Many veterans and first-responders visit a retreat near Raleigh, North Carolina, to relax and participate in archery, bowhunting and other activities that promote healing after a life of service. That place in Robeson County is called Camp4Heroes, a 184-acre facility with a 10-acre lake.
Camp4Heroes is the creation of a retired Raleigh fire captain, John “Woody” Woodall. Captain Woodall thought Raleigh needed a place where veterans and first-responders could relax with their families and bond with other service members while adjusting to civilian life.
Woodall’s many years of service includes an 11-year stint as chief of operations for the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which helped families of fallen FDNY firefighters after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Woodall was diagnosed with PTSD in 2007, and found art as his outlet. His artistic success includes two paintings that sold for over $100,000 each. All funds from his art sales help wounded veterans. His years of working with veterans sparked his idea for a retreat where struggling heroes could start rebuilding their lives in a peaceful, respectful environment.
Camp4Heroes’ funding also comes from donors, benefactors and volunteers. The camp also includes a veterans village with cabins and RV hookups for visitors, as well as a bathhouse, laundry room and outdoor kitchen. Plans for future work include a nondenominational chapel and wellness center that will hold up to 50 people for meetings and other events.
Camp4Heroes offers several recreational and learning activities, including fishing, hunting, archery, painting, cooking, knife-making and leather working. All these activities help people work through hardships and other challenges.
If you know someone who could benefit from Camp4Heroes, or would like to donate or get involved, click here to learn more.