GREENVILLE – Matt Light and a crew of Camp Vohokase campers and leaders spent a large part of Tuesday working on a community project in downtown Greenville. The work included mulching around the traffic circle, islands the City Building and surrounding areas.
“We our out here providing a little bit of mulch,” said Light. “It is amazing what a little bit of mulch will do.”
“That’s part of the uniqueness of this camp,” Light continued. “We are very hands on, very in tune with the old school way of doing things and like we always say, ‘if you put work into something then you can take satisfaction in the reward’ whether it’s helping out here with the community and helping beautify areas around town or just taking pride in the work they do whether it’s homework or helping out around the house – we put a lot of stock in that.”
“We always have a community service project but with everything that has been going on it was hard to find a project,” said Camp Director, Brandon Ervin, “so we reached out to the city and fortunately we were able to do some mulching.”
“It is one of the most important aspects of our camp – community service,” Ervin added. “It shows if you give back to the community – that’s where it all starts and it’s all about leadership.”
Upon founding the Light Foundation, Matt dreamed about starting a camp where young men could learn lifelong skills that would help them be R.E.A.L (Responsible, Ethical, Accountable, Leaders). For its 10th consecutive year, the Light Foundation’s premier program, Camp Vohokase has done just that.
“These young men are part of Camp Vohokase,” Light noted. “They come from four different areas: Hammond, Indiana, the Washington DC area and Gloucester, Massachusetts and our newest group, our new dudes from right here in Darke County.”
“It is a good opportunity for us to get out here and do things that really would never be able to do,” said 17 year old Hammond, Indiana junior, Jalen Granberry. “A lot of us are from the city. We wouldn’t be able to do that at home so it gives us an opportunity to do great things and it teaches a lot.”
“We are out here doing this community service,” added Granberry. “We get an assignment to do community service back at home in order to come back to camp every year, so it helps us even help out around our own home community.”
Each year, Matt selects four incoming high school freshmen from an at-risk community and asks them to commit the next four years to our leadership program, which normally includes 10 days at Chenoweth Trails each summer but was reduced to five days for the 2020 season.
“Even though it’s a short week for us – we had to trim down camp this year it’s nice to have guys together and doing the work that we do,” said Light.
Hayden Lewter Hammond, IN “It is a whole lot of fun,” stated camper Hayden Lewter of Hammond, Indiana. “It’s a great experience, all kind of new relationships, just pure greatness all around, all kinds of great vibes.”
“Matt is a little crazy now and then but he is a really great guy,” added Lewter with a smile.
PHOTO CAPTION: Matt Light and Camp Vohokase campers mulch downtown Greenville to complete camp Community Service project. (Gaylen Blosser photo)