As featured in the June/July Pick & Shovel Gazette
By Dominic Ricci
How many remember the 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”?
Matthew Broderick, who starred and played the character Ferris Bueller, said in a scene a quote that has been remembered over the years: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The movie was written, co-produced, and directed by John Hughes. The film was his “love letter to Chicago” (where the film takes place) and he was quoted saying, “I really wanted to capture as much of Chicago as I could. Not just in the architecture and landscape, but the spirit.”
I try to share that same spirit in my writings as well as sharing the architecture and landscape (improvements) about each of our LDMA camps and properties.
Life is always busy, and we all get consumed with life and our responsibilities. Summer is upon us — prime prospecting season for most gold-bearing areas around the United States.
Are you getting geared up? LDMA camps are waiting for you to come and enjoy.
If you haven’t kept up to date on Facebook, or been reading the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) and Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association (LDMA) publications, then you may not realize what has been happening at the LDMA camps. Let me share some of the “Spirit of the Club” with you:
LDMA Camps OPEN for Members:
As we transition from spring to summer, LDMA camp hosts are waiting for your arrival. Many take advantage of the up to six-month stay at a camp before moving to the next camp, but there is plenty of room for all to stay for a month, a week or even a few days.
Burnt River Camp - Oregon
As the camp is gearing up for a busy summer, the meadows have been mowed, gold-bearing paydirt has been dug to get ready for a caretaker outing (June 22- 24). Members are in camp and running material. Don’t feel like digging your own material? The camp also sells scoops of paydirt that helps support the camp and maintain equipment.
Blue Bucket Camp – Oregon
Much-needed cleanup has been done during the closed winter months. The 110,000-pound excavator came back on the property to stockpile gold-bearing paydirt as well as fix an area that would otherwise have to be closed off where members were not following standard mining rules for safety (undercutting and not keeping to a 45-degree cut). Please note this cost the camp more than $1,000 to fix. Those funds could have been used elsewhere, so please help monitor this at all camps.
Scott River Camp – California
A new water heater that supports the shower (yes, you read that correctly) has just been installed and is waiting to be used. There is a fee that helps cover the water pump and pumping service. The first National Outing in more than two years has been the focus in getting the camp ready after a mild cold winter. Paydirt is ready and waiting at the “Lemon-Ade” processing plant.
Italian Bar Camp – California
The road to Italian Bar Camp is open, but be cautious. Rigs have made it down to camp and members have been sluicing in the Stanislaus River. There has been a lot of winter cleanup and infrastructure repairs to get ready for the upcoming National Outing June 27 through July 1. This is where the LDMA started, and the campfire is waiting for you to sit, relax and share stories.
Duisenburg Camp – California
The season is winding down as the temperatures are rising to triple digits. There will be some cleanup happening throughout the summer. We look to have an “Open Camp” weekend later this year —like an open house for people to come in and check out the camp). There is really good gold being found on the three LDMA exclusive claims that the camp has for member access.
Stanton Camp – Arizona
Just like Duisenburg camp, the heat has members moving on toward cooler places to hunt for gold. Water diversion and flood control are always on top of the list in the summer months to prep before the monsoon weather that arrives later in the year. Two gas clothes dryers were donated to the camp and we are looking to have them installed this summer. Repairs on the fire pit area have begun, and remodeling the kitchen area for the National Outings is under way. As many know, the local range cows come into camp and start breaking water faucets to get to water. Caretakers have installed two water troughs to help with cow control (there have not been any broken water stand pipes since). Planning is started on a BIG welcome back to Stanton Weekend BBQ and concert to be announced later this year for October.
Loud Mine Camp – Georgia
Camp hosts have been busy throughout the winter getting the camp ready for a busy summer.
Visitors and members have been coming in and enjoying all the new improvements and additions.
Here is a list of just a few: New sign on the drive in (satellite dish turned into gold pan with large shovel and gold painted barrels and large rocks made to look like gold), new sign on clubhouse, craft area in clubhouse, new sign-in area, fire pit added to pavilion area, kids gem trough at pavilion, panning station at pavilion; golf putting green, new park area by creek for everyone’s enjoyment (swing, fire pit, picnic tables), kids highbanking station, swing by ponds, and remodel of restroom showers.
Oconee Camp – South Carolina
This primitive jewel of a camp has seen more members and visitors in the last two months than it would normally see in a year. Members are panning and sluicing in the creek, highbanking in the pond and they are finding very nice gold. Evening movies are screened under the trees when it gets dark. Make your plans to stop in for awhile — you won’t regret it.
Vein Mountain – North Carolina
Ongoing winter cleanup has members coming into camp early this season to help out. A member has donated a speaker system for during the outings and camp activities along with a log splitter. Thank you, Mr. Anonymous! Plans are being looked at to convert a few sites to 50amp service.
Athens Camp - Michigan
Another not talked about camp that has so much potential for members to enjoy. New caretakers arrived in April and have been busy cleaning up, painting, mowing, dealing with electrical issues and having a camp “Meet & Greet” for members and the community. Look for some great things to happen.
LDMA is always looking for camp hosts (caretakers), as well as seasonal caretakers. If interested, please contact the LDMA administration at (800-551-9707) or email LDMAinfo@goldprospectors.org.
What’s Happening at Camp?
Stay connected year-round with all the happenings via social media. If you go to the main Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LDMACAMPS/), you can click on any of the LDMA camps or properties to see what is happening.
Each of the LDMA Camp Group pages list events, activities and what is happening. Share pictures and experiences, or see what you missed and what to plan for: Outings, bingo, potlucks, spaghetti feeds, pancake breakfasts, work projects and of course gold. So many things happen at camp. Contact the Camp Office for up-to-date happenings and activities.
If a non-LDMA member would like an opportunity to experience one LDMA Camp, please contact Membership Services to schedule a 3-Day Pass. There are some restrictions, and time slots do fill up fast so call 800-551-9707 and plan your adventure.
LDMA members, if you have family or a friend whom you’d like tto experience an LDMA camp, please call the LDMA main office at 800-551-9707 and we will get a 3-Day Pass out to them.
“Anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Anything at all. One. Two. Three. Blink.” — Meg Cabot
Don’t be an ostrich with your head in the tailings. You will surely miss out.
As always, thank you to all our members who “Ride For The Brand.” I hope to see you around the campfire or playing In The Dirt soon.
Dominic Ricci is the Executive Director of Operations for GPAA/LDMA and can be reached at 800-551-9707, ext. 163, or by email: email@example.com