Thursday, September 29, 2011

Victory Junction Camp

I had the pleasure of touring the Victory Junction Camp in Randleman, North Carolina yesterday.  What an incredible place it is.  It’s part of the Hole in the Wall Camps started by the late actor and race car driver Paul Newman.

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Seriously ill children can come to these camps at no cost to them or their families and spend time with other children just like them and have a carefree week of FUN.

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Victory Junction opened it’s doors in 2004 and was started by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam Petty who was killed when preparing for a NASCAR race. Adam’s name and smiling face can be seen throughout the camp.   If you are a NASCAR fan you know that the Petty family is racing royalty.  Their work and dedication to Victory Junction and the children who camp here is extraordinary.  Other drivers, team owners, team sponsors, and NASCAR itself have given substantial donations to the camp.

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The camp has it’s own water park which I am sure is one of the highlights for the kids in the summertime.  All the water in the various pools and in the Lazy River are temperature controlled to be a consistent temperature in all the different pool areas for the health, safety, and comfort of the children.

The Victory Junction Camp is a year round camping facility that serves children from ages 6 to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.  Their busiest times are in the summer when they offer disease-specific sessions with up to 128 children per session.  On the weekends in the fall, winter, and spring they offer family weekends and can serve up to 32 families per weekend. 

We got to walk around the entire camp with a tour guide and got to see all of the the facilities and go inside them all to take a peek and of course take pictures.

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The camp has it’s own bowling alley complete with the equipment needed to help assist kids in wheelchairs.  It had it’s own putt putt golf range too.

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Here is a shot of the Art's and Crafts building sitting right next to their very own movie/stage theater.

   Victory Junction Gang Camp Tour 008  The camp has a “Racing” theme and here are some of the wood cars the kids can paint in the Arts and Crafts building.

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I especially enjoyed seeing where the campers stayed while attending camp.  The cabins or sleeping quarters  were in brightly colored buildings and each of the buildings had a name on it for each of the major NASCAR race tracks.    The one above was named for Phoenix and the one below was named for Bristol.  The entire camp was immaculate!  Clean and well maintained.  We saw several workers maintaining the buildings including a couple of buildings that were being power washed. 

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Once inside one of the camper’s dormitory, I saw a small sitting room and then behind that there were two large rooms with beds.  On one side were the beds for the campers and on the other side there was an identical  room for all the camp counselors.  Remarkably, the camper to counselor ratio is very low.  Often times it’s one camper to one counselor depending on the needs of that particular child. The campers and counselors are all housed under the same roof.

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I love how the night stands between each bed look like gas pumps.  And at the foot of each bed is a metal tool box to serve as a trunk for each camper’s things.  Also, at the foot of each bed is a hand made knitted or crocheted blanket.  At the top of the bed on each pillow is a hand made bear.  The kids get to take home the blanket and the bear as a souvenir of their time spent at the camp.  Volunteer opportunities exist for sewers who might want to make and donate the bears.  You  click here to go to the Victory Junction Website  for more information on which pattern to use and they like for the bears to be made with a black and white check fabric. 

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Here is the indoor baseball diamond.

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And here is the riding stable with horses and some other animals.  We saw some sheep when  we were there and usually they have llamas but they were not there the day of our tour. I was sad I missed them because I was told the llamas at Victory Junction have personality plus. :)Victory Junction Gang Camp Tour 085

The stables were so neat and clean!  And friendly horses too.

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Here is one of the horses inside the barn in a horse stall.

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And here is the outdoor amphitheater.  Everything is designed to be so….cheerful!

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This is where the campers in the audience can watch the show.    Right behind that purple and yellow building is a tree stand for the zip line.   I’ll bet the older kids love that.

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There were sweet sculptures throughout the camp like this one.

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The camp has it’s own marina and it’s called the Catch, Kiss, and Release Marina.  They encourage all the kids to catch at least one fish during the week they are there, kiss it, and then release it.  Such a cute memory maker

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We peeked in window in one of the boat houses and saw racks of kid sized life jackets.  Cute.

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The camp even has it’s own fully equipped medical center available 24 hours a day.  I love how they named it the Body Shop.

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And here is where the campers eat their meals. 

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Here is cute snack shop that even has a Krispy Kreme Neon Hot Now sign in it.  And next to it is the Fab shop which is the beauty/shop barber shop


There is one building on site that looks like a giant race car and when you get inside it looks like the garage where real race cars get built and serviced.

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  This car is a real sized car that the kids can sit in and there is a simulator inside so they can really get a taste of what it’s like to drive a real race car.

What an amazing and heartwarming place Victory Junction is.  Thanks to Triad Moms on Main for organizing the tour of this wonderful place.  I had no idea how special it was and I am happy to do what I can to bring attention and support to such a wonderful organization.  If you would like more information on Victory Junction, just click for a tour of their website.

Plans are underway to build a second camp in Kansas City, Kansas so that children in the Midwest can benefit from a life-changing camping experience too.



Anonymous said...

Oh what a NEAT NEAT place. Love that all the buildings are a different color. It must really bring a great deal of joy to anyone who visits. Thanks for sharing this!

Flavia Galasso said...

It would be wonderful if all the country in the world got a Victory Junction Camp..... hugs, Flavia

peggy said...

what a nice post! I would never have known about it otherwise. It lifts me up to see the good things that people do, and I am thankful that they have the resources to share and do so. Best wishes this Thursday morn.

Ti said...

I've never even heard of these camps. What an amazing place. So cheerful and well thought out.

Suzy said...

Thanks so much for the tour of Victory Junction. I've lived in Greensboro most of my life and have never seen this much of it. Great post to bring well deserved attention to such a wonderful place!

Susan said...

Awesome!! I knew proceeds of Paul Newman's products went to his Hole in The Wall camps, but I didn't know about the Petty's camp. Such a blessing. Thanks for sharng.

chow and chatter said...

wow this place is wonderful :-)

CosmoGirl Carla said...

Wow! What a fabulous facility. Nice to see when people give back like this. And give back in a big way they have. Thanks for sharing.