Local First Nations adventure camp a big hit with youth

Lytton First Nations youths enjoy three days of outdoor adventure.

Rafting with Kumsheen guides was part of a three-day adventure youth camp in Lytton.

Rafting with Kumsheen guides was part of a three-day adventure youth camp in Lytton.

Three solid days of outdoor adventure and great role models create lasting memories for local youth

Three days of perfect Lytton weather and adrenaline-filled adventure left smiling faces on local youth last week.

Fifteen of Lytton’s First Nations Youth, Kumsheen River-Guides Sam and Mike, and RCMP chaperones Jay, Troy, and Mike, spent three full-days enjoying  mountain biking, rock climbing and whitewater rafting last week.

When back at the resort, everyone enjoyed hearty meals prepared by French Chef Philippe in Kumsheen’s fine dining Restaurant, and all of the local youth stayed in Teepees at the resort – girls and guys separated.

In the evenings, they stayed busy with games of “man-hunt”, volleyball and disc golf and local storyteller Buster Adams regaled everyone with First Nations tales around the campfire one evening.

Sam Gandossi, one of Kumsheen’s River Guides and the girl chaperone for the camp, described her favourite part of the camp as “seeing the local kids get outside of their comfort zones by encouraging one another and by working as a team.”

The male chaperone for the First Nations Teen Camp was Lytton’s own Mike Lightfoot, who completed his raft guide training this spring and is now a licensed raft guide. Mike really enjoyed showing the local kids what is available for adventure, right here in-their-own backyard.

“This area has got some of the best whitewater rafting in North America, the mountain biking is awesome around here, and there’s good rock climbing too.  There are a lot of outdoor activities for local kids to enjoy; nobody need be bored around here”, said Lightfoot.

There was one “wipeout” during the mountain biking section of the camp, and Donald “JR” Jackson got some major road-rash. Local First Nations RCMP member Mike Sallis, who was acting as one of the chaperones on the biking day, later commented about the incident.

“I’ve seen a lot of groups dealing with incidents like this, and I can say, “this group immediately came together, helped out, and was respectful and caring. Sam, Mike, and Troy, the three Kumsheen guides, all did a spot-on job of helping out and looking after Donald after the wipeout.”

Braden Fandrich, organizer of the camp, was appreciative of the sponsors and organizers of the three-day event. “This camp wouldn’t have happened without help from Sherry and Ramona at the ShchEma-mee.tkt Project, the local Indian Bands (Lytton First Nations, Skuppah, and Kanaka) and the RCMP Aboriginal Policing. They all sponsored youth and made it a free camp for the kids who attended (Kumsheen also sponsored a youth)” he said.

This is the first of three Adventure Camps offered by Kumsheen this year. A second First Nations camp is slated for July 25–27, and a Teen Raft Guide Camp begins on July 29.

For information, please call the Kumsheen resort at 250 455 2296 or 1 800 663 6667.

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