Daniel Klinke and Karl Lutz, two 12-year-old boys from rural Taylors Falls, recently spent five days soaking up all things outdoors at Deep Portage Learning Center in Hackensack.
They were in one of two groups in the Upland Bird Category, or so-called “Bird Camp,” by the Chisago County Pheasants Forever Chapter, which paid for the two $400 registrations. Both boys and girls attended.
“We learned how to navigate through woods with just a compass and map,” Lutz said. “We also learned how to build fires safely and make shelters from materials in the woods.”
The boys honed their shooting skills at the camp, too.
“We shot sporting clays targets using 20-gauge guns of our choice provided by the camp,” Klinke added. “Karl shot a semi-automatic, and I shot over-and-under and side-by-side double barrels.”
They also enjoyed a day at nearby Pine Shadows Kennel and training facility, where they watched Irish Setter, German Shorthair Pointer and English Springer Spaniel bird dogs in action and had a chance to shoot skeet.
The National Pheasants Forever organization has a program called “No child left inside.” Its goal: to get kids off their couches, computers and other technological gadgets and into the outdoors for more fun and healthier bodies.
For these two youngsters, the organization’s program hit a home run. “We had a blast,” Lutz said.
“And we’d recommend it for any young person,” Klinke added.