Light Foundation hosts Camp Vohokase once again


By Drew Terhall

GREENVILLE — The Light Foundation finished up hosting their flagship summer programming in Camp Vohokase this past week. The eight day camp starting on June 20 ended on June 27 at Chenoweth Trails.

The camp brings together 16 young men from around the country to learn various skills with the main emphasis being on developing leadership skills.

Matt Light said it was an incredible weeks with the group as they explored around the county learning and doing many different things during the week.

“We have a lot of fun with getting creative and doing stuff that guys do in the outdoors and competing. Competition is a big part of everything we do,” Light said. “Everything we do at Chenoweth Trails is designed to instill leadership qualities. This camp in particular is a leadership camp. We are introducing young men from around the country to each other, to different concepts and different ideas.”

Light said the group went on many field trips around the county. They visited Bruns Construction and learned about the industry. The group also had the chance to hear Ralph Brumbaugh’s story and hear about his business. They did get the chance to meet Hank Steinmetz and had the opportunity to learn about the art of blacksmithing. For a change of pace, the group was introduced to Sammy Davis, a Medal of Honor recipient from his time in Vietnam, and heard his story.

For their community service project, they helped clean up debris in Greenville City Park near the band area.

Light said the group also did many activities around Chenoweth Trails. They helped clean up the amphitheater by sanding down the benches and re-stained them. They hung around the pond, rode dirt bikes and competed in a sling shot competition using sling shots they made.

This is a four year program and this group featured three young men that graduated after the camp was done. Light said all three campers are from Maine and have showed off their leadership qualities during the camp.

“This is a four year program. This isn’t a one hit wonder. We get to know these young men over four years. This year, we have three kids from the Passamaquoddy Tribe up in Maine who are graduating. They have dedicated four years of their lives to this program. They’re also some of our leaders. They help lead things throughout the day,” Light said.

After all of the activities of the day, the group will get together at night for a fireside chat. Light said each day in camp they go from sun up to sun down and end each day with a fireside chat. It’s a time for everyone to share their thoughts on the day’s lesson or it’s a chance to bond with each other.

Light said this camp is about sharing experiences and that can be daunting for the freshmen in the group. This year they had four new campers join in.

As the camp went on, Light saw the new members open up more and more. By the end of it, they all bought into the camp.

“We had four young men come from Plant City just outside of Tampa, Florida. They never really been on a plane, they’ve never left the area. They come to the middle of nowhere Ohio where there is a lot of cow manure and open fields. They’re with people they never been around. That’s an intimidating thing,” Light said. “They’re sleeping in yurts and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. It’s hot. We see them already, in a short period of time over the seven days, go from timid, shy, uncertain like do I really want to buy into this or not to having all of those experiences. Join the brotherhood, join the fireside chats.”

The campers also get to hear from the camp counselors and past graduates. Light said they will have graduates volunteer their time to come back and help out with the camp.

“Every year, we invite one or two campers that graduated from this program. It’s cool to see them share their story,” Light said.

The campers got to leave camp with memories they will always remember and through their hard work, left their mark on this community.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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