TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Several groups around the Wabash Valley faced off in a friendly contest at Woodrow Wilson Middle School on Saturday, raising over $10,000 for Camp Navigate.

The organization hosted the “community challenge” for the first time since 2020. The fundraiser allowed for dozens of adults to compete in a number of individual and team contests like cup-stacking, tug-of-war and much more. Board chair for the event Kelsey Terry said the games helped embody what the main characteristics Camp Navigate tries to promote. 

“It really highlights what Camp Navigate is all about, which is leadership, teamwork, collaboration with the community, healthy habits, all of those soft skills that are so important for kids to acquire at a young age,” she said. 

Over $10,000 were raised, with much of the money going to help grow Camp Navigate’s newest program, the Leaders Lab. The program, which is offered at the Lab at Locust Street, started in November and currently is offered three days a week from 6-7:30.

“It’s an after-after school program that actually serves youth that might not have a place to go from 6-8 p.m,” she said. “They are going to get a warm meal and a welcoming environment, a safe environment as well as academic support.”

Jane Nichols, a board member for Camp Navigate, said the program was developed after talking to community members about what they wanted to be addressed in the area.

“This has emerged as a definite need,” Nichols said. “Not only after school programs and after school care, but after after school. A little bit later when parents work a little bit later, and they need a safe, structured place for their children to go.” 

Terry said what makes the event unique to her was how much fun they had while providing for a good cause.

“I love getting to see them and putting them in this competitive environment, just getting to see people lead and perform and just rally around their team,” she said. “The energy is just incredible.”

Nichols said it was great to see the event return after the hiatus caused by the pandemic– and she hopes to see it continue to grow in the coming years.

“We’ve had more laughs and more fun competing in friendly competition,” she said. “Everyone’s here for a great time together to raise money for Camp Navigate. Wonderful cause, lots of fun this morning.”

The Leaders Lab is available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and is free for eligible families. More information can be found on their website.