ENC summer stay sponsors 50 Camp Lejeune children

August 20, 2017 - summer camp

Camp Kirkwood might seem like any other residential summer camp.

Located in a woods of Pender County and founded in a 1950s, a zip lines, walking trails, archery classes and swimming pool seem ordinary. There are, after all, many other camps that offer that and more. But, it’s not a activities that make Camp Kirkwood so significant. Rather, it’s a people that that make it duty as a home divided from home for campers and, importantly, for troops families seeking to find a approach for their children to be usually that — children.

For a Vavich family, Camp Kirkwood was “an comprehensive gift”, Shannon Vavich said. A troops mother with years of mostly “stressful” use underneath her belt, Camp Kirkwood supposing a certain shun from a responsibilities and even hindrances of being a troops child for her kids. In total, 4 of Vavich’s children were beneficiaries of a extend supposing from a ASYMCA curtailed by Rick Houp, CEO of ASYMCA aboard Camp Lejeune.

This extend finished it probable for approximately 50 other troops children to take full advantage of a summer and recover their childhood.

“How did Camp Kirkwood impact my family? Consider this, we usually changed from Okinawa in late May. And with an general move, we have to work so hard. It’s stressful to leave friends and even a nation behind. And afterwards there’s housing — it’s grueling. Especially on a children. So, when we saw a event to send my children to stay for $100, we sealed adult immediately. It was a approach for them to escape,” Vavich added. “If we had to compensate a full rate, we never could have finished it.”

Arguably, a Vavich family has endured a satisfactory share of hardships ancillary their Marine, a flashy Colonel who within moments of nearing stateside took authority of Marine Corps Social Operations Command (MarSOC).

“I know many reading this might think, a colonel’s family can’t means a full rate? But, that’s a truth. It’s usually not in a budget. There are so many expenditures with relocating and usually being a troops family over all that Camp Kirkwood, in a intensely thorough manner, understands,” she said.

The extend subsidized a camp’s normal price of a small over $400 and finished probable for a Vavich children to attend for $100 a piece.

“As a family, we haven’t stopped given 9/11,” Vavich said. “But, this summer they got to have adventures and make new friends. It was such a blessing. … It’s a placed private from daily life. There’s a canopy of trees, trails and friendly cabins with plain timber bunks inside. Air conditioned cabins and a lake with zip line. A pool, too, so a children were means to float each day and go paddle boarding, use archery and fire aim use with bee bee guns — they were activities they always wanted to do. Activities that authorised them to forget about their troubles during home adjusting and bettering once again.”

So, how accurately did a extend begin? Enter Luke Dooley, Camp Kirkwood’s associate executive director. His pursuit is to manage all during camp.

In January, Dooley wrote a extend by a YUSA for $24,000 for troops families that would concede 50 campers to stay for a week, free. The YUSA (the YMCA for a whole United States) concluded to give $12,000. The stipulation, it had to be matched. Once all 50 of these aforementioned slots were filled, Houp afterwards finished hit with Dooley anticipating to find a approach to send kids privately from Camp Lejeune to a week of camp. 

“He concluded to compensate $250 per camper.  Camp Kirkwood afterwards concluded to compensate $125 per camper, withdrawal usually $100 left to be paid by a families,” Dooley clarified. “Originally, Rick and we concluded on 40 campers, though once we filled these 40 slots, we detected some-more families in Camp Lejeune were interested. So we increasing a series from 40 to 50.”

The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) donated $12,500 to send Camp Lejeune kids to stay for this past summer.

For subsequent summer, a ASYMCA has already concluded to do another 50 campers and Dooley is prepared to try and obtain a YUSA extend for a second time. His personal goal, he said, is to make Camp Kirkwood a summer home for troops families from Ft. Bragg to Camp Lejeune, to Wilmington and even Cherry Point. He’s also fiddling with ideas to yield transportation.

“This past summer we were means to assistance send 100 troops campers to Kirkwood.  we would like to send even some-more subsequent summer. To do so, we am going to try and lift $25,000 from particular donors, churches, and other organizations. As we am new to this area, we will need assistance joining with a right people and organizations. we wish troops families to feel certified and appreciated,” Dooley said.

That’s accurately because Dooley says there is never a bad time to call him and get involved.

Anyone meddlesome in partnering with Camp Kirkwood to yield troops families with this knowledge should hit Dooley directly by email or phone during 336-409-7938 or luke.dooley@ymcasenc.org.

“Our goal here during Camp Kirkwood is to assistance children strech their God-given intensity in spirit, mind, and body.  The YMCA believes in a core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility.  The goal of a ASYMCA is ‘Making Military Life Easier.’ we trust a troops shares a same core values and this is because it is so critical for a YMCA and all branches of a troops to work together to yield peculiarity programming for their youth,” Dooley continued.

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