VICTORY JUNCTION ENRICHES THE LIVES OF CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR SERIOUS ILLNESS BY PROVIDING LIFE-CHANGING CAMP EXPERIENCES THAT ARE EXCITING, FUN AND EMPOWERING; ALL IN A MEDICALLY-SOUND ENVIRONMENT AT NO COST TO THE CAMPER OR THEIR FAMILY.
In 1999, a lanky, wide-smiling teenager visited Camp Boggy Creek, a SeriousFun camp in Florida, with his dad and knew it was his calling to bring a similar camp to the hills of North Carolina where he grew up. This young man was up and coming race car driver Adam Petty, son of NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, grandson of racing legend Richard Petty and great grandson of NASCAR pioneer Lee Petty. This fourth generation driver was just starting his own racing career while still sleeping under his parents’ roof— but Adam was wise beyond his years. Passion drove him both on the track and in his desire to help others. Between races, Adam was often found in pediatric hospitals visiting children with challenging medical conditions. He also began saving money and developing the plans for the children’s camp of his dreams. One year after his touching experience visiting children at Florida’s Camp Boggy Creek, Adam Petty tragically lost his life in a racing accident at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He was only 19 years old. To honor Adam’s memory, the Petty family gathered their strength and challenged themselves, their friends,
and the NASCAR community to build his inspired dream — a place where children with serious illness would be able to experience the joys of childhood and just forget about being sick for a while. With land donated by Richard and Lynda Petty, the Petty family spearheaded a capital campaign in 2002 and dollar by dollar received donations from corporations, individuals and foundations to build what would become Victory Junction, a NASCAR-themed camp located in Randleman, N.C. Adam’s legacy of love was realized when Victory Junction opened its gates to its first campers in June of 2004. Today, spread across 84 acres, Victory Junction is a safe and medically-sound environment, allowing children to do what they do best— be kids, play, imagine, make friends and enjoy the adventures and experiences of camp life. Victory Junction, a not-for-profit, is a member of SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman and is accredited by the American Camping Association.
THIS AREA OF THE WEB SITE IS DEDICATED TO VICTORY JUNCTION AND ALL THE GREAT WORK THEY DO. PLEASE CONTACT THEM TO HELP, FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO MAKE A DONATION.
Below is an aerial view of much of the camp. Let me start by saying that Victory Junction does not have any activities that any child that visits the camp can not do. Every child that attends is able to do every activity held at the camp; this way no one feels 'left out'. Special care is taken, and if necessary extra expense, to make sure this is policy strictly adhered to.
There are some great videos on the Victory Junction web site. This one touched me the most. On the left part of the picture above; you see Peter and Haleigh. Much work had already been done moving dirt and blasting rock, but as Kyle Petty stated in a video. "That was like the first time you really believed - OK there's really going to be a camp here. Now all of a sudden you had a face that you were building something for". On the right side of the picture you see Peter and Haleigh come back and re-created the picture. Things have gone well for this duo. Haliegh's cancer is gone, she even plays college softball. Peter is excited about finishing high school and starting college. Haliegh's Mom credits Victory Junction with helping Haleigh overcome her cancer. "When she came to camp it was during the time she was going through treatment. It gave her something to live for - something to fight for"
So lets start of the beginning and I'll try to give you an inside view of all the great things the camp offers and the awesome things it has for kids. In the over head picture of the camp (at very top of page) you'll notice the main part of camp looks like an oval race track, complete with a giant yellow flag stand in the middle; and all the various activity buildings are placed around it. On the left picture here is the multi-colored water tower that welcomes you, it is located right outside the camp. As you enter you'll see the Welcome Center (pictured right)
As you enter into the camp (where the kids actually stay); you'll see this tunnel above. I'm sure any race fan will recognize it. It is made to look like a tunnel that goes underneath the race track into the infield. As you look at the pictures in this tribute to Victory Junction; take a second to notice all the various race related sponsors and drivers who have paid all or part of their exhibit. Here the tunnel is provided by Timken. Timken provides bearings, power transmissions and other items for NASCAR teams.
As you drive onto the property you'll also see the lake. It is a place where the kids have great fun, with such options as pontoons, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, fishing, etc. Located there is also the Marina. You can barely make it out in the picture; but it is called the "Catch, Kiss, and Release Marina". After all that's the camp rule.... when you catch
a fish you have to kiss it before you release it. (If the kids don't want to kiss it; then their personal counselor HAS to). It's also a rule at the camp; No counselor can ever tell a kid "No". So you'll often see counselors with purple hair; or finger nails painted all different colors and other such things. The picture above you can also see the marina and fishing pier. The red and blue round thing in the center of the picture, is a fire pit so kids can get together roast hot dogs, or marsh mellows, and sing camp songs. It's hard to make out but on the side of the building you'll see this area was sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. On the left you can also see paddle boats the kids enjoy using on the lake.
THE CAMPERS CABINS
Next we have pics of the campers cabins and the inside of the cabins. Everything is pretty cool here for the kids. Let me say this again; As I said previously, everything at the camp is "race themed". There are 17 cabins; each one named for a different NASCAR track, or sponsored by a NASCAR driver. The picture on the top left is the "street" all of the campers cabins are located on. At the left is the front of one of the cabins. Here you see the cabin named after Talladega Speedway. Each group of campers in each different cabin has their own songs, and they have fun
competitions against campers in the other cabins. As you can see from the pictures on the right; the inside of the cabins are very bright and carry that race theme I mentioned. In the social room you see here the couch adorned with flames, and the cabinets look like race tool boxes. Pictures of various drivers and race cars hang on the wall. In the picture on the right (above) you'll see that in the bed rooms each bed is made to resemble a little race car. The storage shelves look like old gas tanks, and their storage boxes look like truck bed tool boxes. The wheels are made out of real race car brake calipers. EACH child that comes to camp gets a special hand-made afghan and a hand-made teddy bear that is theirs to keep. On the back wall in the bed room picture, you'll see a special painted mural. It's race cars racing, and fans cheering them on. Hidden in the fans are actor Paul Newman and racer Richard Petty. I have highlighted them in the picture on the right.
Continuing with our race theme - in the left picture we see the "Fab Shop". It is the beauty shop where kids go to get all made up. It is a full working salon. As for the counselors; this is often the place that produces that purple or green hair and multi-colored finger nails I spoke about earlier. On the right is the "Pit Stop". It's where all the kids love to go to get those yummy things like cotton candy, donuts, and the like.
THE SWIMMING POOL
This is the Swimming Pool front entrance. It's pretty cool - You'll see in the very center what looks like a big wheel with a fender over it in the center; and then over that a pair of handle bars on the roof to resemble the front of a motorcycle.
As we continue around the oval, next we come to the pool area. It has many special features. It has the pool itself (of course) it also has a 'lazy river' and water slide. Two of the pictures here are an overview of the pool, and another is one of the lazy river. I wanted to point out a couple items. In the top picture you see a yellow glass building with a red roof. It is a 'warming building'. Kids with ALL types of conditions come to camp. Some kids have a special condition where their body has to be maintained at a certain temperature; this building is built so if a child gets a bit chilled; they can take them in there and raise their temperature quickly. Just one of the MANY special items this camp does to see that the health of the kids that visit are at a premium. I'll cover more on that as we go on. In the top right picture you see what resembles a purple motorcycle. That is the water slide. The other two pictures to the right show a general over view of the pool area, and the lazy river. It is very expensive to maintain the pool area, and Kyle Petty has an annual Charity Ride. It's called the "Ride Across America". Most ALL of that money from the ride goes for upkeep of the pool. So if someone asks you to donate for the "Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America"; dig in a little deeper and show your support for the kids.
then WE COME TO THE TREE HOUSE.
Coming up to 'turn one' we see a giant tree house. This is a place the kids love to come to; and in nice weather will do arts and crafts, play games and do various other activities here. As mentioned at the beginning; all campers has access to everything; so if a child has problems climbing stairs or such; provisions have been made so ALL the campers can enjoy this wonderful tree house. The tree house towers above the camp and has both boys and girls club houses. In the center foreground of the picture above; you can see a 'basket' with chains hanging on it. For those who may not know that is a frisbee golf game. Kind of played like regular golf, but you throw your frisbee into the chains and they stop the frisbee and you score points by it dropping into the basket underneath. It's a lot of fun and you see these baskets scattered all throughout the camp as the "golf course"
and next we have the Tony Stewart Maze
It was hard to get a good picture of it; but there is the "Tony Stewart Maze" area. It is built in such a way that it has a series of opening and closing gates. This way the lay-out can be changed daily and can be made into a multitude of different paths to successfully complete the maze.... That way every time the kids go to the maze it is different and a new challenge to figure out.
I want to throw out a few interesting items before moving on. First of all the pictures of the bricks are of the type that our Fantasy Race Group purchased. We had a few race game players pass away and we donated money to purchase bricks in their honor. As you can see bricks are purchased for a wide variety of reason. A few examples are "In honor" of someone, or maybe announcing a graduation or marriage; or with your name or your clubs name on them. You can read the bricks and see a wide variety of different things. At only $100 each; these are great for a personal donation. These bricks are available for the public to see, and create a pathway that goes out to an old rail caboose where you can overlook the camp. Sorry I wasn't able to get a good picture of the caboose. I hope to get one sent to me. The picture above is taken from the back side from inside the camp; The nice walkway and front of the caboose is on the opposite side and the walkway can be seen in the picture below. Since many kids have lowered immunity systems due to chemo or radiation treatments; when the kids are in camp, most visitors can only to go the caboose that overlooks the whole camp and watch what goes on. This way no one accidentally carries some illness into the camp and gets any of the kids sick.
Something else I wanted to point out that is done for the campers is that they get balloon rides. This picture is shown taking some campers high in the sky. Unfortunately the weather isn't always good for a balloon ride; if it's rainy or too windy the
camp still makes provisions so kids can interact with the balloon and it's crew. The balloon is brought into the gym and put on it's side; it is then opened up so the campers can walk inside of the balloon itself, and many times they often sign their names to the inside of the balloon.
Last thing on this page is a little about when a NASCAR pit crew will come and make some pit stops for the kids. They run around the car and do it just like it's in an actual race - with one exception. They have to wear feather boas while they do it. A funny picture is shown here. It makes for great entertainment for the kids.
One other item I noticed was some 'seats' located in various places. It's interesting the seat looks like a bolt. Hex head is the seat and the threads are the post. Also all of the light post look like the one in the picture at the right - Complete with flames and a checkered flag pattern. Pretty cool. These folks seem to have thought of everything. But don't stop now; you are just about half way through.
More on Page #2 - click here to go there (LOTS of good stuff -- DON'T MISS IT)