“Take Your Kids Hunting So You Don’t Have to Hunt for Your Kids!”
Gets youngsters off the streets, out of the malls
and into the great outdoors!
In the history of the hunting/shooting sports, the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids may be the greatest hunting story never told—or at least not covered by the majority of the hunting press.
If recruitment of new hunters is indeed a committed goal by the hunting community, then TNKFK is one platform to have cracked the code. To put it in perspective, a recent TNKFK in Nebraska sold out in just six hours. Parents stayed up until midnight to begin registering their children on line. By 6am on the first day, all 100 slots were gone. And the waiting list is almost as large.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Tim Oran of the Papillion, Nebraska Parks & Recreation. “We always start taking calls from parents literally months before registration—which is literally months before the actual event. By far, the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is one of the most sought-after programs, by both parents and kids, of any youth event we’re involved with.”
“I started our Kamp in 1989 with a simple goal—to introduce kids to the great outdoors,” said founder Ted Nugent. “I made a promise to Fred Bear before he passed away that I would get kids involved. And here we are nearly 30 years later.”
TNKFK President, Kevin Markt, not only runs the Nebraska Kamp, he has provided hands-on archery instruction to more than 15,000 kids in Nebraska schools and at other events.
“Kevin Markt is a volunteer stormtrooper for all things good. He is one of the best of the best,” said Nugent.
The Nebraska Kamp is a one-day event providing fundamental outdoor instruction to kids aged 8-15. The core of the instruction focuses on archery, fishing, BB gun shooting, first aid, and traditional forms of conservation such as trapping and game calling. It’s Safety First, Fun Second, said volunteer Paul Milone.
Experts in each of the instruction areas provide the one-hour instruction blocks to the youth. “We stress the fundamentals in a fun way. We have contests to determine who catches the biggest fish, is the best BB gun shot, and the best archer, and we then award medals. The competition can get pretty intense and fun,” said Milone.
“We follow the KISS principle – keep it simple stupid. You have to reach a balance by trying to find just the right amount of necessary instruction and then letting the kids just have fun for the remaining time by flinging arrows, shooting BB guns, etc.,” said Markt.
Gary Brunberg is a certified bowhunter education instructor, and has taught archery to Nebraska Kampers for more than 12 years. “There are things each of us can do to reach out to kids. All it takes is a little dedication and commitment to make a big difference in a young person’s life.”
“I’ve been hunting and fishing for over 35 years and realize the future is not in my hands but in the hands of the young people, the new hunters, trappers and fishermen. If we fail to reach and recruit them, then we have failed as conservationists, and I don’t subscribe to failure,” said Jeff Micek, TNKFK mentor.
“I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone were still around, they’d be instructors at our Kamp,” said Nugent.
When lunchtime rolls around, there’s no drive thru in sight. The Kamp menu includes wild game meat and fish, in addition to traditional camping fare. “I like cooking wild game and fish to serve the kids and staff,” said Mike Trummer, Kamp Cook. “This shows the kids how we utilize the game and fish that Nebraska has to offer.”
Yearly Kamps are also held in Iowa, South Dakota and Colorado. Carol Ashurst of the Colorado Bowhunters Association has also organized and hosted Ted Nugent Kamps. “We are losing our youth little by little to video games, television, drugs, alcohol—you name it. Colorado is a state filled with outdoor opportunities and yet we are seeing participation in them steadily decline. Camps such as the TNKFK provide us an avenue to pass on our outdoor passion and instill the hunting and fishing tradition that we all live for,” said Ashurst.
The real proof of whether TNKFK is a success or not comes from those who attend. One young TNKFK participant summed it up best: “This was way cool!”
Nugent makes it a point to personally attend as many Kamp sessions as possible. “While my schedule does not permit me to attend all of the events, I take this stuff very personally. Our Kamp for Kids matters. It changes young lives for the better,” said Ted.
In addition to providing hands on instruction, Nugent also performs a campfire rendition of his popular hunt songs, and talks to Kampers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. “It is impossible to have fun by poisoning your sacred temple with dope and booze. I get high by sitting 20 feet up in a tree with my bow and arrows,” quipped the lifelong outdoorsman.
Nugent also believes introducing kids to the outdoors provides an excellent way to introduce them to physical fitness. “We have a pandemic of childhood obesity. Getting kids involved in the outdoors ultimately gets them involved in hiking, climbing trees and other physical pursuits that will make them healthier. TNFKF may be the first step on this critical life-long journey of a healthy, wealthy and wise lifestyle,” stated Nugent.
“I’m not interested in plaques, praise, banquets or awards. I’m only interested in results,” states Nugent. “I get all the rocket fuel motivation I need to keep moving forward when a smiling young kid comes up to me at Kamp and says he or she can’t wait to go fishing or hunting.”
“Kamp for Kids is the ultimate experience for kids!
This generation needs more time in the wood and less time inside or on the streets!”
“My nephew was one of the campers, and he had a great time! This is such an amazing testimony to the positive effects we can have on our youth.”
“God bless you, Ted. You & Shemane are an inspiration for us all.”
“My son said it was a blast and would definitely go again. He said the archery was his favorite.”
“We had five older kids that came back as mentors for this year’s Kamp, because they wanted to give back.”
“My kids had a blast! The 1st thing Emily said was “Can you sign me up for next year?! Thanks for putting on a great camp!”
Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is celebrating its 26th Season. We’ve just wrapped our sold out TNKFK Nebraska event, and Iowa is sold out as well!
We believe it’s important for kids to experience “life beyond the pavement.” Our wildly popular Kamps teach the universally inspiring mystical flight of the arrow archery discipline, the aim small miss small discipline of firearms safety marksmanship, basic first aid, survival skills and so much more! It’s about teaching these kids to be assets to their lives, their families, their communities and nature.
A Huge Nuge SALUTE to all for making our 2016 Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids the best EVER!
Gonzo thanks to our dedicated volunteers, and to all our Kampers!
You make us proud!
Donations of sporting goods and supplies are now being accepted. If you would like to sponsor a child, or make a tax-deductible contribution, make your check or money order payable to: Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, 4008 W. Michigan Avenue, Jackson, MI 49202.
Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids was founded by Mr. Nugent in 1990. The Goal: To get kids out of the malls, off the streets, away from drugs and crime, and into the woods. It’s where we belong, and the best place to teach a child about morals and ethics, and our role as caring humans to manage and respect the wildlife around us.
Originally focused on Archery, the Kamp for Kids has expanded to encompass many forms of outdoor recreation. Currently, Kamp sessions are a one day, 8 hour “immersion” event, taught in an outdoor class-format. Children aged 8-15 are taught the basics of Archery, Air guns, Fishing, Trapping, Sling Shots, Wildlife Calling, Outdoor Survival and First Aid, along with the history of man and beast coexisting. Kampers don’t just listen to an instructor–they get to participate in these activities! Marksmanship fundamentals and SAFETY are the rule in everything we teach. Based on the thousands of letters we’ve received from past Kampers, each and every youngster leaves the Kamp as better, more informed, and more aware young person.
We are currently holding Kamp for Kids events on a yearly basis in Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado and South Dakota. Ted attends as many Kamps as possible, to personally present his upbeat pro-hunting, anti-drug message and provide musical inspiration via a special “campfire performance” for the youngsters.
How You Can Help. . .
You can send your own child, or you can sponsor a child who would be interested in learning more about the natural world and his/her role in it.
You can donate your time, or products to Kamp. We are always in need of funds to help reduce cost for the Kampers. Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is a 501c3 tax exempt organization, so your donation is tax-deductible. Thanks to our 100% volunteer staff, all proceeds directly benefit the kids.
Ted Nugent Kamp For Kids Statement of Purpose
Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and more particularly:
- To establish, to maintain, and to operate a summer camp for youth, emphasizing nature appreciation, woodloar, wildlife habits, conservation, archery instruction and hunter safety education.
- To work with anti-drug programs to provide young people with a healthy, positive alternative to illicit drug use by promoting the ethical and responsible utilization of our natural resources.
- To organize groups, emphasizing young people, to assist with conservation projects such as habitat preservation, tree plantings, and stream clean-ups.
- To promote awareness, education, and implementation of wildlife conservation practices through proper habitat and management principals.
In 1989, we created our beloved TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS as a nonprofit 501C3 charity to attract American children into that higher level of awareness that is the discipline of the shooting sports and an outdoor lifestyle that I, and so many families, celebrate and cherish daily.
We are excited and look forward to continuing our hard work, as we forge ahead with our success of getting kids away from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gangs, crime, and the zombie world of videogame disconnect that has been such a negative force on their lives. We have seen how genuinely moved the kids and their families are following each session of our Kamps for years now. The growth and prognosis is clearly a win win for the kids, their families and friends, and ultimately for the future of conservation and constitutional rights in America. We sincerely thank all the generous volunteers and donators to TNKFK.
Godbless America and Godspeed the kids.
Ted Nugent & the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids
Board of Directors & Staff
American BloodBrother Bob,
Godbless you my friend for your kind, generous donation to our beloved TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS charity. Know that your hard earned resources will go straight to real world, pragmatic hands-on upgrade for children at our Nuge Kamp. We truly change their loves with a powerful SpiritPunch of truth, logic, attitude and all American CAN DO ANYTHING we put our heart & soul into! We create American spirit commandos! Know it!
Thanx mucho amigo,
Godbless & Godspeed you & everyone at GoDaddy!
Ted Nugent & family
What are YOU doing for the future?
Ted Nugent had a dream: To further the conservation vision of his hero Fred Bear. Following Fred’s direction on their last hunt together, Ted created this incredibly successful Kamp for children to learn about nature and man together. A 100% volunteer 501C3 non-profit corporation. Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids is operated by qualified families and individuals who deeply care about children and their futures. Every child is treated with love, affection and spiritual guidance by our dedicated volunteers. Lessons in resource stewardship, individual accountability, the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, Hunter Safety and law, International Bow Education (IBEP) and basic lessons in life are driven home in an open, honest, caring setting in the wild. Two weekends each summer for kids 11-16 will touch will touch them deeply for up-grade. True North.
Offering the Great Outdoors and Hunting as POSITIVE ALTERNATIVES to the use of drugs and alcohol.
How to inspire a child in to the wild
By Ted Nugent
My dad was a hunter when I was born in 1948. It was still a powerful, natural, common sense, American way of life back then. Dad really enjoyed his quiet, peaceful bowhunting time afield and made it a point to share it with his family. He had quit gun hunting by the time I was 10 because of a terrible firearm accident that almost killed him. Some dufus had touched off a round from his Winchester M94, 30-30 levergun, while unloading it in the back seat of a ’52 Ford coupe, and nearly took my dad’s head clean off. Another inch, and I would have been a single parent kid. Mindless, idiotic NEGLIGENCE is still the only way to be injured or die from a gun “accident”. He stressed this to us, making it a point to clearly differentiate accidents from negligence. I thank him for that to this day.
But it was the adventure of our “Up North” family treks each fall that fanned the flames of my predatory and conservation spirit. The big woods of the North Country and the occasional sighting of all wildlife, small and big game, especially the majestic, always elusive whitetail deer, that brought me much adrenaline dumpage. Each sound, sight, smell and feeling beyond the pavement zinged straight into my heart and soul. I needed very little motivation from anyone or anything outside my own interests in animals and habitat. The woods, rivers, fields, and the wind called my name clearly. Kamp 4 Kids
Growing up along the wildground of the River Rouge outside Detroit, my fascination with wildlife and hunting was something that could not be defused. I was hooked. Something about the dynamic of each critter encounter that drove me wild. The fact that my dad was already experimenting with this brand new bowhunting concept was just an added kicker. My river stalking days with slingshot and bow and arrow imprinted deeply into my psyche from day one, and between my dad, uncles John and Dick, and Fred Bear, I had all the role modeling a kid could ask for.
It is interesting to note, that my brothers Jeff and John, and younger sister Kathy, though a part of every hunting trip and outing, showed no more than a passing interest in the sport. We all had grand times together, learning about family camplife and nature lessons. But they could, quite frankly, take it or leave it. Meanwhile, I breathed every breath for a plunge into the wild at every opportunity. Everyday after school, while the other kids were playing ballsports, tag, hide-n-seek or so many other normal kid’s games, I was stalking the riverbanks trying to get close to pheasant, quail, ducks, squirrels, possum, coons, skunks, rabbits, and all sorts of birds and other wildlife. There was a marshy area at the riverbend we called Skunk Hollow. I knew every wonderful mucky inch of the place.
But so what is the difference between one kid and another, when all experiences might be basically the same, that drives one to hunt but not the other? Many moms and dads across the country have asked me how to get their kids into hunting, and I can only tell them what my own experiences have shown. My best hunting buddies are my own two sons, 22 year old Toby and 9 year old Rocco. They accompany me on many outings, and we have shared many a powerful moment together seeking game. But there was no formula that I adhered to. Rather, it was a deeply thought out process along the way in order to optimize the chances that they would pursue this outdoor lifestyle with me, that has brought me so much enjoyment, excitement, happiness and gratification. All life comes from beyond the pavement, and our call to stewardship of these precious life giving renewable resources runs strong and deep. For if a father fails to bring these lessons of reality and elements of accountability into his family’s life, what good has he accomplished?
Certainly, my exhilaration upon merely seeing game is contagious. I have made it a point to raise my family on wonderful, game rich wildground, thereby maximizing the sightings that can be shared and talked about together. The first word out of my kid’s mouths has always been “deer”, as they pointed out the window or along a trail together with mom and dad. Watching wildlife shows on TV together as a family and exploring easy access wildground as often as possible brings the dynamic of wildlife encounters to the forefront of children’s young minds. As wildlife habitat faces the growing curse of development and destruction, these beyond the pavement areas for introduction are becoming harder and harder to find and access. This is why efforts and programs to save wildground are so important today. JOIN DU, RMEF, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, Quail Unlimited and any other organization you can afford. Habitat progress is job One!
Most importantly, I did not push my children to hunt. I always made it available to them, even gently prodding and encouraging them to join me everytime I went afield, but never to the point of force or pressure. I shared the thrills of each and every hunt in stories and photos, and made it a point to let them know every night at the dinner table, “you should have been there! It was really cool!”
Over the years, I tried to get them to join me on the easier maneuvers. Break them in gently. Comfortable temperatures and conditions were always more alluring than stormy, wet, cold and nasty mornings in the duckblind! But I did make it a point to let them experience the joys of ma nature’s wrath as well. There is nothing more wonderful than coming back to a warm, cozy cabin or lodge or tent, wet, cold and beat, changing into fresh, dry clothes and sipping a steaming bowl of soup or chili around a roaring fireplace or campfire. That is heaven on earth and everybody enjoys it immensely. They always gaze into the fire and hear the call.
As my children grow up, they spend more and more time hunting with their dear old dad. Toby and I have a duck opener ritual that means the world to me. And Rocco and I sneak up the same ridge at daybreak every September 15th, opening day of squirrel season. Toby loves packing into elk camp, and the whole family looks forward to our annual African safari. I can’t really enjoy a hunt for more than a week if my clan is not with me. I feel unfulfilled and I get homesick for them.
I read a story in the American Airlines AMERICAN WAY magazine here recently, about a successful executive’s attempt to connect with his son by taking him on a hunting trip, much to the boy’s protest. The old man ended up arguing with his son, hunting alone, then opting to take a big buck’s photo instead of killing it, as if this merciful gesture would somehow bring he and his son closer. BALDERDASH! It was even clearly articulated in the story how overpopulated and destructive the deer were in northern Illinois, the scene of the episode, and the desperate and essential need to reduce the herd responsibly. It did fail miserably in detailing the truth about habitat needs and the fundamental function of man and beast, balancing their natural roles in the inescapable cycle of life and death. His “non-consumptive” gesture was denial in action.
Contrary to this politically correct pap, bold, honest lessons in life’s cycle of reality will connect deeply with a young child. Be sure to read the wildlife reports from scientific publications and note relative observations when driving the highways. Watch the Discovery Channel nature specials together and never let fantasy or denial become acceptable. Show your love and passion for outdoor time, and it will be contagious. I see it all the time, not only with young boys, but equally with little girls too. Now that’s a thrill!
If your kid spends more than 30 minutes a day in front of the TV set, watching programs or playing zombie inducing video games, you are asking for trouble. If you can’t remember the last Saturday you took the family to a wild place, early and long, you are asking for trouble. If you can’t talk with your kids because they have headphones glued to their ears, you are out of their loop, and may I dare say, a failing parent. If you don’t have quality time discussing the little things in your lives together at the dinner table each night, you are missing out on one of the most powerful opportunities to connect that there is in life.
Hunting the fine State of Texas each year for many years, I have come to greatly appreciate their laws encouraging parents to take young children hunting. You see, Texas has the very best laws regarding minimum ages for hunting. THERE IS NO MINIMUM AGE! It is a proven fact, that if a child does not hunt by the time he is 9 or 10, it is unlikely that he or she ever will pursue an outdoor life. That is catastrophic. Every year in Texas, I meet families that enjoy hunting together with 4, 5 and 6 year olds, who kill deer with rifles at these young ages. No accidents. No injuries. No problems. With a custom fitted .223, 6mm or .243, these little whippersnappers take deer cleanly and regularly.
Just like the scientists and medical community now admit, responsible parenting begins in the womb. Nightly bedsongs, gentle readings, loving talk from both parents and siblings, forms a prebirth bond that will most certainly connect with this new life. It is never too early.
THERE IS NO GREATER RESPONSIBILITY THAN PARENTING! Period.
Immediately after birth, there is an initial explosion of brain synapses. Synaptic connections continue powerfully through adolescence, according to a recent study from the University of Chicago. The experts generally agree, that if this initial touch is lost or not fully taken advantage of, strong learning influences can be made up for later. Some areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, where higher thought, reasoning, judgment and motivation come from, will be best molded by a parent’s loving touch throughout adolescence. BUT, a really good parent wouldn’t miss out on any of these opportunities to provide the most positive conditions possible for their child.
And according to this old dad, it never stops. The time to share the excitement of the wild with your kids is NOW! The earlier, the better. The most meaningful impact will be made in their first five years. My mind burns with graphic excitement, envisioning my family’s woodland walks, riverbank picnics, sunrize celebrations and wildlife encounters with bow and arrow or .22 rifle in hand. Be sure to make that extra effort to conduct those ever so valuable wild lessons out there beyond the pavement for the entire family as often as you can. Earmark special weekends. Pack a lunch and a camera. Go slow. Take it all in. Nature will do the rest.
Provide nature oriented toys and learning materials. Share your enthusiasm for the wild. If you are going to rent videos, rent quality hunting and wildlife tapes and watch along, reviewing the statements and content for details and better understanding.
Other reports show how children who have had little or no meaningful touch with mom and or dad, are much more likely to lead a life of crime, substance abuse, unfulfilled sadness, and usually a horrible, tragic early earth. To know the remedy for this tragedy, yet fail to respond, is the worse sin of mankind.
The young mind you help guide to TRUE NORTH now, will be the warrior for the wild, his or her entire life. I’ll bet on it. And never let up.
With simple, good parenting, fueled by good old fashioned love and affection, you will develop the greatest hunting partner you could ever ask for. The wild needs the next generation, and the next generation needs the wild. Strong and free.
SO TAKE A YOUNGSTER INTO THE WILD AS SOON AND AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. GET ‘EM SHOOTING, EXPLORING AND THROBBING. NOW!