Teaching to reach

SMCC holds ribbon cutting for new Upward Tower.
Jun. 01, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

People young and old soared through the trees on a zipline after South Mountain Christian Camp (SMCC) held the ribbon cutting for its Upward Tower on Friday.

Gary and Vesta Edmonds, who donated approximately $40,000 to help construct the tower, cut the ribbon in front of camp employees and friends.

The new tower was completed on Monday, May 26 after months of fundraising and work. The camp's old ropes course was destroyed by lightning in July of 2013.

"We've been supporting the camp for years financially. Last October we were leaving another camp we work with and we stopped here and stayed for a month to help out," Gary Edmonds said. "That's when we learned about the structure and what their needs were."

When the lightning struck the tower, it was a total loss and Steve Collins, executive director of the camp, learned it would cost $47,000 to rebuild. He began fundraising and camper Amber Somerfeldt raised almost $500 with her youth group, but the Edmond's donation made it all possible.

"The Edmonds told me they wanted to make sure the campers could enjoy the ropes course and pledged to fund whatever it took to get it done," Collins said. "I think it will be a great teaching tool for the camp."

After the ribbon cutting, light refreshments were served and free zipline rides were offered. Collins also presented the Edmonds with a plaque to thank them for their donation.

The Upward Tower is officially ready for campers this summer.

"The Lord gives to us and we pass it on," Vesta Edmonds said. "I believe in using recreation as a tool to teach. With this you have to teach to reach."

South Mountain Christian Camp is located at 1129 South Mountain Road in Bostic. For more information about the tower or the camp's upcoming summer camp call 828-245-3322.