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Dark Horse Is Hosting A Hellboy Summer Camp This Year

this exists

Something tells me Hellboy’s provisions for camping would differ from your regular wilderness survivor. For one, not many people would take a hand gun with, let alone one named Big Baby. But I’ll be damned if he couldn’t start a fire faster than anyone (because he’d have a lighter with him). Regardless, picturing Hellboy camping is exactly what Dark Horse Comics wants you to do this summer. They’re opening a Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense training camp in Oregon for kids 9-17. 

Dark Horse and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola have joined forces with a wilderness training organization to create a B.P.R.D.-inspired training facility. According to the company, Trackers Earth, “Recruits get actual field time during the entire camp. Learning is hands-on with essential survival skills such as shelter building, stealth and tactical and martial arts training.”

But because this is Dark Horse and because this is Mignola, they’ve made the entire experience feel like a true comic book experience with their descriptions:

Find out if you have what it takes to join an elite team of paranormal investigators combating the forces of darkness from all across the globe. We immerse you in tactical training of all forms, including survival skills in any environment (both earthly and non), martial arts and self-defense specific to praeternatural entities, hand to hand weaponry (we train foam swords, bows and more) and forensic investigation. All these key skills that every agent must have, plus you are steeped in the history of our Bureau and legacy of paranormal research.

One, I wish I lived in Oregon. Two, I wish I were young again.

Recruits 9-10 will “train survival and field skills in local greenspaces. They also spend their day investigating the haunted history of our city, piecing together the larger mystery revolving around the legend of Adolph Aschoff, a real-life German homesteader whose fictionalized history you can read at that link.

The older camp-goers will also investigate haunted history but also get to spend two nights at Camp Trackers near Sandy, Oregon “to investigate reports of dark figures and strange happenings at the remnants of the old defunct town of Marmot. Here they search for legendary and lost pioneer cemetery (true story) to ask local spectres and spirits about the town’s history and the legend of Adolph Aschoff, the man who is said to have sealed away an ancient evil upon the founding of the town.”

Here’s the complete experience:

  • tactical training
  • survival in any environment
  • martial arts and self-defense specific to praeternatural entities
  • hand to hand weaponry (foam swords, bows and more)
  • investigation and forensics
  • folklore & mythology
  • potion and charms 101
  • telepathy training
  • gadgets of the occult: EMF detectors, polarized lenses and other paranormal investigative gear
  • comparative analogy and physiology of monsters
  • construct your own quality foam swords and training weapons
  • meet the artists of the comic book that documents the adventures of the B.P.R.D.
  • Bureau history and paranormal research

The cost is $292 for kids 9-10 and $398 for those 11-17. Seriously, how cool is this? I know nothing about camping but can I volunteer to be a counselor? I’m all about making my own training weapons.

(story via io9, image via tir-ri [Riikka Auvinen] on DeviantArt)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."