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Owyhee Family Camp

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Event description

Date: Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25, 2023 
Expected arrival time: 6 PM Friday
Expected departure time: 3 PM Sunday

Meeting location: Silver City, ID campground
Recommended ages: 4–10 – this camp is primarily designed for ages 10 and under, but we welcome all ages

Spending time in the great outdoors is an incredible experience at any age, especially when you have the chance to share it with loved ones. Owyhee Family Camp is designed for parents or guardians (including grandparents!) to enjoy the Owyhee with their favorite young campers. We will offer fun, family-friendly activities, like campfire storytelling, scavenger hunts, and more!

This camp will take place in Silver City, an old Idaho mining town. The town is built on granite, a type of stone very different from the rest of the Owyhee, and presents a good opportunity for finding quartz crystals and learning about geologic history. 

On Friday evening, we’ll arrive to set up camp, get to know each other, and go over the plan for the next couple of days. On Saturday, we’ll spend our time investigating Silver City’s history and its geology. In the afternoon, we’ll have some fun catching Mormon crickets, a plentiful and large native insect, and then use dissection tools to learn more about their anatomy. Then, on Sunday morning, we will take a group hike down an abandoned road to a pioneer-age cemetery (a must in old mining towns of the west!) before returning to camp to pack up and depart for home. 

All activities are group activities, so parent/guardian participation is expected alongside your student. 

About the area
The old mining town of Silver City, Idaho will take you back in time with its historical structures and nostalgic feel. Though it may feel like a ghost town, there are plenty of permanent residents in this wonderful spot in the Owyhee. There’s a historic Catholic church that overlooks the town from its granite throne, and Silver City is home to three ancient cemeteries. 

Silver City is tucked away into the Owyhee Mountains but is accessible by most passenger vehicles. Its campground is relatively primitive although there are pit toilets and permanent picnic tables. There isn’t any potable water, so we recommend that you bring your own water and/or a water filter for the nearby stream. 


  • Unique opportunity to camp with other families also interested in teaching their children the virtues of the outdoors
  • Instruction and general structure provided by Friends of the Owyhee
  • The Silver City area is beautiful and enjoyable


  • Even in June, higher elevations may get cold at night while being hot during the day
  • Being in a group camping situation with children may seem overwhelming at times, but we are all in this together and understand there are many parenting philosophies
  • The Mormon Crickets are very big bugs, but do not bite or sting, and are plentiful on the outskirts of town, however in town they are much lower in number but can still be alarming
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for their student(s) lodging, food and transportation, as well as any discipline

Suggested gear:

  • Daypack
  • Shelter (tarp or tent, stakes, ground cloth)
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad
  • Headlamp
  • Water bottles, plenty of water
  • Stove, fuel
  • Cooking pot, utensils, knife
  • Camp chairs
  • Food: 2 breakfasts, 2-3 lunches, 2 dinners, snacks/treats
  • Hygiene kit
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste
    • Sunscreen, chapstick
    • Baby wipes
    • Prescription medications
  • Hiking boots or trail shoes, camp shoes
  • Hiking clothes, camp clothes
  • Sun hat, sunglasses
  • Rain jacket, insulated jacket
  • Warm hat, gloves
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Camera, phone

Provided by FOTO 

  • Informational and educational packet
  • Guided activities
  • Navigational lead while hiking
  • Wilderness first aid training and supplies
  • Equipment for dissection, rock collection, and headstone rubbing


  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
    • Participants must be 4 years or older.
  • How much does camping cost? 
    • Camping is free.
  • Can I bring my dog?
    • For this trip, yes, but please note there will be many young kids with high energy.
  • Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
    • No, we will have a roster of the folks signed up.
  • Can I bring my tow-behind camper for this trip?
    • Due to the size of the campground, we recommend that you camp in a tent, though a vehicle arrangement may also work. 

If you have any questions not answered here, please contact Sammy via email, text, or phone call:, (541) 430-0577

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Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event