Hunting camp for kids celebrates 15th year

Posted at 5:32 PM, May 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-08 20:21:21-04
The first Saturday of May every year is Scooter's Youth Hunting Camp, a one day camp for kids aged 9-16 at the Gem County Rod and Gun Club in Emmett.
"They get to shoot shotguns, muzzleloaders, .22 rifles, and archery," explained founder 'Scooter' Scott McGann. "They get introduced to duck calling, turkey calling, elk calling, and goose calling. They do a session on how to sharpen their own knives, how to clean their own guns, then they go through an outdoor survival class where they get to learn how to make fire and how to survive if they ever got lost in the wilderness."
15 years ago when Scooter started the camp, he had to beg to borrow guns from his friends just to be able to put the camp on. 
Now, nearly 5,000 kids have attended the Scooter's Youth Hunting Camp, and they own all of their own equipment. 
"We've just grown so much of just blessing of huge sponsors, that have given us the ability to spoil kids for the day," said McGann.
It was started as a way to get kids of single parents out into nature. 
"I was raised by a single mom that we didn't have a lot, in fact we had next to nothing. When I had the vision for this camp I knew right away it was going to be a no charge camp because I wanted to do it  where a kid like me wanted to go shoot a shotgun or a muzzleloader didn't have to pay to do it," explained McGann.
Now there is even an 'Orange Army' made up of around 200 volunteers, many of whom are certified instructors who donated their time to make sure safety is the number one priority.
At the end of the day, Scooter raffled off nearly $15,000 worth of outdoor gear, all to kids for free. 
"I want the kids to go away with a memory of the hunting and the fishing and the shooting, but I want them to go away with something cool, too," said McGann. 
Scooter is preparing for next year's camp. To learn more about how you can get involved and become part of the 'Orange Army' click here.