11th Annual 4XKIDS Day at
Bradford Woods/Camp Riley - 2013
By Gill McBride-
First time event driver and event sponsor
I had the opportunity to go to Camp Riley located in Bradford
Woods this year with Fat Boys Jeepers to give Jeep rides to the
campers during this years’ 4XKIDS DAY. As a new member to Fat
Boys Jeepers as of this year, Scott Sperling had told me all about this project and the goal to build a Low Ropes Challenge Course for the campers. I decided that I needed to get involved and help in any way that I could.
Scott and I left Centerville, Indiana at 6:30 am and headed to Indy area to meet others for breakfast before the event. We met at Denny’s and I had the chance to meet with other drivers and volunteers. I got to meet both Jimmy and Doc that drove down from the Chicago area to feed all the drivers and volunteers’ lunch that day. They fixed a spread “fit for a king” while not accepting any donations for it. It’s their way of giving back to the campers. Thanks for the great meal guys and you truly do go out of your way to help the kids. I also got to meet and discuss other possible fundraising activities with Cassie Marin, Special Projects Officer, with Riley Children’s Foundation. Everyone at RCF appreciates the hard work and determination our group of volunteers are trying to make for the campers at Camp Riley.
After breakfast we headed out to Bradford Woods just a few miles on down the road. One by one, more and more Jeeps kept arriving at the staging area at the Horse Barn parking lot. We had a chance to mingle and share the fellowship of other volunteers and then a drivers meeting was called and we were all given the instructions for the day. We broke from the driver’s meeting and then all went to enjoy lunch before the rides were to begin. I got to tell you that it was worth spending the day there just to enjoy that lunch. I heard that the best was yet to come!
After lunch was over, the rain came in. Everyone started scrambling to put tops on the Jeeps and doors back on. We got everything situated again and many of us got our first tour around the woods. Got the opportunity to give both my wife Clara and Scott’s wife, Betsy, their first Jeep ride around Bradford Woods before the rides for the campers would begin. Now they know why everyone comes back with smiles “ear to ear”. We all went to the staging area where the campers would load into our Jeeps and we waited the storm out while the campers spent a lot of their time in the cafeteria. We finally got a break in the storms. That’s when they brought down all the campers down by two cabins at a time. We loaded up our fares, introduced ourselves and took off for a 25 minute ride around the property of Bradford Woods
I got to make two different trips with two groups of campers and counselors. I had a very enjoyable afternoon talking with the kids about what they had done at the camp this year and what they had done in previous year. We had a good time together and enjoyed the ride. I know that I had as much fun as the campers that rode with me.
When everyone had a turn riding in a jeep, we held the closing ceremonies. If it wasn't for the generous donations from the following individuals, clubs and businesses for over $4000.00 and over 200 4XKIDS DAY drawstring backpacks, allowing Fat Boys Jeepers and our friends to serve the campers would not have been available.
Richmond Casting Company, ITD Engineering, LLC., West End Bank, First Bank Richmond, Iron Horse 4x4's, Bosak Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Randy and Joanne Brooks, Mike and Sandi McCoy, Doug and Kathy Saul, Hi-Lift Jack Company, Meyer Distributing, Jasper Group, Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association, New Sesco, Inc., Primex Plastics, Wayne Bank and Trust Company, Recycling Center, Inc., Jimmy and Toni Johnson, Joyce Fuller, Tim and Brandy Martin, Becker Electric Supply, Design Tech Inc., Clover Patch, Inc., Robin Henry, Tracey Ladd, Steve and Marianne Foster, Shannon Shuman and SG Trading Post. Although 4XKIDS DAY was over, we still will continue accepting donations towards our low ropes challenge course fundraiser. This was a very satisfying end of a long day. Each camper made a THANK YOU note to give to the drivers of their Jeep. We were thanked and treated like heroes. I was humbled to say the least.
Thanks Camp Riley and Campers for allowing me to share your day with you. I was honored to have had a few of you ride along with me when you could have been doing so many other wonderful things at Camp. Thanks for making my day special by giving me a little bit of your time.