KAMO is a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization that gets kids off their earbuds and into the outdoors. Never before has there been such a substantial need for adults to pass their outdoor skills on to a younger generation that has become disconnected with nature.
KAMO has 5 chapters - Florence, Ladysmith, New Lisbon, Baraboo, La Crosse/ Onalaska. Kamokids.org is the group's website and provides details, contact information and photos of the group's activities.
KAMO is unique in that members of the group plan, organize, and finance activities year around. These activities can be done one on one, small or large group. KAMO mentors are encouraged to contribute the time what they can comfortably give and are not pushed for more. KAMO has been popular and can always use new mentors who bring their ideas and energy to the group. The La Crosse group I'm a memeber of could use some people for Learn to Hunts or other mentored hunting experiences for events on the river and local Mississippi Valley properties. We are open to someone who may have horses or places to camp as that is what our kids are asking for.I will try to post our activities on here once in a while.
Pictures taken off the Best Dam Fishing Float near Dresbach on September 10th, 2023. A KAMO/ BBBS outing. The home made Sneakeasy boat was made in Alaska, hauled to Wisconsin, used by one of our mentors for general transport and shuttling passengers back and forth,
The La Crosse Chapter - Coulee, held an internet field day at the Omni Center on Saturday, September 2nd. It was a mixture of KAMOKIDS, parents, the general public. These classes are in high demand - it is the one day event following the online course. Having been an instructor for over 20 years, I was skeptical about an online, then one day exposure. I became certified IFD, had someone from the state help our group do the first class. Never looked back - have run over a dozen IFDs since. From January 1st, 2023 to July 5th, 2023, 7,050 people graduated from hunter ed statewide. 4,296 from a traditional class and 912 from an IFD. That total comes from 318 total classes. 243 traditional, 75 IFD. Statistics from summer edition of the Wisconsin Hunter Education Newsletter.
During a trip to the Best Dam Fishing Float on Friday, June 16th, mentor Fritz Funk brought 3 kids from the Pool 7 to the float on Pool 8 through the locks. This boat he made during a wildlife career in Alaska, brought it via AlCan and other roads to his home area of Brice Prairie by trailer. If you do a Google on "Fritz Funk boat" you'll see some interesting articles on home made boats. The fishing was slow on the float. The scenery was spectacular. Our next gig is to go to a local rod and gun club to get ready for fall hunting.
The La Crosse chapter is looking for ideas about a meeting location where we could have campfires and snacks a couple times per month. Parks have potential, but if the group isn't camped there, fires might not be allowed. Somebody living in town that has a big lot with a fire ring might be a place.
One of our long time, dedicated mentors passed away recently and his workmates put on a benefit for his family at the American Legion in Onalaska on 5-29-23. Why I didn't take a picture of our beautiful KAMO trailer in front of the building where the event was held is exactly why I fired myself from being chapter photographer years ago. Here's a couple other shots though.
The Coulee Chapter has been doing some open water fishing on the kids days off of school for Easter Break. We've been going to a backwater slough on Lake Onalaska. The pelicans have been present in large numbers. No pelican pics, just kids. Today's kids were older - they were from the Good Fight Community Center in La Crosse. It's not about the size of the fish. For two of these kids, it was their first.
Coulee Chapter collaborated with U.W. La Crosse Fishing Club on Lake Onalaska on February 18th. 11 kids, 3 parents, 6 fishing club members, 2 KAMO mentors. Fishing was slow at first, but bluegills and perch were on the feed later.