Youth Camp Returns

by Linn Beck, WITU National Leadership Council Representative


What a wonderful feeling to be able to get back on track with the Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Youth Fishing Camp. After a two-year hiatus, we were back in full swing. Everything went great, just like we were never away.


We went into the planning of the camp a little light on mentors, but we had six great guys step up and join us for the whole weekend and the fish-a-long on Sunday, along with some new mentors for Sunday morning. Thank you all for joining us and helping to make it a fantastic weekend for our campers. They all had a blast.


The youth were able to enjoy a Central Wisconsin Chapter workday with Shawn Sullivan of the DNR doing another stellar job on the conservation aspect. Several parents said that they thought their kids would have enjoyed the fishing more, but the highlight for them was the conservation portion. Of course, the campers had plenty of time to fish, with most of them catching some bass on Saturday night and trout on Sunday morning. The largest was a 19-inch brown trout caught by Caleb Frank.


This year we were joined by a special guest, Tara Granke, coordinator for the Trout Unlimited Headwaters Youth Programs. One of her goals was to visit all the Trout Unlimited youth camps, and we had been planning on her attending our camp since 2018. She was able to talk to the campers and explain the youth programs offered by Trout Unlimited a bit more in depth than we could get into, including the Teen Summit and the possibility of attending other youth camps across the country.


One thing I want to mention which is bittersweet. I was contacted by Jim Hauer and Nate Register of the Classic Angler’s with an opportunity for us. The group was going to disband, and they had some monies left in their account. They said that the camp was in the running for these monies and in the end, they contacted me and awarded these funds to the WITU Youth Camp. The amount donated was a little over $1,885. So, I had mixed feelings about this, very saddened by the fact the Classic Angler’s is no more but very appreciative that we were the recipients. Thank you, Classic Angler’s.


Again, I want to thank everyone, including our youth camp committee, the mentors and guides, for their hard work and time donated, and especially the chapters for sponsoring this year’s youth. And I want to thank our campers, all of whom were on their best behavior and eager to learn.


One very important thing for all of us to remember and appreciate, none of our council and chapter functions or activities would be possible without all of you pitching in and helping. 


Chapter leaders, please start thinking of youth for next year’s camp. The camp will be held August 17-20, 2023. We will open registration starting at the annual meeting in February. We hope to see you all next year.