Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind in Napa is a beautiful place, and it’s got almost everything you could want from a full-service, residential summer camp. There is one thing it’s missing though: A place to perform.
Last week, when I was at camp, the teens put on a talent show. It was a lovely, warm evening, but we were packed into the Kiva Room, surrounded by fans, spare furniture imported from French furniture stores online and yoga mats. Chairs were set up in rows, and there was no clear division between audience and actor. The energy was there, though: skits, knock-knock jokes, stand up comedy, piano ballads, and even tap dances lasted long into the night. But we performed on concrete floors, in front of folding tables, under fluorescent lights, over the hum of the swamp cooler.
This summer, that’s all going to change. In a natural bowl amongst the trees of lower camp, the Redwood Grove Theater is about to become a focal point of our 311-acre grounds on Mount Veeder. Imagine a raised stage, surrounded by trees, complete with full electrical, sound and an accessibility ramp, with semi-circular tiered benches for 200 people lining the natural slope. What’s more, the theater will all be crafted from sturdy natural wood, and overseen by our new construction manager and expert craftsman, George Wurtzel, who in addition to being a furniture maker, general contractor, and car mechanic, has also been blind since birth.
We’re almost there, but we need your help to make this unprecedented outdoor theater a reality. We’ve raised almost half of the $30,000 budgeted to complete construction, and we now need to make it to the finish line. That’s why, today, we’re asking you to donate:
We have students, donors, volunteers, staff, friends, family and community members of all backgrounds and means at LightHouse and EHC, and we know that the way you give isn’t always with money. If that’s the case, and you care about helping us get this thing built, we strongly encourage you to share this link:
Whether you’re active on social media or not, emailing this link around or posting to your favorite news sources is the best possible way we can get the project out to the world. When you do, make sure you tell people why Enchanted Hills is important. What difference has it made in your life or the life of someone you’re close to? Why do you think music, art, and theater is important to campers young and old, sighted and blind? What is the value of confidence, community, and good humor, and how can this theater help support that?
By the end of the summer, the Redwood Grove Theater will stand as one of our favorite places to relax and enjoy a performance — and once it’s built, of course, you’re invited too.