Jacksonville FL – 12/18/2018 Employees from various Jacksonville Lowe’s stores volunteered together to help fulfill the vision of creating a camp that serves inner-city children. “Camp Deep Pond is an outdoor day camp that offers inner-city children the opportunity to experience something new,” explains Thomas Stinson, Camp Director for Camp Deep Pond.
The vision for a camp in Hilliard began with Mr. Charles Atkerson, who together with his wife Christie, purchased the reforested land from the government after it had been used as a mine in the ‘70s. Mr. Atkerson developed the property, clearing out a vehicle path around the lake, installing a floating dock and building a visitor’s lounge but wasn’t able to fully complete his vision before passing in 2009. His wife Christie, searched for a financially-stable local non-profit to continue her husband’s vision and selected Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida.
A group of 25 Lowe’s volunteers, called Heroes, arrived at the Hilliard camp early Thursday morning to begin construction of a lakeside fire pit with seating area and unknown to most of them, their volunteer efforts are continuing Mr. and Mrs. Atkerson’s vision of a camp that serves inner-city children.
The group also installed four bat houses around the main lake area that help keep insects under control. Lowe’s Heroes are skilled laborers who volunteer their time in support of local community projects. The Heroes paneled the walls of the camp’s nurse station, traveled around the camp fence line clearing away felled trees and helped prune overgrown brush in nature areas.
Lowe’s generously donated the equipment used to develop Camp Deep Pond to Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, which included chainsaws, shovels, lawn tools and wheelbarrows. Since 2009, Lowe’s has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide restoration grants to refurbish existing Boys & Girls Clubs around the nation. Local Jacksonville Lowe’s stores decided to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida to help develop their Camp Program, called Camp Deep Pond.