Trooper Island Camp ends another successful season of summer camp

Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:41 am



Trooper Island Camp, a youth camp in southwest Clinton County on Dale Hollow Lake, closed out yet another successful camping season last week. Operated by the Kentucky State Police and funded entirely through fundraising efforts and private donations, the camp serves about 700 Kentucky boys and girls who are at-risk or underprivileged each year. The campers who enjoy Trooper Island each summer, are hand-picked by members of the Kentucky State Police from communities across the Commonwealth.

Above, campers and staff on hand during last week’s final week of the summer, gathered at the Fallen Officer Memorial on the northwest end of Trooper Island, where members of the Kentucky State Police gather in full uniform during a ceremony that honors those officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The members of the KSP who have died in the line of duty are honored during this weekly ceremony, with Camp Director KSP Trooper Jonathan Biven reading each officer’s name. The uniformed KSP Troopers then answer questions from the young campers who have been with them all week, regarding their duties as members of the Kentucky State Police. The ceremony is held each week during the Trooper Island camping season.

Also each week during camping season, members from the Albany First Baptist Church, travel to the camp to host a nondenominational worship service in the Sgt. David Upchurch Memorial Chapel. Initiated during the first years of summer camp on Trooper Island by Albany First Baptist Church deacon, the late Gayle Smith. The Chapel sanctuary was named the E. Gayle Smith Sanctuary in honor of his service to Trooper Island. The service includes informal introductions, songs, and a nondenominational message from various members of the church congregation. For the past several years, the worship service has been moderated by Smith’s son, Allen Smith. Each camper is also given a free Bible as they enter the Chapel.

Mike Beard was the featured speaker during last week’s service, and is shown in the photo below left, as he addressed the group of campers who had gathered for the service. Below right, church members Lisa Smith, left, and Lisa Beard, pass out Bibles to the campers as they enter the Chapel prior to the start of Wednesday’s service.