KAMO – ‘Tradition Forward’

This week’s column is about a (Kids and Mentors Outdoors) chapters in Wisconsin.

Saturday, Feb. 23

High 26, Low 14

Today I was supposed to be on Florence County’s Lake Emily helping The Northwoods’ Chapter of KAMO on what would have been a huge project. Together, with the support of Jay Glime, the owner of a local mill who donated enough 6-by-6-by-8-foot hemlock timbers, this chapter was going to - ery for local kids.

A local logger, Gordy McClain, had hauled the timbers to a boat landing on Lake Emily, and KAMO members and DNR employees had been preparing them for a couple of days for the big project.

Bad luck struck in a heavy way when 2 feet of snow sunk the ice, two plow trucks became stuck plowing the snow off the ice and there were 6 inches of water on the ice.

A truly heartbreaking decision was made to cancel the big day which would have been this chap- - ing. Instead of building cribs, 18 loads of timber were stored for next winter’s project.

Instead of driving 240 miles, my plan changed to driving 15 and heading over to The Meadow Valley Chapter’s (New Lisbon/ - eree which is held on our good friend Leo Moravek’s property that is on backwaters of the Lemonweir River.

Fourteen kids and several adults well as wrestling, and hide-andseek in the nearby river bottoms.

be perfectly honest, I was just as impressed to see these girls and boys entertain themselves in the great outdoors as I would have been had they caught a boat load

Meanwhile, KAMO member Anthony Larson, who is a La member of our newest chapter, The Coulee Chapter, was doing what I love to see and that was partaking in a “one-on-one” with 12-year-old Zach Schmidt.

Anthony and Zach spent a half - ern pike on the Mississippi River. The Coulee Chapter is 1 year-old and the sky is the limit for how large this chapter could eventually become.

Over in Sauk County my friends that run The Baraboo River Chap- private pond where last summer members of this chapter had some really good success. Today, the

Donna Wishowski and Jim Kurz, members of the Indianhead Chapter which is based in the Ladysmith area, had hopped held by the Ladysmith Lions Club and WRA (Wildlife Restoration Association).

The Indianhead Chapter had paid the $10 entry fee for six kids and from what I hear, this event were given away to kids. The day snowshoe races and a host of other events.

As you can see, KAMO (www.kamokids.org) is all over the map in Wisconsin and trying to get kids into the outdoors in a variety of ways.

On Sunday (Feb. 24), I was pulling into my driveway and I received a very important phone call. It was from George Meyer who was the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 1993 to 2001.

George is currently the executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation which represents 182 outdoor organizations throughout Wisconsin. My new pal, George, and I have been comparing notes impressed with KAMO.

George has been watching KAMO and yesterday joined our organization and will be at our state meeting on March 23 at Stevens Point and giving a talking on how he believes KAMO can grow and improve.

My buddy Jon Hilmer came up with our motto, which is “Tradition Forward!” One way or another, we will and have been meeting that goal. If you want to start a chapter, get a kid into the outdoors or be a mentor, check out the web site.

Be fun!


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