Day camp nears completion

Published 11:40 pm Friday, March 18, 2011

Site plan: Above are the site plans for the regional YMCA summer day camp, Camp Arrowhead. The camp will open June 20.

There will be more options for Suffolk and Hampton Roads youth this summer, as the YMCA of Hampton Roads will be opening Camp Arrowhead, a regional summer day camp in Suffolk.

“That dream that we’ve always been talking about is becoming reality,” said Mario Faulk, senior program director at the Suffolk Family YMCA. “There’s no limitation for what I want to do with this camp.”

The new facility will have an Alpine Tower, amphitheater, archery range, challenge course, hiking trails, outdoor pool, soccer fields, softball fields and more.

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Children from 5 to 12 will be able to take part in fishing, gardening, archery, swim lessons, nature exploration, music, drama, arts and crafts, daily devotions, nutritional programs, character development, wilderness survival, sports and more.

“It’s going to be 55 acres of pure fun,” Faulk said.

The camp will serve 400 children a week. Children will be able to switch between a variety of different activities all day.

The main office and assembly program building is finished and ready to be furnished. Crews are working to complete the pool and other sports facilities prior to the June 20 opening. They will also be adding smaller shelters to house different age groups or teams for daily devotionals, group meetings and more. Some local companies have agreed to donate shelters, and the YMCA is hoping for more sponsors.

Camp Arrowhead will be located at the site of the closed Hampton Roads Youth Center, beside Paul D. Camp College on Kenyon Road. The YMCA will be using a renovated Youth Center building to house its main office and assembly program building.

The YMCA renovated the inside to make it more conducive to the program’s needs and to make it look more contemporary. There is a deck on the back that spans the entire length of the building. Grills will be added there for cookouts and to create a fun space for kids to hang out.

“This will be the first regional camp ever in Suffolk,” Faulk said. “We’re very excited about it.”

He said that all staff would be highly trained and qualified. “My goal is to make sure I have the right staff.”

During the off-season, he said, the YMCA could rent the facilities for weddings and special events.

“The kids are going to have memories for a lifetime of Camp Arrowhead,” Faulk said. “This is a first-class facility. It will change the face of Suffolk.”

Registration for he camp sessions began Feb. 1 and will continue until camp is full.

“The camp is filling quick,” he said.

The camp will provide bus services to certain areas.

Parents will need to provide the child’s birth certificate, shot records and a physical examination record to register children for camp. Additionally, when parents sign their children up for two consecutive weeks the kids can take swim lessons for free.

For more information about prices and registration, contact Mario Faulk at 934-9622.