Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Youth Outdoors Unlimited:

Group offers hunting, fishing for area disabled youngsters


October 31, 2019

Zach Edge; Matt Edge; Duane Francisco

Zach Edge rides in a wheelchair provided by Youth Outdoors Unlimited accopanied by Matt Edge, left, and Duane Francisco.

On Oct. 17-19 Youth Outdoors Unlimited held one of its camps in Colfax to assist a child with their dream of deer hunting.

Two camps were in Colfax this year.

Founded in 2011, Youth Outdoors Unlimited is a central Washington based non-profit, giving those with life-threatening physical disabilities a chance to live their dream of hunting and fishing.

Deer and elk hunting are offered in the fall and bear hunting in the spring.

Y.O.U. Camps have been going on in Colfax since 2012.

Hunting in Colfax is on Tom and Cheryl Kammerzell's property with additional set up for volunteers at the fairgrounds.

Dave Martin, vice president on the board of directors for Y.O.U. and Colfax adventure leader, said this most recent camp went very well except for the inch of rain Saturday.

Martin mentioned preparation for these camps begins in the summer with planning and training. As time gets closer to the hunt the kids are picked to go to their selective camps.

"I try to learn as much about the kids as I can," Martin said. "I try to learn their likes, dislikes, things they like to do. We want this camp to be about them and accommodate them as much as we can."

Youth Outdoors Unlimited Executive Director Cindy Carpenter said they greatly appreciate the Kammerzell's willingness to help and also the support from the fairgrounds.

The mission statement for Y.O.U. is to provide fully funded and guided hunting or fishing adventures to youth diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and/or a physical disability. These adventures are completely free to the kids and their families through Y.O.U.'s fundraising efforts.

The trips put on by Y.O.U. are 100 percent funded by donations.

"These trips are 100 percent free to the child and their family," Carpenter said. "As an organization, we have camps going on for six months of the year and six months of fundraising."

Kids who are going on the trip get to pick the type of hunting they will do and meals for the entire trip. Also, included in each trip, the kids will go shopping, where Y.O.U. will get them all the gear they will need.

"We are hunting, so we can't always guarantee a harvest on every trip, but those kids who do get a harvest we will take the game and get the meat processed for them and give them their meat to enjoy," Carpenter said. "We also provide free taxidermy for these kids."

Fishing trips are typically one to two days, hunting trips range between one to three days.

"We've grown every year since we started," Carpenter stated. "This year we have 20 different trips going. When we started in 2011 we only had three trips that one year."

Every camp put on has just one kid hunting, with the help of up to 15 volunteers.

The first camp in Colfax this year had seven volunteers and the second had eight.

"We are very good at what we do and are adaptive to any kid and whatever their needs happen to be," Carpenter said. "We have adaptive equipment to help everyone."

Carpenter said the reasoning behind just one kid and up to 15 volunteers is to make the trip all about the kids.

"We don't do this for ourselves; it is all for the children," Martin said. "It is 100 percent about the kids for these volunteers. We are there for 12 days and all-in for the kids."


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