This is the second year Eau Galle Reservoir and Highland Ridge Campground will be opening its waters and campsites to veterans, active duty military, first responders and their families for a free weekend.
June 28-30, service families are invited to camp, enjoy the beach and kayak at no cost. Small Craft Outfitters, LLC will be providing all equipment necessary for kayaking and fishing. The hosts, Wisconsin Hero Outdoors and Small Craft Outfitters, LLC asks those interested to send an RSVP as soon as possible on the Facebook invite titled "2nd Annual Eau Galle Reservoir Camping and Kayak Fishing Outing."
Wisconsin Hero Outdoors strives to give veterans and first responders opportunities to experience outdoor therapeutic activities. The organization has been a component of the non-profit group Waukesha County Community Foundation since 2018.
Tyler Thiede, owner of Small Craft Outfitters, LLC, said he expects people from as far as Minneapolis to participate. Last year approximately 20 people total attended the weekend event, some from Spring Valley, La Crosse, Appleton, Milwaukee, and places near those areas.
There will be no scheduled or organized activities as the hosts want the weekend to be a relaxing time, Thiede said.
At this time, non-veteran, non-military and non-first responder families are not able to attend but Thiede said he has received interest.
"I will bring it up to leadership of Wisconsin Hero Outdoors to see if there are plans to do this," Thiede said."
Wisconsin Hero Outdoors and Small Craft Outfitters, LLC plan to continue this weekend tradition for service families each year.
"The Reservoir is a perfect area for an event like this and the ACoE are more than happy to donate use of the campground and recreational areas for our veterans and responders," Thiede said. "I have had several people from last year ask about it early in the spring, so it is back by popular demand."