GLENDALE SPRINGS-A Glendale Springs retreat that offers one-of-a-kind mountain vacations to sick kids and their families will break ground on a major expansion later this month.
Camp New Hope, on Philmore Miller Road, plans to do away with its aging guest lodge and build a modern retreat that will cater specifically to kids with disabilities. Here’s what you need to know, and how you can help out.
Oct. 17 is the magic date
That’s according to Camp New Hope Director Randy Brown, who said the nonprofit plans to officially begin construction on a new $250,000 lodge that’s totally compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
That’s how many families Camp New Hope serves each year. More than 85 percent of children that visit the camp are confined to a wheelchair, according to Brown. That’s why it’s important to design a lodge – from the ground up – that’s built to accommodate a wide range of disabilities.
A break from everything
Located in Glendale Springs, Camp New Hope is a privately owned, no-charge facility for families who have children facing life-threatening or terminal medical conditions. The idea is to treat families to a weeklong free vacation overlooking the New River. It’s a setting the kids and their families – who deal with serious questions about life and death everyday – relax and build great memories.
Clothes and a toothbrush
That’s all vacationers need to bring to Camp New Hope. The camp supplies everything else for a family’s week long stay, and even provides them with a $100 gift certificate to Walmart that can be used to buy speciality items campers and their families need. Brown estimated it costs some $600 per family, or more than $25,000 per year, to keep the camp up and running.
They already have one lodge. Why are they building another?
The current lodge was built in the 1950s, and it’s set on a hill that’s hard for handicapped-accessible vans to reach. Brown said the maintenance costs on the current building continue to increase, so it was time for an upgrade. The new five-bedroom modular home will be on an easy-to-reach grassy knoll. “They’ll have a paved parking area where they can put their vehicle and a driveway that goes up to the new lodge,” Brown said. “And that’s going to a take a load off everyone’s mind.”
Finished by winter
At least that’s the plan, according to Brown. Brown said she hopes the new modular lodge is completed by the time things really turn cold, to make sure it’s ready for the first families who’ll venture out to Camp New Hope next spring. The camp itself is open to children and their families year round, though most don’t want to visit the mountains in the dead of winter.
They’ve already raised the lodge construction funds
But they still need your help, Brown said. While the lodge will come equipped with ADA compliant options, she said the camp still needs to raise money for things like an indoor changing table and a glassed-in front porch that will allow families to enjoy views of the river from a climate controlled porch. For information on how to donate, call 336-982-3798.
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr