Step into Maine’s Authentic “Sporting Heritage”

Attend a Sporting Camp “First Steps Outdoors” Program

Dad teaching his kids about gun safety

These kids are eager to learn about firearm safety and to try their first shots at the target range


Times change. Traditions don’t.

Times may have changed, but our need for outdoor activities with family and friends is more important than ever.

Remember the first time as a kid when you went target shooting, hunting, fishing or boating with your family? The woods were alive, the fish were jumping, and there were so many things to see and learn.

You probably have vivid memories outdoors with your dad, uncle or brother – even more vivid than how many targets you hit, the wildlife you saw or the fish you caught, and certainly more vivid than the last TV show you watched.

Now is the time to share that experience with your family and friends, so they can have that lifetime memory too.

Now is the time to build a bond between you and your spouse, kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces and friends that will last a lifetime.

Now is the time to pass on your “Sporting Heritage.”

Instead of sharing a video game or TV, why not show them how you spent time as a youth – getting into the great outdoors shooting, hunting, fishing and boating.

The Sporting Camp “First Steps Outdoors” Program

The Sporting Camp “First Steps Outdoors” program is offered by the Maine Sporting Camp Heritage Foundation to make it easy for outdoor enthusiasts to invite newcomers to participate in these traditional outdoor activities.

The “First Steps Outdoors” program provides an opportunity for families and their children, as well as couples and single adults, to experience their first steps into Maine’s sporting traditions during a two night stay at a traditional Maine Sporting Camp.

The goal is simple – to encourage sportsmen and women to ask family members, friends and neighbors to take their “First Steps Outdoors” and experience all the joys that Maine’s sporting traditions offer – Joys that have formed our “Sporting Heritage.”

The program’s theme of “First Steps” includes introductory instruction in firearms handling, fishing, motor boating, wildlife, conservation, and woods-craft through activities such as:

  • “First Bullseye”, an introduction to firearms safety and hands-on target shooting with rifle, handgun and shotgun
  • “First Casts”, a hands-on introduction to fly fishing
  • “First Boat”, a hands-on introduction to boating and outboard motor operation
  • “First Moose”, an introduction to watching Maine’s wildlife – moose, loons, eagles

The program uses time-tested materials from organizations like the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, the Maine Department of Conservation, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the International Hunter Education Association, and the National Rifle Association.

Participants are newcomers to sporting camps and/or are inactive in the hunting, shooting, fishing, boating, and remote outdoor recreation activities. Family members and companions with experience in one of more of these activities are also welcome to attend because family and peer support is vital to encouraging and sustaining participation in these activities.

Children are a welcome part of the activities. Safety always comes first, and participation is with parental permission and direct supervision only. Children under age 10 may participate in all activities including firearms classroom instruction and hands-on rife shooting. However, participation in the hands-on sessions for handgun and shotgun shooting will depend on the child’s physical size and maturity.

Program Dates for 2014:

Sorry, the 2014 schedule has not yet been set. Please check again.


Tim Pond Camps in Eustis, Maine (Tim Pond Township)
Located about 2 hours from Portland
Cabins sleep 2 to 6 persons, and have a full bath.


Participation in Program Activities is Free

Lodging & Meals:

Adult: $342
Youths age 10-15:  $171
Children age 5-9: Free for one child per adult, $171 for additional children
Children (age 4 and under):  Free
(7% state tax & 15% gratuity are additional)
Deposit: A 50% deposit is required to reserve space

To Sign Up & Reserve Lodging:

Space is limited. Please Call or Email “Tim Pond Camps” at:

(207) 243-2947

Contact us for 2013 Program Information & Detailed Activity Schedule:

To download and print the 2012 program information including a detailed activity schedule,
click Sporting Camp “First Steps Outdoors” Program Information  (pdf file, 160kb)

Or Contact:

John Rust, President
Maine Sporting Camp Heritage Foundation
(207) 337-5858

About Preserving the “Maine Sporting Camp Experience”

The Maine Sporting Camp Heritage Foundation was founded to preserve Maine’s traditional sporting camps and the natural resources they rely upon in order to preserve this part of Maine’s cultural heritage so that future generations will continue to have access to some of Maine’s most wild and scenic locations, and will be able to enjoy the outdoor experiences that sporting camps offer – the unique “Maine Sporting Camp Experience.”

A traditional Maine Sporting Camp is an integral part of Maine’s cultural heritage. For over 150 years, Sporting Camps have served the public by offering lodging, meals and recreational access to Maine’s most beautiful and remote natural locations. Many Sporting Camps feature hand-built log cabins that have been in continuous use for over 100 years. Maine’s sporting camps are world-renowned destinations for persons seeking recreational opportunities in one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Visitors to these camps help sustain the economies of many small rural communities in Maine’s most economically distressed regions.

The Foundation loans participating Sporting Camps the necessary specialized equipment such as trap machines, target rifles, pistols, shotguns, and fishing gear, and provides supplies like ammunition and targets. In addition, the Foundation provides expert volunteer instructors. Financial support in order to make participation more affordable for low income families and families of disabled veterans is available on a limited basis.