Water refills a local camp's lake


Lake Upchurch in Cumberland County has been virtually empty since heavy rains washed away the dam five years ago.

The lake is home to operation purple, a camp designed for kids whose military parents are deployed overseas.

"All these kids have the same issues, a mom or dad deployed and we can challenge them," Camp Director Gene Joiner said.

Arin Johnson is one of 250 kids who climb walls, dangle from trees, and help her peers cope.

"We just talk about positive stuff, how to get through, how long our parents have been gone. That kind of stuff," Johnson said.

For the past five years, the camp had been without water from Lake Upchurch, when the dam washed out. But now the dam's back and water sports have returned.

"The significance is phenomenal. We used to have issues, now we're a camp with a mile and a half lakefront," Joiner said.

There is plenty of swimming, unbelievable water toys, even canoeing. And a rockfish tradition, a giant mud hole!

"We come out and do a walk, then launch into this tradition, "mudfest". It's disgusting, so much fun. I love it," Counselor, Laura Williams said.

"It's like fun, because they like dump you under and it feels like chocolate under there," Camper, Audassi Foster said.

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