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January 20, 2016

Explore Winter Camping and Outdoor Recreation at ‘Base Camp Oswego’ Feb. 27

OSWEGO – Outdoor enthusiasts can learn winter survival skills, the basics of winter camping, and explore the grounds of Camp Hollis on skis and snowshoes at “Base Camp Oswego 2016,” a winter outdoor expo, Saturday, Feb. 27 at Camp Hollis.

Hosted by the Oswego County Division of Parks and Recreation and Oswego Expeditions, the event is being organized by a group of outdoor enthusiasts including Pinnacle Builders USA Inc., Oswego Expeditions, the Oswego County Search and Rescue Team, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Oswego County Tourism Office, Oswego County Division of Parks and Recreation, and several volunteers.

Admission is free.

“The focus will be on exploring and enjoying Oswego County’s great resources for outdoor winter recreation, with a full day of field trips and workshops,” said event chairman and County Legislator Jake Mulcahey of Oswego. “Overnight camping will be available on the grounds of Camp Hollis Saturday night, Feb. 27, for those who bring their own winter camping gear.”

Workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Camp Hollis overlooking Lake Ontario, 40 Health Camp Road in the town of Oswego. The event begins at 9:30 a.m.

“Our winter weather brings unique opportunities and challenges for exploring and enjoying the outdoors,” said Mulcahey. “This event is designed to introduce people to the basics of winter camping, skiing and snowshoeing. We’re bringing together a group of experienced volunteers who will share their knowledge of techniques and places to go right here in Oswego County.”

Richard Drosse will lead a family-friendly cross-country ski tour along the wooded trails at Camp Hollis at 10 a.m. Three snowshoe hikes will give people a chance to explore the area and learn new skills. Volunteer Joe Chairvolotti, district forester with the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District, will lead a woods walk at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., Search and Rescue Team volunteers will lead a winter survival skills snowshoe hike, where participants will collect firewood and learn how to build a campfire and shelter in the snow. At 11 a.m. Jennifer Mays of Oswego Expeditions will lead a fast-paced snowshoe trek focusing on a cardio workout.

Experienced volunteers will pitch tents and set up camp for overnight camping, and will be available to answer questions and demonstrate gear needed for a safe and enjoyable winter camping experience.

Workshop topics include introduction to winter camping; how to set up camp and pitch a tent in the snow; camp cooking techniques, backpacking stoves and meal options; introduction to GPS; orienteering; and Project Lifesaver demonstration.

Volunteers will demonstrate skijoring and fat bikes. Supervised sledding will take place on the hillside. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own sleds, skis and snowshoes if they have them. A limited number of snowshoes will be available for loan.

The Camp Hollis administration building will be open as a warm-up area. Vendors and information on trails and winter recreation will be located inside. Lunch and hot beverages will be available.

Overnight campers are invited to join in a moonlight snowshoe trek and bonfire Saturday evening. Those planning to camp overnight should bring all of their own gear and food. Overnight campers will be asked to register and sign an insurance waiver. Registration information and a checklist of required gear will be announced soon. Base Camp Oswego is sponsored by Pinnacle Builders USA Inc., Oswego Expeditions, Oswego County Division of Parks and Recreation, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Oswego County Search and Rescue Team, and the Greater Oswego – Fulton Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Oswego County Buildings and Grounds Department and the Oswego Town Volunteer Fire Department.

For information visit facebook.com/basecamposwego or call the Oswego County Division of Parks and Recreation at 315-349-3450 or the Oswego County Tourism Office at 315-349-8322, or email bmorey@oswegocounty.com.

Camp Hollis is owned by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. Any proceeds from the event will be donated to Friends of Camp Hollis, a not-for-profit group that supports children’s recreation activities at Camp Hollis.

The spacious grounds at Camp Hollis will be the setting of Base Camp Oswego, a winter recreation expo with snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter camping Saturday, Feb. 27.

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