.

But kids can get in on the summer fun at Galena as well through the Lodge's summer youth camps.

For older kids, the Galena Lodge Youth Adventure Camp for ages 8-12 lives up to its name. Campers bike on the trails nearby. They raft, rock climb and swim while developing wilderness first aid and map reading skills.

Besides full-day camps, Galena Lodge offers two weeks of half-day camps for ages 6-8. They are from June 11-15 and June 18-22. Known as the Kids Camp, the program aims to prepare kids for the Adventure Camp while having kids explore Galena's yurts, make ice cream and swim at Easley Hot Springs.

Headquartered at Galena Lodge, 23 miles north of Ketchum, the action-based camps emphasize fun, safety and respect for the outdoors.

Campers explore Senate and Gladiator Meadows near the lodge. Kids are taught how to use the outdoors without damaging it, as well as how to make an incredible s'more!

Round-trip transportation is provided daily from Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum. So all parents need to do is drop their kids off, generally by 9 a.m., with pickup at 4 p.m. Lunch and snacks are provided in the cost. Half-day camps run from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Eight weekly full-day camp sessions ($395 per person per week) are offered. Full-day camps are offered weekly from June 25 through Aug. 17.

The half-day programs are only offered for two weeks, from June 11-15 and June 18-22. Cost is $250 for the week, including lunch and transportation from Hemingway.

Call 726-4010 for an information packet or visit to download the camp brochure.

Youth Scholarship Fund

Continuing in 2012 is the Galena Lodge Youth Scholarship Fund, in its sixth year. Generous donors have in the past enabled five kids to attend camp on full scholarships and three on partial scholarships annually.

Potential donors are asked to sponsor a child with a $395 gift, with 100 percent of contributions going into the scholarship fund through the Blaine County Recreation District.

"Our goal is to reserve two spaces every week for these children, focusing our efforts on encouraging and recruiting youth who have never been able to consider the Galena Camp," wrote Galena Lodge proprietors Don Shepler and Erin Zell in a fundraising letter. "We will ask school social workers and other community members to recommend eligible families."

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