Thomasville Times Enterprise

December 10, 2013

Campaign to support Camp Piney Woods begins


CNHI

THOMASVILLE — Officials of the Thomas County Youth Camp, also known as Camp Piney Woods, announced the launch of a Community Support Campaign to help support and sustain Camp Piney Woods.

Funds raised directly support camp operations and improvement to better serve the youth and families of Thomas County.

“Camp Piney Woods would not exist today if the Rotary Club had not started the ball rolling with Camp Rotary,” said Jami Stephenson, Camp Manager of Camp Piney Woods.

 In 1937, Thomasville Rotary Club secured land for Camp Rotary through a 100 year lease on a 68-acre tract of land at the tip of Greenwood Plantation, bounded by the Cairo-Thomasville Highway, the Ochlockonee River and Cassidy Road.

The Thomasville Rotary Club established the campsite for the Boy Scouts of Thomas County who they sponsored at that time. Ten years later, under the leadership of Logan Lewis, the Rotary Club signed over the newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to the youth of Thomas county and composed of members of the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H Club and the YMCA, now known as Thomas County Youth Camp Inc.

“These organizations simply would not be able to do what they do without a place like Camp Piney Woods,” said  Stephenson.

Through the years, a number of organizations, including the Thomasville Rotary Club, generously donated funds and services to expand and repair the camp. Private companies and individuals donated funds, materials and time to Camp Piney Woods to also help.

“This has been a real community effort with everyone pitching in to help build and sustain the camp, said Mike Jones, President of Thomas County Youth Camp Inc.

“We have not asked for help in over 10 years and we are now at a critical place. As costs rise, insurance rates climb and the cost to maintain the property far outweigh the income collected from rentals, the camp requires the help of our friends. Today, Camp Piney Woods is more vital than ever with an increase emphasis on child safety, summer learning traditions and outdoor experiences, ” he added.

“The camp also provides a beautiful outdoor setting for family and civic groups. We serve in excess of 3,000 individuals a year through camps, group rentals and community organizations. Dollars received from rentals help fund upkeep of the facility, but it is simply not enough. We count on the generosity of our donors and volunteers making tax deductable donations” said Jones.

“Gifts to the Thomas County Youth Camp will make a direct impact to the community. Camp Piney Woods offers a unique opportunity to bring an appreciation of the outdoors to young people,” he added.

To support the camp, call  Kaye Dortch or Cindy Barber at the Thomasville YMCA @ 229-226-3446 or e-mail kaye@ymca-thomasville.org or cbarber@ymca-thomasville.org for more information.