Light Foundation Timber Frame Leadership Camp signup open

GREENVILLE – The Light Foundation will hold its second annual Timber Frame Leadership Camp at Chenoweth Trails from July 19-22, for any students entering a high school grade level. The three-day overnight camp was created for students interested in acquiring knowledge and experience with timber framing along with leadership skills.

The ancient building style utilizes large timbers and handcrafted joinery to create beautiful and inviting homes, barns, and various structures. The students will gain critical leadership skills while collaborating as a team doing hands-on work in the outdoors during this educational program.

“The first annual camp last year was a success with building a timber frame structure that now sits at Chenoweth Trails by the pond to hold pond equipment, so the foundation is planning something bigger for this year’s camp,” says Light Foundation founder, Matt Light. “We have decided to build a timber frame structure tree house that will be the biggest tree house located in Darke County and will definitely give the Tree House Masters on Animal Planet something to talk about!”

Chenoweth Trails is a 500-acre plot of land that is located on the outskirts of Darke County. The Light Foundation holds Camp Vohokase, their flagship program, along with many other programs at the facility. Camp Vohokase was designed to help teenage boys become R.E.A.L. (Responsible, Ethical, Accountable, and Leaders) by challenging them with team building activities, participating in community service projects in Darke County, and completing a project that enhances Chenoweth Trails each summer.

“Since we have committed to such a large design, we are going to delegate some of the hands-on work to the 2020 Camp Vohokase class as their senior class project. The Gloucester, Massachusetts class will build the deck to the timber frame tree house structure. This will allow the Timber Frame campers to focus on the structural aspect of the new Chenoweth Trails addition,” continues Light. “When we complete the structure between both programs it will allow the 17 Camp Vohokase students to also gain knowledge on the history of this art that dates as far back as 5000 B.C. The more youth we can get involved in the resurgence of timber framing, the more structures we can build and save in the future.”

The tree house at Chenoweth Trails will be in the wooded acreage between the camp area and the amphitheater. In addition to the Light Foundation programs, the facilities are also used to host other non-profits during the summer and fall months, so this addition will get a lot of use from the local community.

For Light and his team, it is a rewarding experience to watch participants walk in to see a raw pile of timbers, and days later, reveal a hand-crafted timber frame structure that they can say they completed. He believes they learn a lot about leadership by working as a team, gaining confidence in their building skills, and creating something with their own hands that will live on for years to come.

Of course, projects like this would not be possible without the help of many generous sponsors and supporters.

“We have some of the greatest instructors returning this year, who donate both their time and expertise in a very unique way that brings something alive to these young folks,” says Light. “We will have guys here from JCM Timberworks (Killbuck, OH), Tuscarora Woodworks (Covington, OH), Rick Beck and Raymond Friend with Friends of Ohio Barns, Kustom Woodworking by Mike Chrisman (Darke County, OH), Kip Kline with Kline Timber Company (Darke County, OH), Terry Clark with Bear’s Mill, and many other volunteers.”

The Light Foundation will need all hands-on deck for this historical project, so it is inviting all youth entering a high school grade level to apply on the website: mattlight72.com by June 29! The simple application process can grant them access to an experience that will have a lasting effect on their lives.

“This is a great program for students that are looking to study or gain experience in engineering, construction, or the trade because of the teachings on historical tools, learning new technical skills, and the connections to some of the top tradespeople and companies in the region,” says April Brubaker, Light Foundation Program Director.

If you would like to become a sponsor for the 2020 Timber Frame Leadership Camp, please email april@mattlight72.com or call the Chenoweth Trails office at 937-316-6352.

About the Light Foundation:

The Light Foundation (www.mattlight72.com) was established in 2001 by three-time Super Bowl Champion and three-time Pro-Bowler Matt Light, and his wife, Susie. The Light Foundation strives to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability, and hard work by providing youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential.

Its goal is to lead young people down a path to becoming responsible members of their communities who can pass on the torch of leadership and achievement to their friends and families.

Light was drafted in 2001 out of Purdue University, and was the anchor for the Patriots offensive line for more than a decade, before retiring in 2012. He received the third New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award in 2005, and in 2008, was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his outstanding work in the community by the Bush administration.

In 2012, Light was named Pop Warner’s Humanitarian of the Year, in 2014, was honored with All Sports United’s Humanitarian Award, and in 2015 received the Man of the Year award from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s New England chapter.

In 2018, Light was named to the Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list, and in 2019, was also named to the publication’s “Power 50” lineup. Matt Light was also inducted into to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame in 2018. Since its inception in 2001, the Light Foundation has raised more than $7 million for various programs and initiatives.

PHOTO CAPTION: Matt Light (top right) helps build timber frame building at the 2019 Light Foundation Timber Frame Leadership Camp. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

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