Central Illinois Father-Son Camp Creates Memories for Hundreds of Boys and Young Men

Picture of Boch

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Every day you can help create memories for young novices in the shooting ranks as a great day for them and for you. Once again, I had the good fortune to help young men shoot rifles Friday afternoon at father-son camp in Oakwood, Illinois. The time and camaraderie proved exceptional as we created memories that the children will carry with them for years to come.

It wasn’t my first rodeo at camp. I have been there several times before as time and availability permitted. And frankly, it’s a birthday present for me to volunteer to help out there. It’s a Christian themed camp and it feels like we’re doing God’s work with these kids helping them learn the fun and excitement of shooting sports.

Frankly, watching these kids be thrilled to shoot for the first time – or maybe the second time – and hit the target is really a great gift to enjoy.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
I believe it was Luke. Picture of Boch

This year, with California style weather in Illinois, it turned out just perfect and we passed close to two hundred kids on Friday afternoon. More will come out on Saturday afternoon, keeping the volunteer instructors and range officers on their toes.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
Picture of Boch

Today, they have arrived as young as four years old, and a few “kids” in their 30s and 40s have also shot them. And for the record, when men say they have trouble seeing the front sight on the youth rifle, they’re probably in their 40s or older.

A father-son camp dad veteran who passed by my station said he had a dozen kids (OMG), and six of his seven boys came that particular weekend. He shared that he’s been coming for almost a dozen straight years and loves camp almost as much as his boys. And his boys looked forward to attending months in advance and they talked about the camp and the amazing speakers for months after attending in the past.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
Josiah takes his turn. Picture of Boch

During the day they have events including the rifle line where I volunteered as well as archery, clay birds, tomahawk throwing, obstacle courses, work wood, paintball, as well as hiking, biking and fishing. In the evenings they have exceptional motivational speakers, true role models for the children. And not the “role model” type of Hollywood trash.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
Josiah takes his turn. Picture of Boch

I still remember the first time I helped a few years ago. I thought it was something with 50 or 100 children and when I saw over 1200 fathers and sons or more my jaw dropped in the grass.

It is hosted by Chris Miller who is now the state representative in the Illinois General Assembly. A friend of his, Darren Bailey, is neck and neck to replace our authoritarian, anti-gun Governor JB Pritzker.

Oh yes, and Chris’s wife, Mary, is now a member of the US Congress. The Millers truly represent people who serve others before themselves.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
Picture of Boch

The Father-Son Camp is described as follows…

Father Son Camp began unofficially in 1995 when 3-year-old Max Miller asked his father, Chris, if they could go camping for his birthday with “no girls allowed!”

What started as an overnight outing for three fathers and three sons turned into a four-day event with over 500 fathers and sons in attendance. By combining outdoor adventures with inspiring ministry, the Miller family hopes to strengthen family bonds and ignite a passion to serve Jesus Christ. For over twenty years, the camp has been funded entirely by donations.

Father Son Camp Illinois New Shooter kids shooting learn to shoot
John Boch with one of the young men. Boch picture.

From a few years ago, here’s more information about the camp from FatherSonCamp.org. . .

Now in its 25th year, Father Son Camp is an annual event in Oakland, Illinois for approximately 600 campers. The camp combines inspirational ministry with outdoor adventures. Our goal is to create lasting memories between fathers and sons and inspire them to live passionately for God. Knowing that the cost of a weekend like this might prevent some families from attending, we are funded entirely by donations.

Ministry, meals and some activities take place at Walnut Point State Park. Other activities such as paintball, obstacle course and archery/archery take place at the Miller Family Farm, about five minutes away. The park and farm are located just outside of rural Oakland, Illinois. Oakland is about an hour south of Champaign-Urbana.

Campers arrive Thursday afternoon in time to set up their campsites, eat a provided lunch and listen to Norm Wakefield’s ministry. Friday and Saturday include morning and evening ministry sessions, and afternoons filled with outdoor activities. Sunday includes a worship service and a final ministry session before camp ends at noon. Campers are welcome to attend all weekend, or just for a day or two.

Father Son Camp began unofficially in 1995 when 3-year-old Max Miller asked his father, Chris, if they could go camping for his birthday with “no girls allowed!”

What started as an overnight outing for three fathers and three sons has grown into a four-day event accommodating approximately 600 fathers and sons. The Chris Miller family, along with a host of volunteers, strives to strengthen the bond between fathers and sons through outdoor adventures and ignite a passion to serve Jesus Christ through inspiring ministry.

This father/son camp is an independent camp and is not associated with any other father/son camp or ministry.

Registration for next year’s camp is not yet available but will be soon.

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