We are overwhelmed with appreciation for all the generosity the community has shown through the Buckeye Funder campaign. Your donation to camp will help us continue our work of developing youth, individuals, and leaders through our programs.
The experience of coming to camp as a camper can last for one week of summer, or it can last a lifetime. Many of our campers go on to take on leadership roles at camp. We wanted to share the journey of our current program director, Dakota Ward growing up in the Camp Whitewood family.
"Growing up, there were many jobs I wanted to do. NASCAR driver? Yes! Firefighter? Of course! Astronaut? You betcha! Never, would I have ever thought that growing up I would be working at a camp. I remember the first day I heard of Camp Whitewood. I was a member of a local 4-H club called FlockMasters. Our advisor was sharing some of her past experiences from Camp Whitewood and talking about all of the people who have gone there. My friend sitting next to me nudged my arm and said we should go to camp together! That summer we signed up to go to Camp Whitewood not knowing what to expect. Little did I know, it was going to be one of the best weeks of my life. As every summer came around, I looked forward to attending Camp Whitewood as a camper. When I got older, I applied to be a counselor like the ones that I had as a camper. Working as a counselor taught me so many important skills: time management, leadership, behavior management, self-confidence, and so much more. Most importantly, becoming a counselor taught me to care for others.
After aging out of the counselor phase, I decided that I still wanted to continue my path at Camp Whitewood. I joined the summer staff to continue growing as an educator and to help teach the youth in the community about the great outdoors. My experiences at Camp Whitewood have taught me so much and after graduating college I knew that this was the job for me. Now I have the opportunity to be the program director here at Camp Whitewood. As I plan activities and work with staff, I think back to that very first week I attended Camp Whitewood. I think of all the great memories that I have made, all the great friends that I made, and all of the great people I consider my family. Camp has given me the opportunity to make lifelong relationships with people from Australia, Spain, England, and even the Czech Republic. Camp will always have a big part of my heart and I can’t wait for it to be a part of yours too."
Thank you for helping Camp Whitewood continue to be a part of the story of growth and development for campers like Dakota for years to come!