Co-op Service Project Pays OffBy Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: March 29th, 2011
It didn’t take long for the electric co-op community’s hard work to pay off. Less than two weeks after the Touchstone Energy® service project at Camp Boggy Creek, campers enjoyed using the pool now being heated by solar panels the volunteers installed.
Dozens of co-op folk turned out March 5 for the event held in conjunction with NRECA’s annual meeting. On March 16, the camp welcomed youngsters for its annual KOVAC—Kids on Ventilator-Assisted Care—retreat.
“This was the first retreat we had since the project,” said Sharon J. Couture, grant and foundation relations officer at the Eustis, Fla., camp, which provides medically supervised recreational activities for youngsters with chronic illnesses.
“It was wonderful,” Couture said of the heated pool, which was noticed by many in attendance, including Merrie Schwartz, a retired nurse with five adopted special health needs children. “I filled her in on the work group that came out,” Couture said. “She was thrilled, because her kids can’t really go swimming anywhere else.”
Couture noted that during the March 2010 KOVAC event, some children were unable to use the pool because it was too cold; that is no longer an issue. “We can’t thank you enough for this gift.”
Helping renovate cabins at Boggy Creek was “a heartwarming experience” for Courtney Wagner, New York’s representative to the Youth Leadership Council. “One of the camp directors brought tears to my eyes when she illustrated all that the camp does for children facing different challenges,” Wagner said.
The teen was so moved that she is looking into volunteering this summer at Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne, N.Y., which, like Boggy Creek, is part of Paul Newman’s Association of Hole in the Wall Camps.
“I am already trying to rally some troops, both friends and family,” Wagner said. “I find it vital to our communities that people do all that they can to make these brave kids feel at home, and that’s just what these camps do.”