Discovering Camp Arrowhead

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunday was a day for the dogs in Suffolk, as thousands of people and their pooches attended the sixth annual Mutt Strut, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Suffolk Humane Society. Judging by the accounts of both organizers and participants, the event was a great success in its first year at the YMCA’s Camp Arrowhead on Kenyon Road.

In fact, it’s likely that the new location — the event had been held at Sleepy Hole Park in the past — was part of the draw for some people. For others, it was just the opposite: They would have taken part in the event no matter where it was held. Whatever their motivation for being there, however, many of the visitors to Mutt Strut found Camp Arrowhead to be a great undiscovered local resource.

Many of Suffolk’s youth will discover how much fun can be had at Camp Arrowhead this summer, as they participate in the YMCA’s different summer camps there. In fact, YMCA officials said they had signed up a bunch of new participants during Mutt Strut, when they — in a smart marketing move — had the facility’s alpine tower and giant swing open for folks to try.

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Kids who attend the camp will be able to do all sorts of fun and adventurous activities. But the facility isn’t just for children, and that might be the best-kept secret of all.

With a modern conference and retreat center, Camp Arrowhead offers adults from churches, businesses and other organizations a place for daytime events that encourage relaxation, team-building, spiritual renewal and rejuvenation. And they can pretend they’re kids again on the giant swing.

Camp Arrowhead is still new enough to the city of Suffolk that many folks don’t know what a great resource the YMCA built when it converted the former Hampton Roads Youth Center to its current purpose. But with the help of successful events like Mutt Strut, the new facility should get the recognition it deserves right here in Suffolk.