Area camp preps for summer, despite Matthew setbacks

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Hurricane Matthew may have damaged many homes, business, and streets, but one area business said the storm actually did them some good. (WTVD)

Hurricane Matthew may have damaged many homes, business, and streets, but one area business said the storm actually did them some good.

READ MORE: THE DEVASTATION CAUSED BY HURRICANE MATTHEW

Camp Rockfish is what many consider Sandhill's hidden treasure. The camp, nestled along the banks of Lake Upchurch, took a nearly devastating hit during Hurricane Matthew.

The storm destroyed all of the camp's boat docks and several bridges and even damaged walking trails and countless trees.

However, officials at the 500-acre recreation park said they benefited from a dam that broke in the storm, meaning kids attending their summer camp will not be affected.

Although the lake won't be filled by the summer, camp officials have plans to make sure campers enjoy it the way it is.

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Since Matthew, Rockfish depends on their own volunteers to help rebuild their attractions.

"It's getting other people who have wanted to do something (that say) they can't build but can destroy," said Camp Rockfish's Executive Director, Jim Martin. "So, we put them to work, taking apart old bridges and old docks."

Meanwhile, the park is repaying that deed by helping hurricane relief volunteers.

"There are groups that have been helping with hurricane recovery all over the area," Martin said "So, we've been hosting them to do our part and pay back to the community that has been a part of us. So, they've been staying here for free."

Rockfish is home to two military children programs including "Operation Purple," which hosts children whose parents are deployed or have been injured in battle.

Martin said the camp's road to recovery is a battle of its own. He said they plan to use their recovery process from the storm to teach children about resilience.

"You take the lemons and make lemonade," Martin said. "That's kinda what we've been doing. Now we have some of our own stories to be able to share with the kids. If you're struggling on our new climbing tower the best thing to do is work to overcome it. We did it."

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