One of the favorite camp skits is that of King Oooga
Booga. He demands his followers to chant and dance as he does.
And as he nears the end of his ritual, when the kids make their
final jump into their chair, they plop down on a wet sponge, which
sends the kid about four feet in the air and the audience into
a full laughter.
Ellinghouse explains to the campers how the nozzle is used to fight fires.
by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
September 9, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The 31st Missoula County Law Enforcement Youth Camp held at Camp Paxon in late July was another fun-filled week for the kids.
This year the camp was under new management from the Sheriff's Office, and due to limitations on the number of staff available, the number of kids dropped from around 90 to 43.
The camp is offered to the boys at no cost to them or their families, and is funded through donations from individuals and organizations throughout Montana. A large donation is make by Phyllis and Dennis Washington Foundation each year, which funds a large part of the camp.
Thirty-two staff members from the Sheriff's Department, Youth Court, Montana Adult Parole and Probation, Federal Parole and Probation, Missoula Police Department and kitchen helpers from Missoula Correctional Services helped with the camp this year. There were also four civilian volunteers and two lifeguards donating their time during the week.
They were fortunate to have a week of beautiful weather which enhanced the week full of activities such as fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and boating. Some of the kids interested in scuba diving got to have some instructions by Murray Pierce and Keith Pereira from Youth Court.
Missoula Police Officer TJ Johnson and Missoula County Detention Sergeant Jason Kowalski took the kids fishing, and kept track of the fish and sizes so they could present the kids fishing awards at the end of camp.
The Law Enforcement Camp has some boats and some of the counselors brought their private boats. Bretz R.V. out of Missoula donated the use of a pontoon boat for the campers.
A craft cabin was open every day, and many of the kids made bug traps and picture frames, tied flies as well as made leatherwork and braided crafts. Mike Magstadt provided instruction, materials and the equipment for the fly tying.
The camp counselors took most of the kids on a hike to Morrell Falls. Larry Schneider of Missoula County Sheriff's Search & Rescue presented the "Hug A Tree" program to the kids and showed them how to set up their own survival kits.
The Seeley Lake Rural Fire Department brought two of the fire trucks and showed the kids the equipment. In addition to some firefighting discussions, the kids were allowed to spray water from a hose-line off of Engine I, which resulted in a lot of wet counselors and kids.
Deputy Steve Nelson and K-9 Keyko put on a great demonstration of Reyko's training and incredible abilities.
Alan Egge of the Missoula County Sheriff's Department and head of the camp said, "The camp would not have been possible without the guidance and support of Missoula County Sheriff Doug Chase and Undersheriff Larry Weatherman and the department members. The camp also would not have happened without the care and commitment of its cabin counselors. Additional thanks to Missoula Children's Theater and camp caretakers Nat and Margo Sturges as well as local area businesses including Wolds Valley Market, Lindey's Landing, B&R Foods and Seeley Lake Fun Center."