Founded in 2011, the Maison T Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills Camp is a weekend-long event designed to immerse youths in outdoor skills training and a fun overnight camping experience. The camp is named in honor and memory of Maison T Ortiz, a 15-year-old Galena High School student who tragically died in a snowboarding accident in January 2011. Shortly after Maison’s death, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Northern Nevada Chapter of Safari Club International, and The Rotary Club of Sparks, Nevada, the Founding Sponsors, collaborated with the Ortiz family to organize a youth camp in order to remember Maison and to address the glaring need for youth involvement in wildlife-related outdoor activities. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) also joined the collaboration as a strategic partner.
Since its beginning in 2011, the camp and its other related activities have operated and raised funds as a part of our Founding Sponsors and collaborators. A Steering Committee and Advisory Council made up of directors and members of those organizations governed. In December of 2016, Maison T Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills, Inc. (MTOYOS) was incorporated and elected a board of directors. This board along with the Advisory Council now provides governance. In July of 2017 MTOYOS received standalone approval from the IRS as an exempt 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
“Provide an interactive educational summer camp that engages youths in wildlife-related outdoor recreational and conservational activities that are safe, responsible, and fun.’
- Our primary focus: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!
- Provide opportunities for inexperienced youth
- Promote individual and collective safety
- Promote sportsmanship and ethics
- Promote stewardship of private and public lands
- Promote knowledge and respect of wildlife and its habitat
- Promote the role that sportswomen and sportsmen play in wildlife and habitat conservation
- Promote the continuation of our outdoor heritage
The camp will take place at Winnemucca Ranch, located on Winnemucca Ranch Road off of the Pyramid Lake Highway, about 35 miles north of the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area. This unique location allows us access to some of the best wilderness areas Nevada has to offer within a reasonable driving distance to Reno and Sparks. We are truly fortunate to have access to this beautiful wild place to share with our campers and volunteers.
The camp will have large tents for cooking, eating, and sleeping. Sleeping tents, which contain cots, are segregated by gender and will have four adult Camp Counselors as well as several Youth Mentors of the same gender present for supervision. Each event station will have shade canopies and be stocked with snacks, water, and other healthy beverages. Portable toilets and wash stations will be situated throughout the camp and event areas. A medical tent with at least one medical professional will be available at all times.
Campers will be instructed, mentored and supervised during organized instructional activities by fully vetted, trained and certified adult Instructors and Counselors as well as Youth Mentors who have attended previous camps. Organized instructional activities include: Safety Trail, Laser Shot, Rifle Range (.22 rifle safety and target shooting), Shotgun Range (shotgun safety and target shooting), Archery Range (safety and shooting stationary and moving targets), Fishing, Dutch Oven Cooking, Outdoor Skills in Survival and Orienteering and Wildlife Calls.
There will be additional hands-on instructional seminars as well as discretionary activities available before and after organized instruction. Guest speakers will be featured each evening during and after dinner and there will be plenty of fun around the campfire. In addition, there are also plans for alumni events following the camp: the goal is to get our campers interested and keep them interested.
The camp is designed for and limited to girls and boys 11-14 years of age. Our primary recruiting priority is youths who may not have opportunities to experience Nevada’s outdoors. We also have a camper classification called “Youth Ambassador,” which allows a limited number of campers who are in the same age range and do have previous experience to bring a friend with little or no experience. Please refer to our camper applications for more details.
Successful applicants are required to pay a 50 fee to cover administrative costs when they register. The fee will be refunded once campers attend camp. All meals, snacks and drinks will be provided. Financial assistance will be available for families in need.
SAFETY AND SUPERVISION
Camper safety is our number one priority. We have a dedicated Camp Health and Safety Director who is responsible for the safety and well-being of our campers and volunteers. There will be adult Counselors and Youth Mentors to assist and supervise the campers throughout their instructional sessions. Our instructors are all subject matter experts trained and certified in their area of expertise. Additionally, all adult volunteers are fully vetted and undergo a criminal background check prior to camp.
A medical tent is always staffed by medical professionals at all times during the camp. We have radio contact throughout the camp and have satellite phones for emergency calls. REMSA EMT’s are present during the daytime events and have radio contact with emergency services. Safety first, last and always!
2022 Camp – July 15 and 16th, 2022
APPLICATION ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2022 CAMP
Volunteers are always needed and we encourage you to consider volunteering for 2022 camp. If interested, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form.
- First Time Volunteers: If you are interested in volunteering for the first time to our 2022 camp please complete and submit a Volunteer Interest Form.
- Return volunteers: please visit our Get Involved page to fill out a volunteer registration.