Highland County’s KAMP Dovetail is a ‘muddy mess,’ but fun


Despite rain, Dovetail is well underway, says coordinator

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



Mercy Ramsey gives a double high five to a young camper at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon.

Mercy Ramsey gives a double high five to a young camper at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Happy campers are shown at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon at a muddy Rocky Fork Lake State Park.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

This camper takes a swing at a wiffle ball Tuesday afternoon at KAMP Dovetail.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

KAMP Dovetail looked more like a mud pit than a summer camp on Tuesday, but that didn’t deter hundreds of special needs youngsters and their companions from enjoying fun-filled activities at Rocky Fork Lake State Park as part of the weeklong outing.

Wind and rain Monday night took out a canopy and flooded a tent, according to coordinator Linda Allen, and despite reports of a tornado in Brown County, campers did not evacuate.

The only other hangup has been the mud, Allen said as she stood in a slippery patch of grass wearing rubber boots — but based on the smiles of many mud-caked campers, some may not have described the muck as a problem.

Still, “it’s been quite a muddy mess,” Allen said.

In all, more than 720 campers descended on the state park Monday for the annual KAMP Dovetail, a local summer camp that pairs special needs kids with companions for a week of fun activities on the lake, including fishing, horseback riding, dancing and even karate.

Allen, the executive director of SATH (Supplemental Assistance to the Handicapped), the umbrella organization encompassing Dovetail, said the rain demanded some rearranging of events, but there were no big departures from the schedule.

The outing this year is pirate-themed, Allen said, and seafaring attractions were set to continue Tuesday and into the rest of the week. A treasure hunt was slated for Tuesday night, according to Allen, in which campers were to search for a buried treasure chest by hunting for clues around the campground.

Two people who rescue birds in Cincinnati were to entertain campers with an interactive bird show Wednesday, according to Allen.

“Some of them are disabled birds, just like our kids,” Allen said.

A carnival and auction Wednesday night will be helpful for Dovetail because the event has gone a little over budget this year, she added.

Other planned events included horse-drawn wagon rides, boating, group pictures, putt-putt golf, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, recreation and arts and crafts.

Allen said in case of a very severe weather event, Hillsboro High School is standing by as an alternative location.

“We’re gonna get wet, but we’re not going to evacuate unless it’s life-threatening weather,” Allen said.

Allen thanked the many clubs and organizations that have assisted with KAMP Dovetail, as well as the volunteers and camper companions who make the event possible.

“They’re so dedicated,” she said.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

Mercy Ramsey gives a double high five to a young camper at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/06/web1_f-kamp-high-five.jpgMercy Ramsey gives a double high five to a young camper at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon. David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Happy campers are shown at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon at a muddy Rocky Fork Lake State Park.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/06/web1_f-kamp-campers.jpgHappy campers are shown at KAMP Dovetail Tuesday afternoon at a muddy Rocky Fork Lake State Park. David Wright | The Times-Gazette

This camper takes a swing at a wiffle ball Tuesday afternoon at KAMP Dovetail.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/06/web1_f-kamp-swing.jpgThis camper takes a swing at a wiffle ball Tuesday afternoon at KAMP Dovetail. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Despite rain, Dovetail is well underway, says coordinator

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com