We had visions of kids running around in uniforms while they practiced saying things like “License and registration, ma’am.”
Turns out it’s a lot more fun. Participants enjoy all of the standard summer-camp activities – swimming, fishing, boating, arts and crafts, capture the flag, etc. – as well as the annual pig roast, known as the Murry-Que, prepared by Youth Court’s Murry Pierce.
The camp started in 1965 when a couple of Missoula police officers decided to take some kids – who claimed they were always in trouble because they were bored – hiking and camping. Boys now are selected for camp for all sorts of reasons, from being an outstanding student to maybe needing a break from a troubled home situation, according to a release from Missoula County Sheriff Jason Johnson.
“This camp can be extremely valuable to a young boy’s life,” says Missoula County Sheriff’s Detective John Lamb. “… It’s a break form their normal routine, whatever that might be.”
The camp is free, run entirely on donations and volunteer efforts from area law enforcement.
This year’s attendance was down from an average of about 120. It costs $250 for each camper. People can sponsor a camper, or make a donation by writing a check to “Missoula Youth Camp” at the Youth Court office, 311 Woody St., Missoula, 59802.
Photo: Missoula County Sheriff Carl Ibsen and a camper compare facial hair extravaganzas. (Missoula County Sheriff’s Office)