Fishing, archery among activities set for Saturday of Father’s Day weekend
It is a day of fishing, of archery, of eating lunch around a campfire.
It is the great outdoors, but with a greater calling, too.
Trout Camp 2018 is preparing for its big day, the Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend — June 16. This camp is designed, however, for children who do not have a dad in their lives.
Put on by Faith Outfitters, the camp is a way to give children with no positive male influences in their lives a chance to have a special day on that weekend.
“This can be a tough weekend for some of them,” said Dave Freund, who founded Faith Outfitters in 2013 to “reach people in our communities who otherwise may not pursue their faith.”
An avid outdoorsman, Freund started Faith Outfitters to share his love for God and the land.
“I grew up doing all of this stuff. I got to do this since I could walk. It was a huge part of my life,” Freund said. “It’s fun to tie something you are passionate about in with something else you are passionate about — ministry and helping kids.”
Trout Camp started in 2016 with just the idea of bringing at-risk youth to the outdoors for a day of fun.
Now in its third year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the fish at a private pond in Battle Ground, and the rest of the campsite is set up with several other activities, including a fish cleaning area.
Archery World helps out with instructions on how to shoot a bow at the archery range. There will be firearms safety instructors to show the safe handling of guns, using BB guns at this camp.
There are health screenings as well, including sight and hearing tests. For children who might need glasses, there is financial aid available.
A year ago, 35 children attended the camp.
“The biggest challenge that we have is getting the kids signed up for this thing,” Freund said. “We’re targeting 8- to 13-year-old boys and girls who either don’t have a father or a positive male role model in their life.”
Faith Outfitters does reach out to foster care providers, churches, schools and other non-profit organizations that work with at-risk youth. Faith Outfitters is hoping those who do sign up can do so by June 1, to help with preparation for the event.
For information on how to sign up, go to: http://www.faithoutfitters.net/events/trout-camp-2018/
Former Major League Baseball player and former Union baseball coach Tom Lampkin, also a part of Faith Outfitters, noted there is also a message of faith at the camp.
“We want to plant a seed that there is a God out there who loves them,” Lampkin said.
“It’s a message of hope,” Freund added.
While Freund was raised as an outdoorsman, Lampkin said he grew up as a city dweller who played baseball. The outdoors scene came to him much later in life. Now, he loves camping and hiking.
The two men also believe there is a bond between God and the land. They want children to appreciate that bond, too.
“A lot of kids don’t get the chance to experience the outdoors. That’s part of it, to experience the outdoors,” Freund said. “There is a connection there with our Creator.”
Among the sponsors for Trout Camp 2018 are: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Archery World, Real Living Real Estate Group, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Ridgefield Pioneer Marketplace, Righteous Clothing, StoneRidge Homes, Ballyhoo Print, and Bill Matthews Outdoors.