Decades of Support, Decades of Children's Lives Transformed
Camp Twin Lakes, where life challenges become triumphs, will soon be the largest camp of its type in the country.
Few childhood joys compare with the friendships and experiences gained at summer camp. That’s what happens at Camp Twin Lakes (CTL) every year for thousands of children and it’s why Georgia-Pacific has supported its mission from day one.
Since 1993 CTL has served hundreds of thousands of children and young adults with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges. It operates two year-round campuses in Rutledge and Winder, Georgia, and is growing to meet the demands of our community. It’s now adding a new campus in Rutledge to serve another 3500 campers annually.
Georgia-Pacific, a long-standing partner of CTL, contributed to the building of the new camp. Construction is near completion with 20 new cabins to accommodate 240 people, two staff cabins, a medical clinic, pool, gym, dining hall, creative arts and an administrative building.
"The in-kind contributions of plywood, gypsum and lumber played a critical role in the progress of the new campus,” said Scott Light, executive vice president of packaging and Camp Twin Lakes board member. "We have a long history with Camp Twin Lakes, starting with the land upon which it sits, and this expansion allows the camp to serve even more children and families for decades to come.”
The new campus will allow CTL to accommodate new groups of children who have never had their own camp experiences, like those living with Down Syndrome, children who have lost a parent or sibling, are in foster care and those experiencing other hardships. With this new expansion, it will be the largest camp of its type in the country.
We are so grateful to Georgia-Pacific for supporting our growth plans and ensuring that more children and families receive the vital benefits of camp,” said Cheryl Belair, chief development officer at CTL. “We are honored to have named the Creative Arts Building on the new campus in recognition of Georgia-Pacific’s generous and faithful support over the last three decades.”
For many children, CTL is their first opportunity to experience horseback riding, ziplining, high ropes or climbing a rock wall. Amelia Oliver is very familiar with that wall. As a regular CTL camper, she has tackled it many times with the support of CTL volunteers. Amelia was diagnosed as an infant with epilepsy. She is now a teenager and is quite the inspiration.
She started camp at age seven and will attend her last camp session this summer. "Everyone feels included and equal because we all have the same disorder and feel understood," said Amelia.
“At home and school, Amelia is the only person with her disorder, but at camp, she gets to interact with dozens of kids who face the same life challenge and that’s so important,” said Heather Oliver, Amelia’s mom, and senior director, SFE Capability Development.
“It will be bittersweet when Amelia has her last week at CTL this summer. It’s an incredibly special place with wonderful people. The volunteers there gave her a sense of community and belonging. They taught her confidence and self-acceptance and encouraged her every step of the way. It’s something she’ll carry with her throughout her life. For that and more, I will always be grateful to Camp Twin Lakes.”