Local Support Makes Camp Programs Possible

We recently received an anonymous donation with a request to list it “In memory of Brad Matson,” which is appreciated and bittersweet. Brad was such a great supporter of Extension programming and we really miss his support and engagement. The photo above was taken at the 2017 Outpost Camp, which Brad enjoyed volunteering at each summer.

Iron County Summer Youth Camp (ICSYC) has become the highlight of many of our area young people’s summers. Whether they are in the 3rd grade and heading off to camp for the first time or in 5th grade and wrapping up their ICSYC experience, camp has become something that our counties young people look forward to every year.

As the Camp Director for the past 7 years, it is certainly my favorite week of the year. It is because of my camp experience as a child that I got into the field of Youth Development and where I made friendships that have lasted me a lifetime. It is my goal to pass that experience on to Iron County youth. Our second summer camp program, Outpost Camp, is designed to build leaders and develop the camper’s self-confidence. We want to prepare them to be leaders in their school and throughout their community. Youth in grades 6-8 learn to problem solve, work together and develop their critical thinking skills throughout the week as they prepare their own meals, participate in leadership activities, and socialize with their friends.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best high school camp staff and have been impressed with their dedication to the camp that they love. The high school students help me plan the camp and have taken ownership in this experience and the experience we work together to create for our campers. Since camp was not able to be held last year due to concerns about Covid-19 I hope everyone else is as excited as me to continue the camp traditions of the past and create new traditions moving forward. Last year was the first summer that I didn’t attend a summer camp since I was 7 years old and I can’t wait to see the busses arrive, hear the kids singing campfire songs, and smell the scent of bug spray in the air.

I am a firm believer in the impact that summer camp has on young people. We couldn’t offer this experience for our youth without community support. Any amount you can give is very much appreciated and will be used to enhance the camp experience for our youth. As we work our way through the pandemic and get a better understanding of what our summer programs will look like it is always great to see the continued support of our youth. We have recently received a substantial donation from a long time supporter in the amount of $1000.00. The donation was made in honor of former county board member and advocate for outdoor education, Brad Mattson. We thank you for this contribution.

To anyone else considering supporting Iron County Summer Youth Camp, we THANK YOU in advance. I’ve shared our 2021 Iron County Summer Youth Camp donor request letter below for your convenience.

Iron County Summer Youth Camp Donor Letter

Thank you to the area businesses and individuals who have donated to the 2021 Iron County Summer Youth Camp: Aukee Chiropractic, Chippewa Valley Bank, Mark Fedora & Laura Scotford-Fedora, Future Plumbing LLC (Holly & Marcus Swartz), Henry & Noreen Gilbertson, Iron County Community Credit Union, Iron Nugget, Robert Jacquart, Mercer Lions Club, Anonymous Donor (In Memory of Brad Matson), Paul & Joyce Mullard, Ofstad Sales & Service, Quality Collision, Twin City Dairy, Wes Nasi Construction LLC, Excel Energy. 
*The list above will be updated as donations are received (last update 4/1/2021).

Neil Klemme
Extension Iron County, 4-H Youth Development Educator
300 Taconite Street, Suite 118
Hurley, WI 54534
Phone: 715-561-2695
Email: neil.klemme@wisc.edu