Wallow Fire destroys free youth camp

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 30 at 6:55 AM

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. - Organizers got a first look at what's left of a camp for underprivileged kids in eastern Arizona.

Just about everything there was destroyed by the massive Wallow Fire, which is now 93 percent contained.
 
"Arizona Outdoor Adventures" is all about new experiences for inner city kids and the best part about it is it is absolutely free, but now it’s gone.
 
“When we drove in, the reality was there,” said camp organizer Dan Priest. “Camp was absolutely incinerated.”
 
Dan Priest had just set up camp for a group of kids when the Wallow Fire forced him to evacuate and leave everything behind.
 
“Our metal cook tent frames, not all of them are warped, but some of them are warped and that's hard metal.”
 
As well as the gear, Priest also lost a truck and a jeep. “They're almost burned beyond recognition.”
 
For 15 years, kids had enjoyed the outdoor life this White Mountains’ campsite has offered. With the equipment gone, right now, the youth camping program is gone as well.
 
“There's a lot of disappointed kids,” Priest said.

He says they welcome about 150 kids each year and in order to keep this program free for the kids, they chose not to pay for insurance.

If you'd like to help get this program up and running again go to Arizona Outdoor Adventures.

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