All courses are taught by Vermont Fish & Wildlife certified instructors and cover curriculum required for Vermont’s Hunter Education Program. Currently instructors volunteer their time which has allowed the cost to remain low so that camp is accessible to all youth. Scholarships are also available. Call Bonnie at 802-863-3557.
Dennis is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and spent much of his career managing the competitive marksmanship program for the Vermont Army National Guard where he helped individuals and teams gain national recognition. He began hunting at age 11 and has traveled and hunted throughout the United States and Canada. Dennis spent five years as a licensed big game guide in Wyoming where he aided many hunters in locating pronghorn antelope, coyote, and mule deer. As a certified hunter education instructor, Dennis has trained over 800 youth and adults in safe, responsible, and ethical hunting practices.
From a very young age Mike has enjoyed the outdoors, from fishing as a child to ongoing cultivation of his skills as a hunter. "I have always found myself to appreciate the wilderness. I feel that teaching the youth who are interested in hunting and fishing not only preserves the beauty of Vermont, but conserves the delicate ecosystem. Hunting and fishing is a very important and valued tradition in Vermont. I have taught my son the importance of these concepts and I want to instill these ideals to our future generations."
Tim is a certified hunter education instructor and an instructor for the Vermont Let’s Go Fishing program. He teaches bow hunting and is a black powder enthusiast.
Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps and retired as a Chief Patrol Agent in the U.S. Border Patrol, Paul brings years of experience handling and instructing the use of firearms. He has hunted and fished since he was a young boy. Paul holds Vermont certifications as a Hunter Education instructor of over 25 years, Bow & Arrow, and Let’s Go Fishing. He believes that pursuit of these outdoor activities provide a healthy path to understanding and enjoying our great outdoors.
Lee is a life-long outdoors enthusiast; he has worked with multiple youth outdoor programs that focus on survival skills and outdoor awareness. A graduate of Sterling college, Lee enjoys sharing his love for natural history, foraging, and primitive technologies with everyone.
Julie is a National Archery in the Schools Program instructor. She teaches campers individually and as a group. Julie carries on the family tradition of hunting, fishing and wilderness adventures; her father was Machia Wilderness Camp's visionary Larry Machia.
Mike is a retired Army National Guard Master Sargent of 32 years. He spent the last 15 years of his career as an instructor in the Regional Training Institute at Camp Johnson in Colchester. Mike loves to hunt and fish and enjoys the beauty nature has to offer. He stressed the importance of being good stewards of the land with his three children as they grew up. As a Hunter Education Instructor, he wishes to share his knowledge and experience with our younger generation. His goal is to help keep the tradition of hunting alive in Vermont.
More Camp Roles
Bonnie Machia: Executive Director
Bonnie holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Music Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum Development. She is a licensed teacher in K–12 music and elementary education. In 2015 Bonnie became a certified Master Gardener and helped Jan Desarno develop the children's gardening program at Wheeler Park in South Burlington.
Bonnie taught in Chittenden County schools for 28 years, worked with the Rural Education Center, and with Champlain College students in career planning. She put these skills and experiences together to launch the Machia Wilderness Camp in July 2004 in memory of her late husband Larry.
Garth Peterson: Safety Officer
Garth Peterson, as a native Vermonter growing up in Waterbury, loved being in nature hunting and fishing. In his retirement years he continues to enjoy these activities. After graduation from UVM he served, for six years, as an officer in the Air Force. Following his service, he returned to Vermont, to work at UVM in the Treasurer’s and Controller’s Offices for thirty-one years. Garth served as Treasurer for the Machia Wilderness Camp from its inception in 2004 until 2017. He continues as an active Board Member.
Fred Sanford: Camp Cook
Fred not only makes sure the kids don't go hungry; he lavishes attention on the campers, makes them laugh and makes sure they all help with preparation and clean-up. Great life lessons from a great friend of Machia Camp.