Horse barn for KAMP Dovetail completed


The ribbon cutting for a new horse barn for KAMP (Kids and Motivated People) Dovetail was held at Rocky Fork State Park on Tuesday, June 20, during the 41st version of the camp that started on June 19 and will run through June 23.

The camp is a five-day, four-night camp for local children with special needs. This year’s theme is KAMP Dovetail The Musical.

The camp is coordinated each year by Linda Allen, the executive director of Supplemental Assistance to the Handicapped (SATH). SATH is the organization that makes KAMP Dovetail possible.

Allen said the horse barn has been planned for several years and cost about $175,000, with its construction funded by a state grant and other donations.

Allen was also presented with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition during the ribbon-cutting by Congressman Brad Wenstrup’s Field Representative Anthony Spaetzel, with the latter saying that they want to continue to support what the organization does.

A number of local officials who helped get the project to the finish line spoke at the event.

“Thanks to all the efforts and all the people involved in getting the grants and everything we had to do in order to get the horse barn,” SATH Board of Trustees President Tony Staggs said. “When you see the kids come though and get on the horses and go around it’s quite a treat.”

Jamie Wheeler,the executive director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, was also in attendance and said that KAMP Dovetail is a “wonderful thing” for the community and surrounding counties and that the county is “thrilled” to have it here.

Cory Cover, the manager of Rocky Fork State Park, also said that this “doesn’t happen at any other state park.

“It’s an honor to be here on behalf of Director Mertz and, of course, our staff,” Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Assistant Director Mindy Bankey said. “This is just absolutely amazing, and it couldn’t happen without the work and effort from all of you providing that support.”

Chief of the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft Glen Cobb said that events like KAMP Dovetail are what separate America from other countries. He said it’s because “we take care of the needy and have programs for them that they enjoy volunteering and helping with.

Greene County Parks and Trails Director Jon Dobney, who spent 37 years working for ODNR and worked at Rocky Fork State Park during that time, said that even though he retired from the state, he didn’t retire from coming to KAMP Dovetail.

“This is just amazing what they’ve done,” President of the Highland County Board of Commissioners Terry Britton said. “We want to thank the partnership that has come from the state and Linda and all her people who come and work and help in this area.”

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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