After Jon Francis tragically lost his life in 2004, his father, David, co-founded the Jon Francis Foundation as a way both of commemorating his son and continuing his son’s mission of outdoor involvement and advocacy. “[The foundation] is dedicated to saving lives through wilderness safety education, empowering families who have suffered the loss of an adult loved one in the wilderness, and advocating for legal protection for missing adults,” he says.
One of the foundation’s crowning achievements occurs June 10, as Camp Jon operates for the second consecutive year. “I kept coming across information of people who go out into the wilderness, especially alone, who often don’t have the knowledge, the skills, the preparation that they should, and that leads to accidents,” Francis says.
The foundation puts on many educational events. Camp Jon is a full-day camp that helps educate all skill levels—children, families and experienced adventurers. The program presents experts in the community, with help from National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming to teach the first-aid section.
“We worked hard to do our first Camp Jon last year on Father’s Day weekend,” Francis says. “It teaches the essentials of how to prepare, how to get smart, how to plan a trip, what equipment you should carry, how to learn navigation with a map and compass.”