Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A common message students hear while at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is one of perseverance and setting goals to reach new heights. This mentality was on display as the camp broke ground for the addition of the new Muskingum Discovery Center on Friday, Sept. 25.The Timken Foundation of Canton, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the Stark Community Foundation, Farm Credit Mid-America and many other donors and special guests including 150 first year FFA members attending the first session of Greenhand camp were in attendance to witness and celebrate the ground breaking of the 9,500-square foot, two-story building.“The Muskingum Discovery Center would not be possible without the generous support we have received from our donors and the support from the community,” said Todd Davis, Camp Director of Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum.The 2015-2016 Ohio FFA State President, Matthew Klopfenstein, spoke on behalf of Ohio FFA members and presented a Discovery Center Project Update at the banquet that took place before the shovels hit the ground.“Camp is more than just a facility,” Klopfenstein said. “Attending camp kick-started my FFA career and has done the same for many others. The addition of the Discovery Center will increase camp’s influence on youth and also in the community.”The estimated cost for the building is $1,650,000 with additional project costs of $850,000 for parking, equipment, road improvements and related project expenses totaling $2.5 million. FFA Camp Muskingum has received statewide support from local FFA chapters, the Camp board, the Ohio FFA Foundation and individual donors.“We are very happy to support this center because it means so much to the area, but more importantly to the State of Ohio,” said Rose Geib, Grant and Operations Coordinator for the Timken Foundation of Canton. “It brings so many students in and does such a fine job with the youth that this is going to make an impact. The foundation likes to support projects where an impact is important.”Additional funding support from local and state legislators, the agriculture industry, farmers, collaborating partners, agricultural and nonprofit agencies, other funders, families and individuals will be needed to reach the end goal.“The hope is the word will get out to individuals who have a relationship with FFA, and more importantly some of those folks who have memories of camp,” Davis said. “We hope they see the vision we have for camp and want to have a part of making it a reality.”The new facility will be able to provide the space needed for large banquets, community events and educational workshops. Features of the building include a large open assembly hall area with a stage, educational displays and an interactive nature center with expanded programming and interactive live animal displays.“Many qualities of the new building will benefit camp,” Davis said. “A wonderful facility for the existing groups that attend camp will be provided, but I think it opens up new opportunities for us to bring in new individuals and groups. We will be able to provide banquet facilities for the community and provide higher educational opportunities for people in the area.”Camp Muskingum has worked closely with the Muskingum County Watershed Conservancy District to approve construction beginning this fall with a goal of opening the building in the late fall of 2016.“All of the preliminary drawings and plans have been approved,” said Donnie Borland, Muskingum County Watershed Conservancy District Deputy Chief of Police Operations. “We work closely with Camp Muskingum with improvements and projects taking place to make sure everything is good to go with the requirements of the Muskingum County Watershed. It is a pretty easy task because they do a great job.”Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is available to all 24,800 FFA members across the state. Many different school systems and groups also use the camp for a various educational, team building and recreational activities throughout the year.“The addition of the Discovery Center is a big step,” Davis said. “But it is going to be an awesome step with all support we have received. It will open up a lot of doors to help make what camp does now even better.”How You Can Help:If you are interested donating or volunteering to help complete this exciting project, please contact Todd Davis, Camp Director, at (330) 627-2208 or [email protected] for a donation form and information. Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is a 501C(3) non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.