Camp LIGHT Overview


 Project Highlights


Creative Works Farm (CWF) Inc. will develop Camp L.I.G.H.T. on a 160 acre parcel in Virginia’s Augusta County. This project will provide special needs kids and at-risk kids a week of camp fun every summer, at no cost to their family. During the other seasons, the facilities will be available for community and corporate events.

The project’s goals are three-fold:

1) to provide every child with special needs a chance to experience the fun, freedom, creativity and love that happens during a week at Camp LIGHT

2) to produce a facility that showcases
cutting-edge energy conservation, energy production and environmental responsibility, and

3) to contribute to the area’s economic vitality by attracting an anticipated 10,000 visitors/year through CWF building tours, conference facilities and event resources.




Shown above, an architectural rendering of Camp LIGHT's main building/dining hall provided by Harrisonburg Architect, Charles Hendricks, AIA, CSI, CDT, CAPS, LEED AP, The Gaines Group, PLC
 Project Summary

A state-of-the-art, LEED® Certified* children’s camp facility, “Camp LIGHT” will be located on a 160 acre site in Augusta County. CWF recently secured the land in order to develop the Farm and provide programs and services to children and their families in Charlottesville, the surrounding communities and other parts of the state of Virginia. Although the Farm’s services will be geared for mentally, physical and developmentally-challenged children, the Farm will welcome all children who are referred to Camp LIGHT by organizations, healthcare professionals and/or self-referral. Although most of the Farm’s services and programs will be offered in the summer, the Farm’s meeting facilities and recreational resources will be available for use by the community for special events including weddings, field trips and corporate events.

Project's Main Elements:


1.   Olympic Size Pool, Lazy River & Therapy Pool
2.   Solar Power for Electrical Consumption and Water Heating
3.   Sport Courts, Challenge Course & Zip Line
4.   Organic Gardens and Greenhouses
5.   Kitchen/Dining Hall (Includes EPA Energy Star Commercial Kitchen)
6.   Medical Clinic & Medical Staff Housing
7.   Arts Complex (Arts, Crafts & Computer Lab)
8.   Outdoor Amphitheater Pavilion & Stage
9.   6 Cabins (50 Campers/Week)
10. Offices and Staff Housing
11. Barn for Horses and Farm Animals
12. Special Event Area: 4,000 sf 1950’s Town

* The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings
 
Project Location/Site

Creative Works Farm / Camp LIGHT will be located in Central Virginia, Augusta County, City of Waynesboro.


Shown above, Scott and Cathy Balsely the day that the land  for Camp LIGHT
was secured

 
Project Background

Camp LIGHT: Uniquely Positioned to Make a Difference for Virginia Families

The Founder and Board of Directors of Creative Works Farm spent many years “growing this idea” to develop a 160 acre camp facility. Scott Balsley, CWF’s Founder, is a successful contractor who grew up with a mother who loved children, and raised him in the spirit of “the more the merrier.” Cathy Balsley, his wife and a project advisor, is a Registered Nurse who has an uncle who is mentally-challenged. Her uncle was never given the opportunity to thrive in a supportive, loving, or educational environment. In contrast, Sandra, her cousin with Down’s syndrome has a mother who researched every disabled children’s
program in the state and fought to keep her out of an institution. Sandra prospered and can now live in a monitored apartment house.

Scott and Cathy Balsley, the project founders, are well-known for their lifelong commitment to community service. They have hosted Twizted Creationz, an amazing haunted attraction, for the past 7 years where all of the proceeds have been donated to health, medical and youth-related charities. (The event runs for 6 week-ends in October and November with an overall attendance of more than 5,000.) During those many years of supporting area charities with this event, the Balsley Family continually heard from area parents and children’s counselors that a Summer Camp would change the lives of disabled and at-risk children in the Shenandoah Valley, central Virginia and the Southeast United States. Camp LIGHT will give the children access to a “Farm” environment complete with a working organic garden, a barn filled with horses and other animals, fishing and canoe pond, swimming/therapy pool, theater, and a 50’s-themed town/performance area. Scott and Cathy believe that their passion for improving the lives of area children and their families can be realized with the development of the Creative Works Farm. Camp LIGHT will serve at least 50 campers/week once the Camp opens in 2014.

Camp LIGHT began with a simple notion that, ‘every kid deserves the chance to experience the joys of summer camp.’ Fun, it turns out, helps children to reach beyond their challenges to discover new strength, hope and resilience.

Long before they invested in land, Scott and Cathy Balsley did considerable  research and learned that summer camp is alive and well in America! According to the American Camp Association (ACA), more than 10 million children attend camp each year. Scott and Cathy were surprised to find only a handful of camps on the Eastern seaboard offering programs for children with serious illnesses. Only three of these programs are located in the state
of Virginia. Camp LIGHT will allow critically ill children to bask in the joy of just being a kid with the support of a medical safety net and their entire family. Sponsorships will allow families to attend three, four, and seven day retreats free of charge. Programs will help families release the emotional, physical, and financial burdens caused by serious childhood illnesses, and will provide a peer network that reaches far beyond the LIGHT of a summer campfire.

Our mission is to show kids with special needs and circumstances that life is only limited by their imagination, and to give them new tools and skills, along with love and support, to inspire them to become anything they
can dream.

Camp LIGHT was established to provide services for kids with special needs and their families. The areas of special needs would include children with heart disease, cancer, burns, and diabetes. We will offer an overnight camp experience for children with programs designed for all types of disabilities as well as respite weekends for families. We also want to include leadership camps for inner city children.





Programs at the camp will include:


• Animal Management-Equestrian
• Agriculture/Organic Gardening
• Arts/Music/Theater
• Aquatics/Physical Therapy
• Nutrition
• Sports
• Technology
• Teambuilding

Annual Events will include:

• Children’s activities such as the fall “Pumpkin Picking”
• School field trips
Twizted Creationz (CWF’s annual 6 week haunted attraction)
• Winter Wonderland Christmas Activities
and more…

 Project Schedule

Fundraising/ Capital Campaign:    Jan 2013 - Present
Fundraising & Planning:  Jan 2013 - Ongoing as Phases                            are Constructed  
Begin Phase I Construction:         Jan 2014
Road, Maintenance Buildings, 50's Town (That will lend to           annual revenue and children's day camp programs)
Future Construction Phases TBD by Funding
Project Data

    • Total Square Footage of All Structures: 32,400 sf
    • Goal of the Solar Power: To produce 75-100% of
       the camp's total electrical usage