November 18, 2018, I made the trip to Randleman NC. If you’re local or a fan of NASCAR you know the hallowed grounds by that name alone - home of The King, the greatest stock car driver that will ever be and my personal all-time favorite athlete, Richard Petty. If you’re unfamiliar, Adam Petty (Son-of Kyle, Grandson of Richard) passed away after a wreck in Louden New Hampshire in 2000. The Petty family then partnered with several extremely charitable people and organizations and in 2004 opened Victory Junction In his memory.
The Victory Junction Camp is AMAZING. A camp where children with special needs , severe limitations or terminal illness can come with their families - EXPENSE FREE - and just feel like a kid. They have so many amenities and activities - and it just is honestly a magical and wonderful place filled with love tucked into the heart of North Carolina. It is my understanding that the camp provides a 1:1 ratio of counselors to campers - amazing.
For the third year, a temporary course was installed on the property to facilitate a fundraising opportunity. 91 amateur players assembled to play two rounds on some very creative and often challenging holes that utilized various features of the campus and landscape. Hole 1 saw the player teeing off from an elevated treehouse to a basket in the “infield” of the campus’s small “track”. Hole 11 was very creative with players forced through a mando of “the tunnel” - not a tunnel shot through a lane of trees mind you - but actual tunnel like is used to access racetracks along the NASCAR circuit.
My personal favorite was the 17th hole - and for no golf reason what-so-ever. Upon reaching the 17th tee area, we were invited to tour one of the camp cabins. The cabin itself was as you would expect - large common area, camper bedroom, and counselor bedroom. Of course the decor marched the race theme that permeates the campus. What made it special was our tour guides - two beautiful young ladies who have been campers at Victory Junction and have found a place where they get to just be kids despite their personal struggles. It was so touching just to see how proud and happy they were to have a place where they felt like they belonged.
I did not play well - but who cares? To be upset at a poor outing when supporting a place where kids get to realize that they can do anything would be foolish. I walked away with a deeper appreciation of just how fickle life can be, how much just the smallest twist of fate can dictate weather you are born with the ability to walk, or even with only half a heart. We are fortunate when born able bodied - but I know I am guilty of forgetting that at times. Yesterday was a much needed reminder that when we can do for others - we should. Not because of a higher power, not an obligation - but simply because we can.
I know I made a personal commitment as I left he parking lot that next year I am going to return, and do more. Because I can.
(Photo credit Chris Dimsdale PDGA #69962, Team Fly guy )