‘Let’s Get Out’ camps teach a true Spirit of adventure

Eli Richmond tests his courage rock climbing in the Mount Hood area during a camp earlier this summer while Kosglow belays from below.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Eli Richmond tests his courage rock climbing in the Mount Hood area during a camp earlier this summer while Kosglow belays from below.

“I’m not cold; I’m shivering with funness.”

It’s a favorite quote Lisa Kosglow says nicely sums up kids’ attitudes during her “Let’s Get Out” youth summer camps.

“The kids have been completely thrilled,” Kosglow said. “They just can’t believe how awesome the activities are, and how close they are to home.”

Hiking, kayaking, caving, rock climbing and mountain biking are included in the camp’s five-day curriculum, giving kids a taste of the many world-class outdoor activities they have just a short distance from home.

Using these outdoor adventure sports as a foundation, the youth camps focus on teaching personal values and life skills, as well as a connection with the environment and the importance of and land stewardship. Each day is dedicated learning the equipment, safety and basic techniques of a sport, as well as broader lessons about environmental factors associated with each activity. “Leave No Trace” ethics are also stressed through each activity.

“We use adventure sports as a vehicle to teach deeper values such as self-respect, compassion for our peers and land stewardship,” Kosglow explained. “Our goal is for the outdoor adventure to be transformative … to give children the tools and opportunities to think beyond themselves in a meaningful way and to connect with our home in the Gorge.”

As a two-time Olympic snowboarder, Kosglow is familiar to the sports world and has a long history of coaching and teaching youth camps. She started Let’s Get Out last year and ran two successful sessions. This year she’s partnered with Hood River Community Education and has doubled the number to four sessions; one in June, one in July (23-27) and two in August (6-10 and 13-17).

“I’ve always wanted to do a camp like this in the Gorge,” she said. “In looking for a way to make it happen, Community Ed stepped up and offered to help. With a limit of eight kids, the goal is to keep numbers small so kids have a safe experience full of learning.”

Although most kids come into the camp with experience in one or two of the activities, Kosglow says they are definitely beginner-friendly and everyone quickly ends up trying things they have never tried before.

“It’s a neat opportunity to be able to take kids out of their comfort zone,” she said. “They learn a lot about themselves and about working with others … That’s what I’m most interested in; teaching life skills that the kids will remember and use for the rest of their lives.”


With small camp sizes, advanced registration is important. For more on the camps, visit www.lets-get-out.com. From there you’ll find a link to Community Education’s registration page.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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