For nearly four decades KAMP Dovetail volunteers have spent untold hours gathering equipment and hauling it to the camp each year, then returning everything back to those same storage locations when the camp concludes. They won’t have to do that anymore.
Saturday afternoon SATH Executive Director Linda Allen, other public officials and several Dovetail volunteers were on hand for the dedication of a new 64-foot by 48-foot storage building that also has a 48-foot by 16-foot loft.
“We’ve come a long way because of the support of people like the ones we have here today,” Allen told the crowd.
The storage building was completed just in time. KAMP Dovetail, the five-day, four-night camping experience for kids with special needs, opened Monday at Rocky Fork State Park, which has named a portion of its campgrounds in honor of Dovetail and now serves as a partner with the camp that sees around 300 special needs kids and about twice that many volunteers converge on the park one week in June each year.
“This a unique partnership, but to make it happen we have to have good leaders and that’s what we have,” said Glenn Cobb, a former Ohio State football player who now as a natural resources administrator with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “This is the epitome of Ohio State Parks. We’re happy to serve as hosts to this important service that you do.”
Chuck Emery, vice president of the SATH Board of Directors, said the building, constructed by Doug Hauke on a tight deadline, is going to free up a lot of time. Then emotion tugged at this voice when he talked about all that Allen does for SATH (Supplemental Assistance to the Handicapped) the umbrella organization that KAMP (Kids and Motivated People) Dovetail operates under.
“I do want you to know this lady here – if you knew all that she goes through to make this happen, you’d appreciate her more,” Emery said to a standing ovation. “I have seen the growth and God bless the volunteers. The oldest is 80 years old and it goes all the way down. And with the plans that are coming we’re are going to be better down the road.”
Allen said that $150,000 in grant funds have been secured for Dovetail next year, but details were not provided. She also deflected praise toward her onto her volunteers.
“We’re just a bunch of volunteers wanting to make a really special week for some really special kids,” she said.
Highland County Commissioner Jeff Duncan said Dovetail is shining star for Highland County. “For the people in the background that don’t get the recognition, the county thanks you,” he said.
On Wednesday, KAMP Dovetail, now in its 37th year, will host its 11th Annual Auction & Carnival at 7 p.m. at the Rocky Fork State Park campground. The auction and carnival are open to the public. Community members are encouraged to make a donation of a craft, homemade item, or any other auction item to be sold to help raise funds for Dovetail. Campers will be donating items and there will be sports memorabilia to bid on.
Anyone with items to donate can drop them off at Dovetail anytime on June 19 or June 20 before 5 p.m. All proceeds will be used to help with this year’s camp that has a theme of “Buggin’ Out.” For more information, leave a message for Allen at 937-366-6657.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]