TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
More than 50 people gathered at the J.M. Feltner Memorial 4-H Camp in Laurel County Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Just what is getting built?
A cabin/storm shelter for students coming to stay in the campground — and Tuesday’s ceremony was the culmination of long-term dedication and long-term fundraising efforts.
“This is something we wanted for a long time,” said James Combs, chair of the Feltner 4-H Camp Improvement Committee. “And now we’ll have someplace to take them (in the event of bad weather).”
Combs also introduced each speaker who came before the group — the first of which was Dr. Jimmy Henning, associate dean for Extension and director of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
“I’m happy this project is coming together,” Henning said.
Henning added that when it comes to students camping, there are two main concerns at Feltner as with any campground — the safety of the campers and the quality of their experience.
He said that while the quality of the campers’ experiences at Feltner were well-handled — the lack of the storm shelter caused safety concerns for the myriad of campers from well beyond the Tri-County area.
“(Now that we’re) able to start this, we’re on target to have a functioning storm shelter by camping season this year,” he said.
He also thanked the donors who helped support this project, which were several.
“There’s no greater calling than to make that difference in our young people,” Henning added.
Another speaker, Raymond Cox, with the Harlan County Extension Office, said he was greatly pleased with the impending shelter.
“One of my biggest gripes was that (campers) needed somewhere to go (in the event of bad weather),” he said.
Donations of $5,000 or more were given by the Whitley County District Cooperative Extension Education Board, the Laurel County 4-H Council, the Knox County Extension District Board (which was said to have donated the largest sum of money), the Harlan County District Cooperative Extension Board, Farm Credit Mid-America and the UK College of Agriculture, Food & Environment.