CampOR introduces Scouting to youth at Outdoor Retailer

When mom and dad have a job to do at Outdoor Retailer — a semiannual gathering of outdoor gear manufacturers in Salt Lake City — often this means the kids are along for the ride. And, sure, checking out the seemingly endless rows of tents, camp stoves, hiking boots and more can be entertaining … but a day spent outside exploring the Great Salt Lake Council’s Camp Tracy sounds more appealing to most 10-year-olds.

This year, the Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting Works team introduced CampOR, a free day camp designed for boys and girls ages 6 to 16 who are visiting the Outdoor Retailer show with their parents.

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Nearly 80 kids boarded busses this morning for a 20-minute drive out to beautiful Millcreek Canyon, home to Camp Tracy. There, the kids split into two age groups (6 to 10 and 11 to 16) to take part in two days of specially designed programs that highlight some of Camp Tracy’s best assets, including a waterfront with canoes and stand-up paddleboards; creative day camp stations like Jurassic Journey and Construction Junction; a top-notch rifle and archery range; a swimming pool (above) and much more.

Some of the kids at camp are already Scouts, but for some this is their first chance to experience Scouting activities. And, so far, it’s a hit. “I’ve already had a couple of parents ask me how they can get involved in Scouting at home,” says Owen McCulloch, sales and marketing manager with Scouting Works.

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What’s better than kids having fun? Mom’s seal of approval. Michaela Booth, a mom of four from Lehi, Utah, is visiting Outdoor Retailer with Utah Lake Commission. “This year I was able to bring two of my sons, both Scouts, because I knew they could come to camp during OR,” she says. “They love it. It’s better than OR!”

After spending the morning at Salt Palace, home to Outdoor Retailer, I checked out the action at Camp Tracy. I gotta tell you, it was tempting not to put on a bathing suit, grab a paddle and enjoy the rest of the afternoon with the kids.

(Registration for CampOR is closed, but CampOR will be back at next year’s summer market. Stay tuned for more registration information at outdoorretailer.com.)

Don’t forget: Follow me on Twitter @GretchenBSA for glimpses of cool gear at this year’s summer market in the Salt Palace.