I dunno, why do kids get to go to all the camps in summer? I'm super jealous that Jake gets to go to comedy camp and animation camp along with his regular canoing and camping camp. I could use a break, a little inspired free time, are you with me? Well, we can go to mushroom camp.
On July 25-27 please report to the 2014 Lobster Mushroom Jamboree, hosted by certified mushroom identity expert "Mushroom" Mike Kempenich of the Mikeology Store. This weekend adventure promises to be a bit of a wild ride, with overnights in the 650,000 acres of wilderness in the Chippewa National Forest up Bemidji way.
This is a once a year kind of trip, because lobster mushrooms are the happy accident when a specific parasitic fungi attacks a Russula mushroom and an entirely new edible thing is created. Go nature! And, I'm not saying that you'll also find chanterelles, but I'm not NOT saying it. Plus, mushroom hunters are notorious scallywags and should absolutely be added to your friend set to help make you a more interesting person.
Your camp cook will be Scott Pampuch, so there's that. You all start out at the base camp and get to know your guides and fellow hunters over happy hour (take THAT kids camps!!). Then the next day, you wake up and begin foraging with Mike and his crew. Lunch is a bag lunch in the field (Pampuch bags lunch!) while you learn all the tricks and the trade of gathering mushrooms. This all leads up to a night with music (Rob Wheeler will the musical guest, no kumbaya) and a chef-prepared dinner made from the lobster mushroom bounty collected. All this happens at Hayslip's Corner in Talmoon which claims to be "the oldest bar in Minnesota", which might be worth the drive alone. The next morning starts (probably slowly for most) with breakfast and one more forage into the woods before the drive home. Cost for the whole weekend (minus your adult beverages) is $225 and you'll likely go home with some shrooms and tall tales to tell. What more could a camp kid ask for?