4-H and Camp Pioneer – The Nation’s First Organized 4-H Camp
The TVLC has a long-standing association with Randolph County 4-H and Camp Pioneer. Since the Club was chartered in May 1940 there is one activity that has remained a tradition. Lions gather at each of two summer 4-H camps for children to serve watermelon one evening to all campers and staff at Camp Pioneer.
The TVLC maintains a strong relationship with 4-H in Randolph County. We maintain a playground situated near the picnic pavilion on the lower campus of Camp Pioneer. A few years ago we upgraded the playground so that now the various pieces of equipment are confined by two containment areas with rubber mulch under all equipment for safety. The playground is formally known as Ed Heineman Park. Ed was a prominent member of the TVLC and served the Club in many capacities.
As the Randolph County Fair takes place at Camp Pioneer, the TVLC sponsors various activities and competitions each year. One of our favorites is the Greased Pig Contest.
All Lions Clubs are committed to helping those in need with Vision Care. Every year the TVLC provides financial assistance to people who need eye exams and glasses, but cannot otherwise afford it.
If it is discovered that someone needs more extensive Vision Care, we refer them to the WV Lions Sight Conservation Foundation. This is a foundation supported by Lions Clubs all over the state of West Virginia to provide more advanced care. In our area, clients have generally referred to the West Virginia Eye Institute in Morgantown.
Since 1983 the Club has sponsored an annual Essay Contest for 6th graders in the schools of our service area. Children are challenged to write an essay, usually about life in Randolph County. Teachers and
Principals have traditionally been very supportive in assisting with the program and working it into the curriculum. Late in the Spring semester, we have an Awards Banquet for the winners. Each winner brings their immediate family, as well as teacher and principal.
For many years the TVLC has worked very closely with the West Virginia Children’s Home in Elkins.
One program we have is called Cases for Kids. Many of the children come from broken or impoverished homes, so we provide suitcases for each child. That way each child has a way to contain their personal belongings that many would not otherwise have. At Christmas, the TVLC makes a sizable cash donation so that the children will have money to buy personal items. Over the years some of the older children have helped our Club set up chairs for various fundraisers. The Children’s’ Home staff uses this as an opportunity to teach the kids to participate in community efforts.