News and Updates

Categories: From the Pick & Shovel Gazette

 Wednesday, August 2, 2017

LDMA camps bustling with events, renovations

by Dominic Ricci

LDMA camps bustling with events, renovations
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LDMA camps bustling with events, renovations

By Dominic Ricci


From excavators and barbecues to camp digs and renovations, with 10 LDMA campgrounds across the country, there is always something going on!

For more information on participating in an outing or becoming an LDMA member, visit or call membership services at 1-800-551-9707.


Burnt River – Oregon

Caretakers Jim and Pam Haney continue to host camp caretaker outings and get-togethers. Jim aspires to be the “Galloping Gourmet Chef on the BBQ.”

Gold is being unearthed daily, whether from one’s own prospecting, or purchasing a scoop of paydirt.

Major improvements to the clubhouse and bathhouse electrical, plumbing and more will likely have begun by the release of this publication.

Preparations are underway for hosting the Gold Prospectors Boot Camp and National Outing — see dates below.


Blue Bucket – Oregon

There is never a dull moment at the “Bucket!”

Being located right alongside Interstate 84, there is always traffic flowing into camp from curious travelers. Caretaker Robert, aka Ball-Ball Squirrel, aka Squirrel, is always up for giving gold-panning lessons and talking about the rich history of the area.

One day a family stopped in at Blue Bucket with their two boys. Just as Squirrel began his panning demonstration, LDMA member David Hass came by and gave the boys their first gold pan. The fever started that day for the whole family. That’s what members do — they look out for each other.

Excitement is brewing with the upcoming National Outing just around the corner. This will be the first one in about six years at the Bucket. The gold has been hibernating, waiting for you to come get it. Squirrel and his wife, Julie, have been working hard to make sure the camp is ready for you!

Ponds have been cleaned out, the fields have been mowed, and outing organization is being finalized. On top of that, a 55-ton monster excavator was on the property working on some safe zones, but also stockpiling material for the outing. Members in camp have done several pre-tests to choose the richest area to pull material, and let me say, the test pans are revealing golden smiles!


Italian Bar – California

Numerous hard-hitting storms throughout the winter caused major damage to the road leading down to the LDMA Italian Bar Camp. Tuolumne County officials say the road is closed, but the gate at the top of the hill remains unlocked for local traffic.

The county is working on getting funds from FEMA so it can repair the road. I recently traveled to Italian Bar, and while the road may appear to be in decent shape, the real concern is when vehicles need to pass each other. The edge is soft, and can give way.

Caretakers Tom and Brenda say there are members in camp, and they have been finding gold; however, with no motorized equipment allowed in the river at this time, they are doing it the old-school way with a sluice box.

Look to future publications for updates on road conditions.


Duisenburg – California

Welcome to this peaceful oasis in the high desert of Southern California.

It has been a quiet summer thus far as the temperatures have been steadily 100-plus degrees and the winds blowing fierce. Should you decide to stop in for a visit, or stay for a month, caretakers Mel and Charlotte will be there to greet you.

It’s the calm before the real storm! Scheduled for the end of September and beginning of October is a Metal Detecting Hands-On Training Day, followed by a Metal Detecting Hunt with cash, silver, gold and more on the line. This is open to anyone, just sign up to participate.

The metal detecting event will be followed by a National Outing. We will be opening a new area to pull material, and participants will get gold!


Stanton – Arizona

Just like Duisenburg, this is the off-season… or is it?

Caretakers Clark and Val took a bit of time off, but have been busy working to prepare for the upcoming Arizona prospecting season.

Both the men’s and women’s showers have gone through the Triple-R; remodeled, rebuilt and ready!

Members have asked about Wi-Fi access when in camp. We are looking to have it ready by mid-September. It will work when you are in the Opera House or in front of the Camp Office. Remember, Stanton is a remote camp, so we will pull the string tight on the tin cans and get communications working for general email, web browsing and social media only. No streaming!

The kick-off to the upcoming season is a Statewide Chapter event in September. Members from Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and maybe more will come enjoy a weekend in the desert. We anticipate more than 100 people using the camp during this event.

Look forward to the Stanton Camp Day Spa opening in November. What better place to come and partake in a mineral bath. It will open on the first day of the National Outing. See Dominic Ricci for available time slots.


Athens – Michigan

Head on out to LDMA Athens Camp this September for a Camp Dig and Open House! Invite a friend to come out and participate, and help spread the fever! Caretaker Chuck has dirt ready and plenty of room, so come get your gold.


Oconee – South Carolina

Layne, Oconee’s caretaker, is in the final process of getting a temporary dump tank in place for members staying in camp for extended periods of time.

What about water? We are working on that as well. A tank with delivery service is the fastest solution, so you can fill your tanks.

There’s good gold at Oconee Camp, so make your plans to come visit this quiet, primitive camp. You will gain weight if you plan it right — get it, because gold is heavy? You can feel good about telling your significant other that you’ve gained a few pounds!


Loud Mine – Georgia

If you don’t know what a “Crock” camp is, then you owe it to yourself to head to LDMA Loud Mine. There you will meet caretakers Bill, aka Crock, and Stephanie. They will make you feel at home.

There is plenty of material and ponds available to run and find your gold.

The camp is looking forward to its National Outing this September with the hopes of breaking its prior-year record of 152 participants. Sign up now and invite some non-members to sign up too. There is gold on the line.


Help inspire someone else …. to play in the dirt and find their gold.


Upcoming LDMA Camp Events –


National Outings

Blue Bucket , Ore.: Aug. 18 - 22

Burnt River, Ore.: Sept. 13 - 17

Loud Mine, Ga.: Sept. 20 - 24

Vein Mountain, N.C.: Sept. 27 – Oct. 1

Duisenburg, Calif.: Oct. 4 - 8

Stanton, Ariz.: Nov. 1 - 5


Gold Prospectors Boot Camp

Burnt River – week #1: Aug. 27 – Sept. 2

Burnt River – week #2: Sept. 3 - 9

Stanton – week #1: Oct. 15 – 21

Stanton – week #2: Oct .22 - 28


Dredgers Camp

Vein Mountain, N.C.: Sept. 13 - 17


Metal Detecting Trainings/Hunts

Duisenburg, Calif.: Sept. 30 – Oct. 1

Stanton, Ariz.: Oct. 28 - 29


For more information on any of these LDMA events, or to sign up, call the LDMA National Headquarters 1-800-551-9707.

Follow the LDMA camp activities on Facebook: Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association - Diggin for Gold, Gems and More!



Dominic Ricci is the Executive Director of Operations for GPAA/LDMA and can be reached at 800-551-9707, ext. 163, or by email:


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