"Hunt with Heart empowers and enhances the lives of young people battling severe, life altering or life threatening illness through the power of the outdoors."
About Hunt with Heart
In late 2011, Crystal and Toby Kroeger were visiting a patient, Nick, at the hospital after a surgery when Toby mentioned that he was getting ready for hunting season. You could have heard a pin drop as the room silenced. Nick’s mother then explained that Nick’s lifelong dream was to go hunting. He spent hours playing hunting video games and wished that he could do it for real, but never had the opportunity.
Crystal and Toby knew immediately that they had to make Nick’s wish come true. Crystal contacted the owners of Beaver Creek Ranch (Jim and JoAnne Elzner). The Elzners were complete strangers to them, but when Crystal explained what they wanted to do, Jim and JoAnne were as excited about the opportunity to introduce Nick to hunting as Crystal and Toby were. Within a month arrangements were made for Crystal and Toby to bring Nick up for a weekend of hunting. The Beaver Creek Ranch operation was first-class and together they provided Nick with a wonderful outdoor retreat and introduction to hunting. The trip was just as rewarding for all involved and proof that it couldn’t end there. Crystal and Toby decided to start Hunt with Heart Incorporated with the help of two additional board members, Kassie Barron and Gregg Taney, to provide these types of experiences to other kids like Nick.
After this first endeavor the organization grew rapidly. With the support of Dr. Jeff Dreyer, a pediatric cardiologist, patients were identified that might be interested in hunting and fishing opportunities. Building off the success and generosity of Beaver Creek Ranch, Camp Beaver Creek was created as an entry point into the organization. With two camps annually, each hosting six young people and their families, Camp Beaver Creek provides a source of empowerment, as most of the kids have never used firearms. Also, their opportunities to participate in confidence-building outdoor activities have been limited. Aside from the benefits the camp provides the members, it also serves to unite families that can now share common experiences in a setting they all enjoy.