Click flags above for Spanish or English page translation. Click Play below to listen to this article. Haga clic en las banderas de arriba para traducir la página en español o inglés Haga clic en Reproducir a continuación para escuchar este artículo.
L-R: Eric Luftig (Victaulic), Christina Schoemaker (Valley Youth House), Jim Eck (Quadratus Construction Management, Inc.), Eric Scheler (Commerce Construction Co./Majestic Realty Co.), Rick Koze (Kay Builders), Jason Engelhardt (Langan), Tom Harrington (Valley Youth House)
(11/8/19) – Valley Youth House owns and operates Camp Fowler, a 43-acre property located in Orefield, PA. Camp programming provides outdoor therapeutic recreation and promotes healing and growth through adventure-based activities and experiential learning.
A number of local construction companies including Kay Builders, Majestic Realty Co./Commerce Construction Co., Brooks Development Group, Quadratus Construction Management Inc., Langan, and many others are helping Valley Youth House build new cabins at Camp Fowler, a project valued at $1.4 million. The current cabins were built 75 years ago and despite best efforts, these outdated cabins have finally exceeded their usable lifespan. The current cabins are unsafe, with uneven and damaged flooring, leaking roofs, and rotting wooden siding. Additionally, the cabins are not insulated, which makes them uncomfortable in the hot summer nights and unusable in fall and winter months. New cabins will have heating, air-conditioning, and indoor plumbing, expanding the possibilities for year-round programs. These renovations will improve safety and expand the usefulness of the camp for Valley Youth House clients, as well as for the many community groups that use the camp.
Nature offers restorative, stress-reducing benefits, and the outdoor experiences at Camp Fowler do just that. Here, a team led by a Master’s level clinician use therapeutic, challenge-based programming to promote positive development in a way that is not likely to occur in a conventional setting. Campers experience breakthroughs and healing, resulting in behavioral changes that lead to their future growth.
The camp serves youth of all ages with a focus on those who would otherwise not have access to camp experiences. This population includes low-income children and youth, youth in foster care, and homeless youth, many of which have experienced significant trauma in their lives. Valley Youth House recently developed a series of seven one-week overnight camps: Adventures in Arts (partnering with ArtsQuest), Adventures in STEM (partnering with the DaVinci Science Center), and Adventures in Leadership camps that take place from June through August. In 2018, Valley Youth House received scholarships and program funding for the STEM and Arts camps through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) opportunity, which provides corporations with significant tax credits for their financial support of out-of-school-time learning experiences.
“My wife, Andrea, and I are excited to be involved in this meaningful project. We do not have children, so we see this as our opportunity to positively impact the lives of young people in our community. Camp Fowler is a special place and all involved in this project are ensuring that it will be around for another 100 years. Kay Builders has been building communities for three generations and we look forward to building foundations and shaping futures for the young people served by Valley Youth House.” -Rick Koze, Owner, KayBuilders
“As builders first, we know the value of creating communities of promise, where families and businesses know that their futures are secure and bright. We are honored to be devoting time and resources to help Valley Youth House build cabins and a health lodge for the young people served.” – Eric R. Scheler, Sr., Vice President, District Manager, Commerce Construction Co., L.P. and Majestic Realty Company.
“These cabins will be built by the heart to last another 100 years.” – Richard H. Brooks, President, Brooks Development Group.
“In life, success is often based on how stable your family is and whether you’re raised by people who love you and care for you. Kids can’t do it on their own, they often need help resolving issues within themselves and that’s where Valley Youth House steps in,” commented Eric B. Luftig, Chair of the Board of Directors for Valley Youth House and Vice President at Victaulic. “At Valley Youth House, we believe every child should have somebody there to pick them up, show them their strengths and values, and to provide support, comfort and healing. Camp Fowler allows youth of all ages to dream, learn and discover their strengths in a unique setting. It is a very special place and an essential element in Valley Youth House’s programming,” continued Eric.
About Valley Youth House
Valley Youth House (valleyyouthhouse.org) does more than just provide homes for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable, abused, and homeless youth. We partner with thousands of individuals each year to build a solid foundation for young people and their families. With dedicated street outreach, housing, counseling, skills training, health, prevention, and intervention services, we empower resilient young people in establishing promising futures.
Information provided to TVL by:
Valley Youth House Development Officer