Arizona Outdoor Adventures (AOA), a nonprofit organization, helps kids learn about life through nature, says a June 1 article in The Kingman Daily Miner. Little did nature writer Don Martin know that on the day of publication, Wednesday, June 1, the Forest Dept. asked Dan Priest to evacuate camp, which he did. A vicious wildfire meant abandoning vehicles, tents, camping equipment, and personal items.
Firefighters are doing all possible in the area, and the people who operate AOA, Dan and Joanne Priest, are in touch with the Apache County Sheriff’s Dept. But it’s entirely possible that AOA has lost almost everything necessary to provide city kids with some life-changing summer outdoor adventures.
“The group instills respect for the outdoors and for other people,” says Martin “It teaches kids to make constructive, not destructive choices in their lives. It teaches the concept of responsibility and cooperation with their family and others in authority. And it emphasizes that they need to know there are adults who care about them and will help them achieve their dreams and enjoy life….These camps are made possible by donations from groups and individuals who want to see kids get an opportunity to learn about nature.”
The Priests just emailed family and friends, saying, “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for the camp, but even more so for the many people in Alpine and Nutrioso and all eastern Arizona who have had to leave their homes.”