Kids and Mentors Outdoors (KAMO)
The latest from Coulee
Saturday, March 24th - Indoor Rock Climbing Event - Wabasha Recreation Center, La Fayette Street, Winona, Mn. Options are to meet there or car pool out of the Onalaska Public Library Parking lot. Car poolers will depart the lot at 12:30 P.M. The plan is to climb for a couple hours and arrive back in La Crosse at about 3:30 - 3:45.
You will need a waiver for any child climbers. General information. https://www.winona.edu/outdoor/climbing-center.asp
Questions and/or to RSVP, Lead - contact Justine Marshall at 402-680-7351/ firstname.lastname@example.org She can have the waiver forms for you that day, but you need to ask her in advance.
This is the same day as the State Convention, so some of our mentors will be there. Open to KAMO/ BBBS.
*Saturday or Sunday, April 7-8 -Rod and Gun Club Outing. Date, location, and time TBD. This is an open event for the general KAMO group and other people interested in trying out KAMO. Lead - Randy Hines - 608-304-2712
*Saturday/ Sunday, April 14-15 - Spring Park Intro/ Camping trip - McMullen County Park, 1703 Atlantic Road, Warrens. This is a park intro trip. There will be both a park intro/ camping group and a KAMO turkey hunting group using the campground (and leaving to an adjacent wildlife area for hunting). There will be no firearm exposure or use in McMullen. The camping portion is open to the general KAMO population/ BBBS who are eligible, or other people interested in trying out KAMO. McMullen is our project/ recreational campground. You can come and go if you just want to participate and look around for a while. Two lakes, hiking trails including a bluff view of the area, extra large campsites, toilets, showers. Lead - Mike Brown - email@example.com
*Saturday, April 28th - KAMO/ BBBS LA Crosse Archery Kids Archery Day. Saturday, April 28th, 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M. Bring a kid or learn to shoot yourself. Lead - Randy Hines - Open to the general public/ KAMO/ BBBS.. Lead - Randy Hines - 608-304-2712
Saturday, May 5th - Genoa Fish Hatchery Interpretative Center Grand Opening (in lieu of the GFH Kids Fishing Day). Time TBD. . Open to KAMO/ BBBS/ general public. Lead - Mike Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Saturday, June 2nd - KAMO Kids Fishing Day - Lake Onalaska.. Time and location TBD. Leads - Randy Hines - 608-304-2712/ Mike Brown - email@example.com Open to KAMO/ BBBS/ general public.
Things are pretty cold and slow around Ladysmith. Maple sap barely running for a couple of hours a day. Snow still 15 inches deep. Something got into my box trap, strong enough to bend it open and get out. No eagles on the nest. Big deer tracks near my house--will look for sheds! Here is the third of Donna's articles on KAMO--KAMO Through the eyes of a Youth:
Why would any youth want to join KAMO? Why do kids want to join anything? Usually the reasons include: fun, your friends are there, you get to do cool things, it is free and sometimes there is good food! These are exactly the type of things KAMO events have to offer youth and their families. The KAMO outdoor events are fun…like fishing, moonlight hikes where you find cool things to look at with a digital microscope and laptop and Klondike days learning winter survival skills. KAMO events are free and open to everyone, you can bring your friends! KAMO events almost always include cool food like pudgy pies or hot dog roasts and s’mores!
What is expected of a Youth in KAMO? KAMO suggests youth be at least 8 years old or if younger they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents complete KAMO Youth forms with contact, medical and emergency information and a KAMO youth waiver. Youth are welcome to attend all KAMO events as their schedule permits. Family members are always welcome to attend events too. Preferably transportation is provided by the family, however, special arrangements can be made if necessary.
What benefits are there in KAMO for the Youth? KAMO events offer youth and their families an opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor experiences. KAMO Mentors have taken a parent and child on a first hunting outing for both parent and child! Youth have been taught not only how to catch a fish but how to make their own baits, clean and then cook their fish!
Youth have been taught kayaking and canoeing on our famous Flambeau and Chippewa rivers that up until that day, they had only crossed on bridges. Youth have seen planets and learned various constellations on the moonlight hikes. KAMO has hosted the Wisconsin Bird-a-thon for the past several years. Many youth can now identify birds by specie name or bird call. How do youth benefit from KAMO…youth benefit by introduction to a variety of events that offer a lifetime of adventure in our great outdoors.
How do I get my child involved in KAMO? Rusk County area Indianhead KAMO chapter will be hosting an open house, Tuesday March 27th at the V.M.A. Center, 508 Summit Ave. in Ladysmith at 6:00 p.m. A 20 minute presentation on KAMO will be given followed by questions. Light snacks will be served. You and your family are welcome to join us. For more information check out www.kamokids.org and research the Indianhead Chapter.
A sneak peak at Coulee KAMO's Upcoming Activity List (still under construction):
KAMO Spring/ Tentative Summer 2018 Event Schedule
If you are interested in any of these activities, contact the lead. We need to know in advance of your interest for planning purposes. KAMO generated events are asterisked.
Waiting to hear back about river clean up date in April and from the American Standardbred Adoption Program (ASAP - a horse ranch near Desoto) about filling in some gaps - March 17th, 31st (Easter weekend), April 21st.
*Saturday or Sunday, April 7-8 -Rod and Gun Club Outing. Date, location, and time TBD. This is an open event for the general KAMO group and other people interested in trying out KAMO. Lead - Randy Hines - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Saturday/ Sunday, April 14-15 - Youth Turkey Hunt/ camping trip. Cataract location with one group. Another group will camp at McMullen County Park near Warrens and hunt in Meadow Valley Wildlife Area. The camping portion is open to open to the general KAMO population/ BBBS who are eligible, or other people interested in trying out KAMO. McMullen is our project/ recreational campground. Two lakes, hiking trails including a bluff view of the area, extra large campsites, toilets, showers. The park is separated from local hunting areas by a boundary zone (hunting pressure will be very light in the area to begin with).
*Saturday, April 28th - LA Crosse Archery Kids Archery Day. Date and time TBD. Was from 12:00 - 3:00 last year. Lead - Randy Hines - email@example.com Open to the general public/ KAMO/ BBBS.
Saturday, May 5th - Genoa Fish Hatchery Interpretative Center Grand Opening (in lieu of the GFH Kids Fishing Day). Open to KAMO/ BBBS/ general public. Lead - Mike Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Saturday, June 2nd - KAMO Kids Fishing Day - Lake Onalaska.. Time and location TBD. Leads - Randy Hines - email@example.com/ Mike Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org Open to KAMO/ BBBS/ general public
*McMullen Park - Camping/ park Clean up Activity -Date and time TBD, but possibly week of June 18th. This is a fantastic facility with large campsites - all electric, two lakes nearby, lots of public use land with trails, showers, flush toilets, a store, village, and resort within a mile. Lead - Mike Brown - email@example.com Open to KAMO/ BBBS (overnights depend on criteria)/ anyone wanting to sample KAMO.
* Lock and Dam #7 Tour/ Best Dam Fishing Float combo outing - Week of June 11th. Lead - Mike Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org Open to KAMO/ BBBS/ anyone wanting to try out KAMO
*Possible Hunter’s Education class - Depends on interest in group .Lead - Mike Brown - email@example.com Open to KAMO/ BBBS if meet requirement
*Boat or shore fishing - Upon request. Leads - Mike Hodgins - firstname.lastname@example.org/ Mike Brown - email@example.com. Open to KAMO/BBBS/ anyone wanting to try oot KAMO.
Cold windy day, around freezing temp. No maple sap flowing, no eagle on the nest--must mean no egg, no chick--maybe no mate? No snow buntings either, probably on their way north.
Did trap another raccoon last night. Will save the head for my KAMO friend Steve who gives a great presentation on Wisconsin skulls and furs.
I attach a report on why people like being a KAMO mentor, from KAMO friend Donna:
Why would anyone want to be a KAMO Mentor? Here are a few responses from a few of the Mentors interviewed. Charmaine Johnson said, “Watching the kids discover the joy and wonder of nature opens my eyes up to new discoveries”. Floyd Kahl stated, “Outdoor activities are so much fun with kids”. Corwyn Blackwell says, “The opportunity to give back. I was a boy scout and those adults taught me the love of the outdoors. I want to pass that on”.
What is expected of a KAMO Mentor? KAMO Mentors are at least 18 years old. Potential Mentors provide information for a background check. They read and follow KAMO policies. KAMO annual Mentor dues are $15.00/yr for an individual and $25.00/yr for a couple. These dues help cover the cost of liability insurance. Attendance at monthly KAMO meetings is expected. These meetings are held at Flambeau River Outfitters the first Monday of each month beginning at 7 p.m. It is at these meetings Mentors plan and organize the monthly KAMO events.
How can I contribute to KAMO as a Mentor? The best part of joining a group of adults who love the outdoors is sharing your passion and exploring and learning more about the passion of other Mentors. Charmaine’s passion was kayaking, which KAMO has done with many kayaking events. However, since joining KAMO , Charmaine has shot a turkey, caught fish through the ice and become certified in Hunter Safety!!! Floyd’s passion was canoeing, again KAMO has done many canoe trip events. However, he has also learned to enjoy ‘pudgy pies’, moonlight hikes and archery events!! Corwyn’s passion is conservation. As a new Mentor in the Indianhead KAMO Chapter he contributes conservation ideas into the 2018 event plans. He looks forward to learning more about the skills and passions of other Mentors in the group. This is the best part of being a KAMO Mentor…YOU have the OPPORTUNITY to not only share your passion but have an entire group of outdoor enthusiasts to help you organize an event to ‘pass your passion’ on to others!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of getting involved with KAMO? Corwyn says, “Absolutely, it is so important. You will get what you put into it but it has the potential for being one of the most rewarding things you can do.” Floyd said, “Just do it! Don’t put it off. Seeing a kid get excited over a nice fish, shooting a bird, discovering the big dipper, there is nothing better!” Charmaine states, “Come check it out. You can start slow and join at your comfort level. Not every event we do is for everyone. You can be as involved as you want to be. Try it out! Maybe just start as an activity volunteer.”
Rusk County area Indianhead KAMO chapter will be hosting an open house, Tuesday, March 27th at the V.M.A. Center, 508 Summit Ave. in Ladysmith at 6:00 p.m. A 20 minute presentation on KAMO will be given followed by questions. Light snacks will be served. Potential Mentors/Activity Volunteers, Parents and Youth are invited.
Next weeks feature: KAMO through the eyes of the Youth.
Small KAMO group went down to the Lawrence Lake Marina Take a Kid Fishing Tournament. My pics not the best. The fishing stunk, but the kids came home with lots of candy loot from playing the ring toss and minnow race games. Left hand pic from the BBBS Catered for Kids event at the Waterfront building where some Big/ KAMO hybrids were recognized for their efforts. Hybrid means they are both a big and a KAMO mentor to a child. Pictured is big "good Mike". Not pictured is big "bad Mike".
As I left home this morning at about 10:30, a flock of about 20 snow buntings flew in kind of a circle around my car, like I have often seen. So the solitary bunting from yesterday found company! How did that happen? Is this an agreed upon meeting place? As Iris DeMent sings, I'll just let that mystery be.
On my evening stroll to the eagle nest, a single hen turkey ran through the corn field--again strange, w/o chicks, without a flock. Heard a pileated woodpecker, the big, redheaded one. No eagle at the nest, but crows flying by, high. Usually, chick or egg in the nest, there is always at least one eagle; another mystery.
Caught and killed a raccoon 2 days ago with fish skeleton as bait; this morning the cage was closed and on its side; there are at least 3 more coon around. Low prices, but will sell the hides. I'm trying to protect my summer corn crop. I've got a picture of a bobcat in the same area--that's why I'm using a cage trap.
On the way back from the eagle nest, I saw tufts of deer hair near deer tracks--Do they start losing their winter coat in March?
I am a member of KAMO Indianhead Chapter, those of us around Ladysmith WI. All of KAMO is working on how we can expand each chapter and add new chapters around Wisconsin. More on how we can do that next month, but I'd love to hear your ideas.
This evening at about 4 p.m. I decided to test my sprained ankle by hiking the half mile to the eagle nest--I thought I might have heard an eagle chick chirping earlier. On the road there, between open fields, I saw a single snow bunting, flashy black and white, robin sized bird. I have often seen flocks of about 20 in the same spot as they migrate north. As a flock, it is an impressive sight in the waning sunlight because their white wings are so shiny that it seems all you see are the wings as they do their synchronized performance. This one by itself seemed pretty lonely--is it lost? or waiting? It didn't seem injured.
With no leaves this time of year I stopped at the first good view of the eagle nest and put up my binoculars. Eagles often lay eggs in January but especially by the end of February, and I have seen them around. But the nest was empty. The chicks, if present, are too small to be visible during the first month, but I looked anyway. In about 2 minutes a beaautiful eagle swooped into the side of the nest, pecked around for 2 minutes and left. It was a warm day, still about 35 degrees F, so maybe mama eagle didn't need to keep chicks or eggs warm. Or maybe it's not egg laying time yet. I'll keep checking!
On the way back, the snow bunting was still there--why do they like that open field area? I read that they summer in the arctic.
Jim for the outdoors and KAMO
Picture from KAMO founder Mark Walters return Odyssey to Lake Onalaska. He brought a friend on this trip. Hard work and determination often times yields good luck - he camped on the ice for three days. You can catch the details of this and other adventures by going to "An Outdoorsman's Journal" on your browser.