As the sun began to rise on a beautiful summer morning at Chenoweth Trails, the 13 eager campers of the Light Foundation’s Camp Vohokase gathered from different corners of the country to start day two of the camp. Coming from Greenville, OH, Brockton, MA, the Passamaquoddy Reservation, ME, and Dayton, OH, these young men were about to embark on an unforgettable journey that would reinforce the core principles of Responsibility, Ethics, Accountability and Leadership (REAL).
The day kicked off with a momentous occasion for the campers, as they stepped foot on a military installation for the very first time. The dining facility on Wright Patterson welcomed them for breakfast, where they were joined by active-duty Airmen from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). As they savored their meal, these courageous Airmen shared their personal stories of dedication and commitment, giving the young men a glimpse into the greatness of the United States Air Force.
The highlight of the morning was the presence of Chief Master Sergeant Martin Foster, Superintendent of the Geospatial and Signatures Intelligence Group at NASIC, who graciously served as the guest speaker. Chief Foster’s words of wisdom resonated deeply with the campers, inspiring them to strive for excellence in all their endeavors. His powerful message on the importance of integrity and leadership left an indelible mark on their hearts and minds.
With spirits lifted and minds enriched, the campers embarked on a fascinating guided tour of the Air Force Museum, led by Mr. Rob Young, a NASIC Historian and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. Mr. Young’s wealth of knowledge and clear passion for history brought the museum’s exhibits to life. He emphasized the significant role the Air Force has played in shaping the nation’s history and highlighted the bravery and heroism of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.
Following the museum visit, the campers made their way to the Dayton Veterans Hospital, where they shared lunch and precious moments with some of the residents. This was an opportunity to give back and express gratitude to those who have selflessly served our great nation. The campers organized a heartwarming bingo game for the residents, accompanied by generous giveaways of Light Foundation memorabilia. The joy and camaraderie shared during this visit left an indelible impression on both the campers and the veterans alike.
As the day transitioned into the evening, the campers gathered around a flickering fire pit, a symbol of camaraderie and reflection. This was a moment of deep introspection, where the young men exchanged thoughts and insights gained from the day’s experiences. Asking and answering tough questions, they delved into the importance of empathy, compassion, and the responsibility of giving back to society.
The day culminated with an exciting event that brought a touch of sportsmanship to the journey. The campers were elated as they watched Matt Light, the foundation’s namesake, throw out the first pitch at the Dayton Dragons‘ Single A baseball game. This moment served as a reminder that greatness lies not only in individual accomplishments but in the spirit of unity and community.
The Light Foundation’s Camp Vohokase had not only succeeded in providing a day filled with adventure and exploration but, more importantly, it imparted valuable life lessons on the importance of responsibility, ethics, accountability and leadership. This journey of gratitude and inspiration will undoubtedly remain etched in the hearts of the campers, as they carry the Light Foundation’s principles forward in their lives and strive to make a positive impact on the world around them.
As we reflect on this exceptional experience, let us all be reminded of the profound impact we can have when we come together, honor our veterans, and cultivate the next generation of great citizen leaders.