Kicking Bear Illinois

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East Central Illinois
Annual Camp for Kids
Held in June each year
(specific dates TBD)

Re-connecting with youth through nature

Since 2004, Kicking Bear Camp for Kids in Illinois has been providing disadvantaged youth an opportunity to experience the out of doors--some for the first time--in a success-oriented environment with positive role models.

In 2006 we hosted over 100 more children ages 5-15 and over 20 mentors (about 5 children for each mentor) to visit Camp Cender in rural Fisher, Illinois for two days and one overnight. Children studied nature first-hand and worked with archery experts to learn the great sport of archery, among many other activities.

In 2005, Rod White, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, led the archery education and showed his gold medal to impressed youngsters (picture above).

Kicking Bear Camp for Kids is open to all youth ages 5 to 15. Best of all, there is NO COST for children to participate. We will not turn any interested child away.

Kicking Bear National

Kicking Bear Illinois is affiliated with the national not-for-profit organization Kicking Bear, a mentoring program developed by Ray Howell. Kicking Bear, both national and local, encourages mentors to get involved with today's youth. The program's target population is children, especially the underprivileged, who have not been introduced to the outdoors. By reaching outside their homes, mentors can become positive role models and put dreams and successes in the hearts and minds of our youth, changing their lives and the lives of their families.

Changing Lives.
Connecting with Nature.
Connecting with Others.

Two Days.
One Overnight.
Lifelong Impact.

Outdoor activities build connections in ways that only outdoor activities can: respect for nature through outdoor immersion and education, and a sense community from overcoming challenges with others.

By interacting with positive role models, Kicking Bear youth understand that they are part of a larger environment of land and of people, one they wish to build and sustain rather than to mistreat in any manner.

The Kicking Bear Camp experience brings lifelon tangible and intangible benefits for kids, especially those who have spent most of their lives in the "concrete jungle."

  • Self-confidence from achievement and sucess
  • Better understanding of our natural world and the need to protect it
  • An introduction to the great sport of archery
  • Exposure to positive role models
  • Prizes and follow-on materials! Every child comes away with something -- gift certificates, nature projects, pamphlets, sporting goods, etc.-- to extend the Kicking Bear experience into their lives.
  • A greater awareness of their options in life.
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