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Keeping Camps Up and Running for Kids

Few things are more synonymous with summer than camp.

Days spent swimming, fishing, hiking, and more are a way of life for thousands of youth each year in central Ohio. Time spent at camp is full of learning new things, working together with friends, and making memories.

That’s how summers are for campers at Camp Ken-Jockety, a Girl Scout of Ohio’s Heartland camp located in Galloway. The camp sits on 220 wooded acres and is located along the Big Darby Creek State and National Scenic River. Fun fact: Ken-Jockety is a Native American term meaning “away from the crowd” and it was the winning name suggested by a young camper when the camp opened in 1929, 90 years ago!

Camps require regular upkeep—especially one like Camp Ken-Jockety that is open year-round. Camp Ken-Jockety serves approximately 13,000 people each year, and utilizes the camp for troop camping, day camps, Girl Scout programs, and school field trips.

“With Camp Ken-Jockety celebrating its 90th anniversary, there are things that continually need to be updated and maintained to ensure we are meeting girls, volunteers, and our visitors’ needs,” said Deirdre DeWeese, Vice President of Philanthropy, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland.

In addition to aging buildings, camps need to update utilities, respond to damage sustained by weather, replace damaged equipment, and purchase needed supplies. Thanks to the Theodore R. Magnuson Field of Interest Fund of The Columbus Foundation, this camp and seven others received grants totaling $48,500 in 2018 that enabled them to tend to aging cabins, pave access roads, purchase equipment, and make repairs. 

Other organizations receiving grants to help with costs for this year included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, Camp Wyandot, Inc., Flying Horse Farms, Godman Guild Association, Recreation Unlimited Foundation, Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, and YMCA of Central Ohio.

This past year, with a $5,000 grant, Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland was able to replace the roofs of two cabins, including Shagbark Cabin, the first building constructed at Camp Ken-Jockety in 1930. Originally used as the camp dining hall, it became the caretaker’s cottage in 1952 and was renovated in the 1970’s to sleep up to twenty people.

“We could not complete these important upgrades without the support of funders like the Theodore Magnuson Fund. Because of the Theodore Magnuson grant, we have been able to complete many important projects and keep our cabins open to get girls outdoors,” DeWeese said.  

Jun 28, 2019



Amy Vick is the Associate Director of Communications and Marketing at The Columbus Foundation. She can be reached at