Camp for troubled youth gets help from thrift store

There is no denying the healing power of time spent outdoors, nor the lessons learned in wilderness activities. Many local residents have had the good fortune to grow up in families or as members of organizations where a priority was placed on getting out and taking advantage of the good things nature does for us.

For some young people, the struggles of trauma and behavioral issues have left them in need of solutions — and the Ohio Wilderness Camp helps to provide them.

“Our camp is licensed by the state as a long-term commitment for boys to help them learn to solve their problems, modify their behavior and get back on a good track,” said director Joe Thompson. “Some of our kids have been in the juvenile detention system or are exhibiting behaviors that are leading there. So we offer a different environment that counsels them through an experiential program that teaches responsibility.”

Few would argue the merits of such a program, but it is not cheap.

The camp on the Noble-Monroe County line costs $2,000 per month per child. That is where the rest of us come in.

Among the funding mechanisms for the camp is the Trading Post, which just opened a location on Pike Street in Marietta. Donations are needed for the thrift store, which sends its profits to fund the camp. There is another Trading Post in Holmes County, and between the two of them, they are expected to fund an average of 30 percent of the tuition cost for kids headed to the camp.

“Most of our families cannot afford a full tuition but we do not turn you away for an inability to pay either, so we have these thrift store to help raise some of the funds,” Thompson said.

This is a fantastic time of year to say “out with the old” as perhaps there is plenty of “new” arriving in the form of gifts. Take a look at what is available in your closets and storage areas to help the Trading Post present clean, quality items for sale in the store.

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