The Dan Cole Bunk Bed Project is in full swing for Mid-South Youth Camp. This project seeks to memorialize Chief Warrant Officer Dan Cole by building new bunk beds for the summer camp he loved.
Mid-South Youth Camp is a summer camp that runs eight weeks during the summer. It caters to about 1,300 campers with Bible classes, swimming, hiking and a thirteen-elements ropes course. There is also a retreat center. MSYC has long served as a strong recruiting tool for Freed-Hardeman University.
Cole was killed July 9, 2011, in a helicopter crash near the Smoky Mountains. He was a loving husband and father, a devout Christian and a decorated soldier. Raised in Henderson, Cole was a longtime friend of FHU and Mid-South. He graduated from Chester County High School and attended Freed-Hardeman University from 1988 to 1990. Many of his family members, including his parents, John and Sue Cole, continue to reside in the Henderson area.
Cole is also survived by his wife, the former Deanna Hall, a 1989 FHU graduate; two children, Lauren and Logan; and two sisters, Beth Naylor and Rebecca Ada.
Beth Naylor has organized the project to help MSYC, which has had a great impact on their family. A number of the Cole family members have been involved with MSYC in the past. Dan attended MSYC, was baptized there, and worked there during the 1980’s.
Approximately $8,500 has been raised to build the bunk beds and forty percent of the building has already been accomplished, thanks to volunteers. A group with the local National Guard disassembled the old beds, which are being sent to Haiti to be used to build furniture. FHU’s art center has volunteered the use of its facilities to cut and sand wood pieces. The Chester County football team and Boy Scout Troup 25 have begun assembling the new beds.
Money and volunteers are still needed to complete the project. MSYC has thirteen cabins with twenty bunks per cabin. Current funds will only cover the cost of the beds, not mattresses. “Putting old mattresses into new bunk beds isn’t ideal. We really want to be able to give our campers the best we can,” said Frank Bradford, director of MSYC.
All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive a gift acknowledgement. Checks should be made payable to Mid-South Youth Camp and can be sent to:
Dan Cole Bunk Bed Project
c/o Richard Taylor
Mid-South Youth Camp
158 E. Main Street
Henderson, TN 38340
For more information, visit www.fhu.edu/msyc/DanCole.