Summer work camp seeking projects

Hundreds of high school students from around the country will come to Winchester this summer and local organizers are trying to line up work projects for those students.

Group Work Camps will be in Winchester the last week of June to do a number of work projects for local residents, including porch repair and painting, said Shannon Cox, a city commissioner who is helping organize the effort.

“At this point, there are about 25 churches (involved) from as far away as Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and all over the southeast,” Cox said. “They’re looking for home repairs.”

Specifically, they are looking for projects that will help elderly residents, he said.

They’re not going to do on roofs,” he said. “They don’t do plumbing or electrical work.”

Nearly everything else, including interior and exterior painting, is on the table.

To be considered, residents must complete an application, which is available from Clark County Community Services.

CCCS Executive Director Debbie Fatkin said she already has 80 applications in hand, but needs about 150. Officials with Group Work Camps will be in Clark County the first week of March to evaluate the projects and see if they are viable for the work teams, she said.

“Not all of those (applications) will qualify,” she said. “The Work Camp projects are more specific because those kids will be here for a week” and projects need to be completed within that time.

“You’ll have a ton of kids at your house that will want to interact with you,” she said.

Cox said the teens and accompanying adults will stay and eat at Campbell Junior High School. They are scheduled to arrive June 23 and will work June 24-28. The teens and churches will be divided among the work groups, he said, to boost camaraderie.

Cox said this is the first time Group has brought a work camp to Winchester since 2002, and he said officials are already talking about coming back in 2020.

Even if a project is turned down for the work camp, there are other local resources to help people with home repairs.

“They’re always afraid they’re taking (help) away from someone else,” Fatkin said. “We always have other groups” looking for ways to help people in the community and can tackle home repair projects that don’t fall within the work camp’s parameters.

To be considered as a work camp project, Fatkin said residents have to complete an application. They can be picked up at the CCCS office at 30 Taylor Ave., or they can be emailed or sent in the regular mail, she said.