Augusta Farm Plans to Open Nonprofit Summer Camp - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Augusta Farm Plans to Open Nonprofit Summer Camp

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Scott Balsley and Raymond Gochenour, at the future site of Camp LIGHT Scott Balsley and Raymond Gochenour, at the future site of Camp LIGHT

In the season for summer camps, one group in the valley has a vision for a new camp to brighten lives.

The Creative Works Farm is in the early stages of developing Camp LIGHT but once it's complete, they hope to host all kinds of community events. 

Camp LIGHT will be a nonprofit operation designed to help at-risk children and kids with special needs. The organizers plan to turn 162 acres of land in Augusta County into a grand setting for fun and educational activities. 

"I know right now this is just mowed-out grass to lay out the camp, but it's just like the field of dreams; once we build it, they will come. We'll have children here and this will be a great thing one day," said Scott Balsley, president of Creative Works Farm. 

Balsley and his wife have dedicated much of their time to serving the community. For years, they've put on a haunted house for Halloween, but this latest undertaking is unlike any of their others. 

"I think the whole idea of getting to build this camp for kids and getting them to see something fun and wonderful and silly and creative all at the same time - I think that's what drives us to do what we do," Balsley said. 

Camp LIGHT - which stands for Love, Inspire, Give, Hope and Teach - will host children week by week and allow them to explore the outdoors. They can fish, swim, hike and even learn about the environment. 

"We'll also do organic gardening with organic gardens for the kids," Balsley said. 

Not only will the campers have the chance to learn about the environment, but they'll also have the opportunity to get to play with the animals. 

Balsley's right-hand man, Raymond Gochenour, says they've gained inspiration to launch this multi-million-dollar project from volunteering at similar camps.

"I went there thinking that I was going to help the kids, and it was just really amazing to go there and, as an adult, you think you have problems but to see an 8-year-old with rheumatoid arthritis or kidney disease - to be honest, I come back a much better person," Gochenour said.

They hope to have the camp up and running by 2015. If you'd like to volunteer for one of their events, or make a donation to the cause, click here.

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