Mia & The Little Gal: A very special adventure camp

The Little Gal and I have been experiencing an amazing, whirlwind of a summer. We hope you have been enjoying yours as well. We already shared some of our summer vacation with you, but summer did not stop there. That was only the beginning.

Shortly after we returned home, the Little Gal headed off to basketball camp. She does a four day camp every summer and stays in the dorms at a local college. It is a great growing experience for her. (My goal is to send her off to college someday, you know.) She came home for a week and then headed of to a very special camp.

Little Gal working on her shotgun skills. Photo courtesy of Mia Anstine.

This “very special camp” is one that I highly recommend. We had to apply to go and were on the waiting list. Then we got word that the Little Gal was bumped up to the participant list. I may have been a little more excited than she was, but she can now attest that is was GREAT! The camp was held at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. It is called “Adventure Camp”. The campers stay in cabins on site for nine days and in outfitter tents for three. A total of twelve days away from mom! Little Gal did just fine. She spent her days being trained in shooting shotguns, compound bows, pistols, rifles (including a 50 cal!!!), muzzleloaders and she even learned to cook peach cobbler in a dutch oven. Yep. She shot 1,000 yards. Something I have not had the chance to do. She met and made friends with other little gals and guys from around the country. She was happy to come home, but says camp was “AWESOME!”

When the Little Gal came home from Adventure Camp she found she had been elected as the Archuleta County Fair Princess. She was excited at the news and has been putting in lots of hours representing her county and promoting the fair. Being a princess entails more than just waving in parades. She has donated her time for the second year at a Jicarilla horse camp. (Jicarilla’s are Native American’s who are located in Northern New Mexico. They put on the horse camp for the 4-H children of their community.) Little Gal led horseback rides and spoke to the kids about respect, responsibility and how they also should represent their communities. Next, she donated her time for the fifth year at the Wolf Creek Outfitters’ Special Needs Horseback Ride. The Little Gal says she enjoys helping the kids and loves to see how excited they get when they ride the horses.

Morgan — 2013 Red Ryder Rodeo Queen, Tyler Leone, DeAnn — 2013 Red Ryder Rodeo Princess and Little Gal — 2012 County Fair Princess at the 6th Annual Wolf Creek Outfitters Special Needs Horseback Ride

We also had a very special visitor, who drug his family along to see us. Once they arrived, they didn’t want to leave. The visitor was one of my best friend’s son, Tyler. Tyler is 17 and has spinal muscular atrophy. The Little Gal was excited to be a part of granting one of his wishes, which was to go white water rafting. She also helped him shoot a crossbow for the very first time. We were excited to have our friends visit and sad to see them go.

After that, we  hosted our family reunion and the Little Gal showed her Adventure Camp skills by baking peach cobbler for everyone. She also shared a bit of her life with her cousins by showing them her ducks, goat, pigs, dogs and especially horses.

Summer is not over yet though, The Little Gal is ready to show pigs at the county fair, plans to continue to influence you all to get into the outdoors, as well as prepare for hunting season. This year she only drew one Colorado hunting license, but it is going to be a first for her. In the remaining month of summer she will be preparing for her first black bear hunt!

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Tammy says: July 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Mia, you are both so blessed and such blessings for others!

    • Mia Anstine says: July 30, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Thank you Tammy. We hope that just one of the things we do will inspire someone else to get outside, to shoot, to hunt or just to spend more quality time as a family. It is fun!