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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jul 15, 2008

For the second year, Kinship kids, mentors, board members and all their families held a campout at Fort Defiance State Park.

Everyone had a fantastic time. After enjoying a meal from the grill (sorry it took the cook so long to keep up with everybody), the kids and adults listened to a very interesting talk by Gary Phillips of the Friends of Fort Defiance and director of the Iowa Lakes Community College Conservation Studies program about Fort Defiance and the state part for which it was named.

Dee McDonald and Denise Leal of the group Cornerstone drew everyone up around the campfire and played from their vast repertoire of music.

Even the weather cooperated. While severe thunderstorms were predicted, only a few drops of rain fell and everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the storm clouds skirted south to bother someone else.

Huge thanks go out to Fareway and Hy-Vee for their very generous donations for the picnic. Their community spirit is unparalleled.

Thanks go to Laddie Kozak, a member of the Friends of Fort Defiance and owner of Kinetico water home systems dealer for providing water for the thirsty hordes.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources deserves a big pat on the back too for its campground improvements that included new grills throughout the campground this year. They also gave Kinship a very reasonable group rate. In case you didn’t know, the DNR has a $15 group rate for organized youth groups. So schedule a campout for your 4-H or church group now!

The Emmet County Sheriff’s Department was also great about driving in and giving everyone weather updates. It really put everyone’s mind at ease.

Thanks too to the mentors and board members for pitching in and helping put up tents and cook the evening meal and breakfast.

Thanks to the fellow campers for putting up with the high-spirited kids who had a great time. (It was nice to see three other units occupied beside the Kinship group!)

Thanks to the Kinship kids for settling in at a fairly reasonable hour.

Last but not least, thanks to Hillary Clarey, Kinship executive director, and Diane Smith, Clarey’s very well organized and always pleasant assistant, for helping pull everything together.

The Kinship campout is a win-win for a number of reasons. It introduces the Kinship kids to a lifetime hobby in the great outdoors. It helps introduce new potential campers to the park. And it also instills a greater respect for our public parks in the hearts of youth.

If you haven’t camped overnight at Fort Defiance yet this summer, do it now before fall comes. Registration is easy and the camping rates can’t be beat.

For more information about Kinship, call 362-2828.