Camp Josh raising funds

Retreat for the disabled raffling Nugent-signed guitar

Vanessa Dietz/Daily Mining Gazette Camp Josh sports a gazebo, fishing deck and pond in front of a log cabin where volunteers provide outdoor recreational opportunities to developmentally disabled children and adults in Ontonagon County.

HOUGHTON — Camp Josh is fundraising to provide outdoor recreational opportunities and education for people with disabilities, focused on hunting, fishing and the camp itself.

“We have had some amazing days at Camp Josh this year,” said J.R. Richardson, one of the board members for the camp staffed entirely by volunteers.

The board is selling raffle tickets until Dec. 23 for chances to win an autographed guitar played in concert by Ted Nugent. Dave Radovich handcrafted a display case for the guitar. Tickets are $5 each or six for $20.

Recent events at the camp included a veterans shoot on the Ron Howard Range on July 22.

In other news, the camp secured a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) grant last year under the U.P. Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative.

“Awesome food plot Steve Store,” Richardson said of his fellow board member, who works diligently to grow crops to attract wildlife to the site in Ontonagon Township.

“People support Camp Josh because they like it,” Richardson said.

Always being upgraded, Camp Josh is a log cabin with a fishing pond built on 40 acres near the Cranberry River off the L.P. Walsh Road.

“The folks have caught fish which bring giggles and smiles to their faces,” Richardson said.

He shared the history of the camp.

“It was named in honor of Josh Bader who was in a wheelchair all of his life and never got to enjoy fishing until TRALE UP took him on Lake Superior during a free fishing weekend,” Richardson said. “He was overjoyed and talked about it always. Sadly, Josh passed away before his dream became a reality.”

The drawing will be at noon on Christmas eve. In addition to Camp Josh, the fundraiser will benefit the U.P. Sportfisherman’s Association and the Kandy Richardson Memorial Scholarship fund at Gogebic Community College. Kandy is J.R.’s late wife.

“Many folks have donated and prefer to remain unnamed,” Richardson said. “We are so fortunate to have your support so we can do these types of things.”

Raffle tickets will be sold during Ontonagon’s Labor Day festivities and are being sold by board members and at a couple businesses.

“Y101 has tickets, as well as the Ontonagon Herald and all the board members,” Richardson said.

In addition to Richardson and Store, board members include Don and Josie Olson, Joel Larsen and Brian Mason.

An open house is planned later this month.