SOURCE: Camp Twin Lakes

December 16, 2008 08:00 ET

Camp Twin Lakes and Georgia Department of Natural Resources Join Forces to Revitalize Camp Will-A-Way

Agreement Will Provide Year-Round Camping Experiences for Children With Serious Illnesses

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - Camp Twin Lakes (CTL), in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has signed an agreement to renovate and operate Camp Will-A-Way, located at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia. Eric M. Robbins, Executive Director of Camp Twin Lakes says, "The concession agreement with the Department of Natural Resources enables our organization to operate a second camp facility, Camp Will-A-Way, and expands our therapeutic and recreational programs by 43% for the summer 2009 camp season." Robbins adds, "Operating Camp Will-A-Way greatly increases our capacity to serve Georgia's children with serious illnesses and life challenges."

While the DNR still maintains ownership of Camp Will-A-Way and all of its facilities in Fort Yargo State Park, Camp Twin Lakes will invest over $4 million to significantly renovate Camp Will-A-Way. As part of the concession agreement, Camp Twin Lakes will operate the facility and all programming areas for campers. CTL recently received a $1.5 million grant from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation toward the first phase of capital improvements. Updates for the first phase, to be completed in time for summer 2009, include renovating eight of 16 camper cabins, improvements to the arts and crafts center, and overall accessibility including sidewalks. First phase renovations also include rebuilding the medical lodge, the multipurpose building and amphitheatre, as well as implementing new program areas such as archery, biking, and climbing. The second phase of planned capital improvements is scheduled to be completed prior to summer 2010.

Beginning in May 2009, Camp Will-A-Way will open its gates to an 11-week camp season serving up to 1,000 campers and volunteers. The CTL facility in Rutledge, GA, which currently serves over 3,000 campers and volunteers throughout each summer, will enter its 17th year of operation in 2009. Both Camp Will-A-Way and Rutledge will operate year-round, through weekend and weekday programs, to serve children facing serious illnesses and other life challenges.

"We are excited to work with Camp Twin Lakes and we have a high level of confidence in their ability to serve Camp Will-A-Way guests," said Eric Bentley, Fort Yargo State Park Manager. "Combining Camp Twin Lakes' experience with special populations and our park's wonderful facilities makes this a win-win for everyone." In addition to expanding CTL's capacity to serve these special campers, the agreement maximizes the use of Camp Will-A-Way, which was established specifically to serve people with disabilities.

About Fort Yargo State Park:

Fort Yargo State Park near downtown Winder, Georgia, is well known for its swimming beach, fishing lake, mountain bike trails, hiking trails, disc-golf course and picnic areas. However, its most identifying feature is a 1792 log fort built by settlers for protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians. Overnight guests not staying at Camp Will-A-Way can choose from a modern campground and fully equipped cottages. To learn more, visit or call 770-867-3489.

About Camp Twin Lakes:

Camp Twin Lakes is a nonprofit organization that offers year-round recreational, therapeutic, and educational programs for children and young adults facing serious illnesses and other life challenges. With its network of Partners, Camp Twin Lakes provides life-changing experiences at its state-of-the-art, fully accessible camps in Rutledge, Georgia; Camp Will-A-Way in Winder, Georgia; and other locations throughout the state.

Camp Twin Lakes is accredited by the American Camp Association. For more information, visit

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