By Nick Nunn Staff Writer

Camp Twin Lakes’ Rutledge location held a Community Day last Sunday, April 27, inviting both members of the public and potential campers to see the camp’s facilities, as well as its ongoing projects. “Every spring, we have an ‘open house’ for our campers and their families to tour the camp and participate in a few camp activities like paddle boating and archery,” said Meghan Hauser, development manager at Camp Twin Lakes. Hauser said that campers were allowed to tour the camp’ Medical Lodge and some of the campers’ cabins. She also said that camp workers meet with the campers and parents, in order to tell them what they should expect during their week of camp. “This is also an opportunity for campers to meet other campers who will be attending their same camp,” said Hauser.

Camp Twin Lakes also took the opportunity to give the general public a chance to look toward future improvements at the Rutledge location. “This year, we invited the local community to join us so they can see the camp, as well as some new projects currently underway and in the works,” said Hauser. Hauser said that Camp Twin Lakes completed a five-year strategic plan for the development of the organization. The plan, which is titled, “Every Child Deserves All We Have,” sets forth the “strategic improvements” that will take place at each of Camp Twin Lake’s locations. The strategic investment initiative sets forth a set of improvements for each Camp Twin Lakes site that will foster the “deepening [of the camp’s] impact on each camper, growing and enriching our sites, and building on our expertise to serve as a leadership institute for our campers, staff, and Camp Partners.” In total, the initiative estimates the cost of the improvements at $2,898,000.

Improvements to the Rutledge location will make up approximately $1,250,000 of the total initiative cost. Hauser said that “just over $1,000,000” has been raised so far. A few of the improvements in the initiative that are designated for the Rutledge location include the construction of flexible housing for family and staff, the creation of a group home for adults with developmental disabilities, the expansion of the camp’s parking lots, and the addition of a team ropes course.

The ropes course, listed as a $200,000 project in the initiative, has been completed, and this summer’s campers will be able to use this new addition to the camp. Hauser said that Camp Twin Lakes is partnering with Jewish Family and Career Services and Hand-In-Hand Ministries for the group home for adults with developmental disabilities. She said that work on the group home project has only recently begun, and that the project site is currently being cleared so that construction can begin. Hauser said that the best way for members of the public to contribute to the camp is by sponsoring Camper Scholarships, which, at $800, pay for 80 percent of a weeklong stay at Camp Twin Lakes. “Our relationship with Morgan County and the surrounding communities is very important to us,” said Hauser. “People do not always get a chance to visit camp, so we wanted to open our doors to the community.

We want the community to know first-hand what we are doing and how we are growing.” For more information about Camp Twin Lakes and its individual programs, visit their website at http://www.camptwinlakes.org/