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The Dansville Online
  • Hope Valley Camp comes to W. Sparta

  • Many of us are probably dreaming about summer right now. For sure, Nathan Welton of Nunda is one of those people.


    On Jan. 27, Welton signed ownership papers that will bring his Christian summer camp to  West Sparta.

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  • Many of us are probably dreaming about summer right now. For sure, Nathan Welton of Nunda is one of those people.
    On Jan. 27, Welton signed ownership papers that will bring his Christian summer camp to West Sparta.
    Hope Valley Camp is a Christian summer camp for youth ages 7-17.
    “My wife and I...saw a need that local kids either weren’t coming to camp because they weren’t being reached...or they couldn’t afford to come.”
    He observed that many kids who attend summer camps usually come from more affluent families in suburban areas.
    His intent with Hope Valley is to give poorer kids the same opportunity. With scholarships available through Hometown Thriftstore, “most of our kids now are coming from Dansville, Arkport, Nunda – this area.”
    Hometown Thriftstore is a not-for-profit second-hand store owned by Welton that’s sole purpose is to raise money for the camp. It’s located in Airport Plaza in Dansville.
    Since 2010, the camp has run as two, one week sessions each summer at Bliss Summit in the town of Bliss. Now, Hope Valley Camp will be operating on it’s own permanent property on Schmidt?Road with year-round offerings for kids during summer, fall, winter and spring breaks.
    Aside from the Christian youth camps, Welton also intends to make the property available to families and groups.
    “If churches will want to put on a VBS or a summer camp for a week, we’re open to renting out for that, too,” he said.
    The property was formerly owned by Victor-based CIRCLE Inc. as Shequaga Retreat Center.
    As said by Circle Inc.’s president, Linda Heron Wind, Shequaga was “a camp for mothers and daughters, teens and mentors, and retreats for adults that include silent time in nature and expressive arts.”
    Inside the “turtle shape” retreat building is a central foyer for group meetings and meals, and each “turtle leg” is a separate room – a kitchen, one bathroom/shower facility and two other rooms that will be converted into a workout room and a game room.
    The camp sits on 49 acres that includes a pond, several trails, plus two creeks.
    CIRCLE Inc. built the facility 12 years ago.
    Welton said he intends to invest in placing three cabins that hold 11 beds each, plus a pavilion or two on the grounds, and will be doing some landscaping this spring to ready the grounds for summer. Work will be hired through local labor.
    To learn more about the camp’s offerings, volunteer or to donate, log onto hopevalleycamp.com

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