Founder of special-needs camp wants support to reopen it

Camp Virginia Jaycee was started more than 50 years ago

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – A camp that once served 47,000 special-needs children and adults over several decades now sits lifeless.  

The camp's founder is asking for support to get the Camp Virginia Jaycee operating again after it closed last year. William B. Robertson, of the Virginia Jaycee's said it once was a thriving summer camp. 

He started it more than 50 years ago for children and adults with special needs. Robertson said HopeTree Family Services owns the land where the camp is located and he wants the camp to come back to the original owners.  He started a petition that more than 1,200 people have signed. 

"At this point, we're asking for signatures. Once we get the land back, then we'll start working in terms of fundraising money," said Robertson.

Robertson hopes to see the camp come back alive and continue to serve those with special needs and their families. 

The communications director for HopeTree Family Services confirms they own the land but Woltz and Associates is the real estate company in charge of selling the property.

Mark Early said HopeTree agreed to take on the property to get it up and running but it was not a successful effort. He explained they gave it a try for several years. The labor, materials, repairs to the camp was over a million dollars. 

Click here to sign the petition. If you would also like to donate to the cause, click here.