Camp Happy Valley, the former Salvation Army camp in Putnam County that closed a couple years ago has new owners, a new name and a new mission. The Church at the Depot purchased the camp for a unique church ministry.
All too often many kids have watched their parents get high on drugs.
“If you are born into a family who has historically made destructive choices, then that child will historically become one who makes destructive choices as an adult,” said Jarrod Davis, the Director of Camp Appalachia. The camp’s new mission is to show kids they don’t have to be addicted to drugs like their parents or other family members. Davis says camp leaders will use various camp activities to focus on the positive attributes of the campers.
“We are going to provide a free camp experience to them where we can build them up and expose them to a new normal and show them they don’t have to live a life of destructive choices,” said Davis.
Gaelyn Sullivan is one of seven Americorps volunteers working to fix up the camp. It’s work that has special meaning to her. She says the opioid epidemic has hit her hometown of Burlington, Vermont hard. “I feel warm and I feel grateful that there’s going to be a resource for these children that i have never seen before,” said Sullivan.
“We cannot change their situations, but we can change their outlook within their situations,” said Davis.
The Church at the Depot paid $535,000 for the camp. Church members are also volunteering their time and resources to get the camp ready for campers. Davis hopes to have Camp Appalachia open in June.
Davis is hoping the community can help with some specific needs of this ministry. Call the church at 304-757-9166 for more information.