Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp awarded $7,000 grant
The Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp was awarded a $7,000 grant from the Ehrhart Family Foundation. The OOAC is a conservation center and summer camp serving youth and families that is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The grant will be used to develop and launch four new summer camp programs that will expand the OOAC’s reach and serve a wider age range of campers. Currently, the OOAC provides summer camp opportunities for youth aged 9 to 14. The grant will allow the camp to expand its reach to 8- to17-year-old participants, allowing more youth to learn about wildlife conservation, leadership and outdoors skills, such as archery, canoeing and hunter safety.
“We are very excited to be able to offer these new programs to our campers this year,” said Will Burnett, OOAC’s camp director. “We, on behalf of the hundreds of youth who will benefit from this generous grant, are extremely grateful to The Ehrhart Family Foundation for their support.”
The OOAC was founded in 1952 and is in Marion County in the Ocala National Forest. This residential camp hosts 300 to 400 campers during a typical summer. Youth spend a week or more exploring the outdoors, learning to fish, hunt, hike, canoe, build shelters, identify plants and animals, and enjoying many typical summer camp activities, such as swimming, canoeing, campfires and games.
“OOAC has offered action-packed summer adventures for more than 50 years. Every year, the camp's programs provide hundreds of campers with an appreciation for nature and knowledge about the importance of conservation,” said FYCCN’s director, Daniel Parker. “We have campers that returned summer after summer, and now as adults, they are bringing their own kids to the Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp. That says a lot about the long-standing tradition and success of OOAC. The grant will allow us to expand these opportunities for fun and learning and create a new generation of natural resource stewards.”
The Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp is an initiative of The Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network and the FWC. FYCCN, having just celebrated its 10th year, partners with the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and a robust network of partners to provide transformative outdoor experiences for Florida’s youth, with the goal of “Creating the Next Generation That Cares.”
Find out more about OOAC’s summer camp: FYCCN.org/OCCYC_Summer_Camp_Programs.
To find a family-friendly outdoor space near you, visit: FYCCN.org/activities.