The Light Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by three-time Super Bowl Champion and former New England Patriot Matt Light and his wife Susie, will welcome four new campers this month from the Passamaquoddy Tribe in northern Maine to its outdoor leadership camp – Camp Vohokase. The 8-day outing will be held June 25th through July 2nd, 2021, on the Foundation’s 500-plus acre facility, Chenoweth Trails, in Greenville, Ohio.
Camp Vohokase is the Light Foundation’s flagship outdoor leadership camp which takes 16 young men from areas across the country that have impacted Matt and Susie’s lives, and brings them together at Chenoweth Trails to focus on becoming R.E.A.L. — responsible, ethical, accountable leaders. Through outdoor and hands-on learning opportunities, the Light Foundation team guides these young men throughout their entire high school career, checking in with them routinely every week. When they complete the 4-year program, they graduate with the skills necessary to pay that experience forward by carrying on the torch of leadership within their own communities. This year, the new group of campers are from Indian Township, Maine, but The Light Foundation has drawn their campers from across America – Ohio, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.
The boys are exposed to outdoor activities they likely do not see in their hometowns – hunting, fishing, archery, paintball, dirt bike racing, and ropes courses. They also participate in daily group workouts, career education tours, nightly “fireside chats” to discuss goals and expectations for the summer and their lives moving forward and engage in community service projects. This year, the campers will be completing a community service project for Do Good Restaurant and Ministries of Osgood, Ohio. This year for career educational tours, the group will visit two nearby factories, Eco Vehicle Systems of Union City, Indiana, and Ramco Motors of Greenville, Ohio. They will also be putting their mark on Chenoweth Trails by helping to construct a 40-foot covered bridge onsite at the facility to accompany an elevated timber frame treehouse, a camp project started at Camp Vohokase last summer.
This year, Camp Vohokase will graduate a class of five young men from Hammond, Indiana. Camp Director Brandon Ervin has witnessed their transformation and knows the collective effort of everyone involved really pays off. “We continually work hard to make camp a fun, educational experience. We teach these young men that they’re capable of anything with hard work and determination,” notes Ervin.
Matt Light agrees. “Although they come from different hometowns, they soon realize that their journeys are similar — whether dealing with family issues or peer pressure. Here, they find common ground, understand that they aren’t alone and that others are facing similar challenges,” he adds. “Witnessing their transformation into leaders and seeing them help others along the way means we’ve done our job – and that’s a really rewarding feeling.”