The preparation for Camp Vohokase, our one-of-a-kind cultural leadership program, is in full swing and we are excited for fifteen young men to arrive at our Ohio-based facility, Chenoweth Trails! We are especially eager for the newest class from Brockton, Massachusetts to join us!
Matt Light teamed up with Brockton businessman David Howe to announce the selection of four young men as the next class of entrants into Camp Vohokase. The eight-day camp kicks off this week to mark the 15th year of the flagship program, from which nearly 40 young men have graduated by completing the 4-year commitment.
Howe and Light met several years back while working on behalf of another charity — the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of New England — and became good friends and occasional business partners. Howe owns the J. Derenzo Companies in Brockton and he and Light began discussing the opportunity to give back to the city through a programming partnership that would positively impact the youth from this area. The J. Derenzo Charitable Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Light Foundation, underwriting youth programming, providing in-kind donations, and sponsoring many annual fundraising events and initiatives.
David Howe connected our team with key leaders in the Brockton school system who helped make the partnership possible. The new class is comprised of four 8th graders who will join twelve of their peers from three other locations around the country for the year-round program that will run through their senior year of high school.
The Campers are: Jared Mighty, a football-loving athlete who takes part in extracurricular activities that help him grow his leadership skills in the community; Rajon Burkes, a dedicated brother and son who enjoys playing both football and basketball and being a role model for his classmates; Gaethan Sincere, a young man with big dreams and aspirations of making a difference on and off the football field, and finally, Milton Monteiro, a young man with four younger siblings who aspires to become a lawyer and community advocate.
This week, the campers will spend time in nature enjoying all that our amazing facility has to offer — whether it be skeet shooting, woodworking, canoeing, archery, fishing, or dirt biking, etc. In addition to the fun, the young men are responsible for daily chores, site visits to area businesses, and the completion of a service project around Darke County. Each night of the stay is reserved for fireside chats. These chats are structured to help create a dialogue about the very real and difficult issues these young boys face back home.
The young men will be required to keep good academic standing, complete a yearly community service project in their hometowns, and check-in with our head counselors on a frequent basis. The Camp Vohokase Director, Brandon Ervin, tracks the kids’ progress year-round. He also does quarterly visits in order to foster the ongoing relationship between the campers, their class, and the Foundation.