It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the outskirts of Waynesboro.
Camp LIGHT, which is expanding its Christmas Wonderland to three weekends this December, has already begun turning their farm into a holiday attraction.
“Last year was kind of our inaugural year, and to test the waters,” said Kelly Truxell, Camp LIGHT’s development director.
The camp waited to evaluate the community’s reaction after a sold-out weekend event last year.
“They will get to do a lot of things while they’re here,” Truxell said.
Children will have the opportunity to make ornaments, decorate gingerbread cookies with Mrs. Claus, take a hay ride from the camp’s barn up to the town and enjoy a musical light show every 15 minutes.
Truxell said a prayer box will be available.
And children will get to take home the ornaments they make and cookies.
“So, they’re taking home a few things,” Truxell said.
Different this year than last year is Santa’s Workshop, which Camp LIGHT’s Executive Director Scott Balsley said came from “a whole lot of collective ideas.”
“It’s just a place to visit Santa Claus this year,” he said.
In Santa’s Workshop, children will have the opportunity to tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
“That’s the whole point of having him here,” Balsley said.
Santa’s Workshop will be repurposed at Camp LIGHT, according to Truxell, in summer for summer camp, especially with the camp’s Christmas in July program for at-risk teenagers.
“Every dollar we raise [with Christmas Wonderland] goes back into the camp somehow,” Truxell said.
The hope is that offering more dates for the event this year, Truxell said, “it should end up one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. It will allow us to continue to expand our summer camp program.”
Camp LIGHT provides summer camp options for children and young adults with special needs.
Last summer, 189 campers attended.
The $10 per person entry free to Christmas Wonderful, Truxell said, provides two meals for a summer camp participant.
Donations are also welcome through the camp’s Give the Gift of Summer Camp program, available online. Truxell said donations can be made in the name of a business or individual, or in honor or memory of someone.
Donors who make donations over $300, the amount needed for one child to attend one week of camp, get an ornament “as a reminder of their generosity,” Truxell said.
Christmas Wonderland visitors are encouraged to get tickets ahead of time online.
Truxell said Camp LIGHT is always looking for volunteers, and they are welcome to help with the Christmas Wonderland. Volunteers may email email@example.com or call (540) 471-1659.