Camp Ta-Kum-Ta to get its chapel back - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Camp Ta-Kum-Ta to get its chapel back

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SOUTH HERO, Vt. -

For many, a chapel at Camp Holy Cross was the heart of Camp Ta-Kum-Ta for 24 years. 

"We did arts and crafts, we did gatherings, it was just such a wonderful central place for us at Camp Holy Cross," said Hattie Johnson of Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.

But four years ago the camp expanded and moved to South Hero, leaving Camp Holy Cross and the chapel behind. But all that changed last year.

"Last spring when Camp Holy Cross was sold to a local community member, we were given the opportunity to dismantle it," Johnson said.

So they did. Since last spring the lumber of the dismantled chapel has been hiding under a tarp in a field at the camp's new location.

"We took it down stick by stick and now we're going to put it up stick by stick," said Don Sutton of the Knights of Columbus of South Burlington.

But now thanks to a $45,000 check presented to Camp Ta-Kum-Ta by the Knights of Columbus of South Burlington the chapel will be rebuilt.

"To be able to take a piece of our history and bring it up to our facility at South Hero is just incredible," said Johnson.

Sutton plans to do his part in the revival; after all, he raised the money and the beams for the original chapel in 1986. Doing it all over again, he says, is a dream.

"What greater cause can the Knights have, what greater thing can they do?" Sutton said of their charitable contributions.

Nine teenage campers died from cancer this year. Sutton wants the chapel to be a place to remember them and those who have gone before them.

"When those kids were at Camp Holy Cross, there were a lot of memories, a lot of prayers, a lot of memories of children who have left us. That all happened," he said.

Though the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization, the Memorial Chapel will be open to everyone.

"The children who come to cancer camp -- there's no denomination. It's us. It's we," said Sutton.

In addition to the check donated on Wednesday, the Knights of Columbus have raised over $100,000 for the chapel. But, they're still $25,000 shy of their goal. Those are donations they hope will continue to come in use.

Construction is set to begin in July.

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