The following article about Kalispell Parks and Recreation's Zombie Survival Camp written by Parks and Recreation Director Chad Fincher, and Recreation Superintendent Mark Freidline was recently featured in Parks and Rec Business Magazine as a fine example of filling a timing niche while teaching real survival skills in a fun and entertaining way.
Through the years, we at Kalispell Parks and Recreation in Kalispell, Mont., have struggled to fill a need in the community for some type of programming during the week prior to elementary schools beginning the year. Our traditional summer camp usually ends a week earlier because counselors head back to college, leaving the camp short-staffed. Through conversation at a staff meeting, we hatched an idea, and a storyline quickly unfolded.
AS THE STORY GOES
Each summer in the northwest corner of Montana, a strange and horrifying occurrence repeats itself for one week—the Zombie Apocalypse. Zombies descend on the small town of Kalispell—only 45 minutes from Glacier Park—at the peak of the tourist season. And what keeps these unsuspecting residents and tourists safe during this invasion of the undead? The fearless and well-trained campers from Kalispell Parks and Recreation’s Zombie Survival Camp.
The zombie phenomenon has manifested itself in different ways throughout popular culture in recent years. Vast numbers of movies, television shows, and books calling attention to these grotesque and blood-thirsty creatures have been presented. But we have discovered another method for showcasing the walking dead that has become popular in the community … youth programming.
Kalispell Parks and Recreation has been offering its annual Zombie Survival Camp since 2017, and the interest from children and parents has been incredible. The three-day camp focuses on the preparation of participants for a zombie apocalypse. The premise is to teach real survival skills in a fun and entertaining way, including developing emergency plans, fire building, first aid, orienteering, archery, and marksmanship. Campers even go into the “laboratory” to synthesize a cure. The experiment uses strawberry DNA extraction (YouTube has some great “how-to” videos). It is a fun, easy, and inexpensive activity that plays into the storyline. There are zombie sightings throughout the week, culminating with a legendary Nerf-gun and water-balloon battle between campers and zombies. During the attack on Camp Woodland, campers use all of the survival skills they learned.
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE AND LEARN HOW PARTICIPANTS IN KALISPELL'S ZOMBIE SURVIVAL CAMP PREPARED THEMSELVES FOR A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE AND HOW VOLUNTEERS MADE THE EVENT POSSIBLE, PLEASE VISIT https://www.parksandrecbusiness.com/articles/zombie-survival-camp?rq=zombies