TOP PHOTO: Leadership Campbell County participants spent the day in Jellico on Thursday! They are pictured here with Park Ranger Brett Beglutti, far left, at Indian Mountain State Park.
By Charlotte Underwood
JELLICO, TN (WLAF) – Leadership Campbell County class participants spent the day in Jellico, touring several businesses and non-profits as well as Indian Mountain State Park on Thursday.
One of the first stops on the tour was the Chamber Coffee at Union Bank of Jellico.
Participants then headed onto Springs of Life where they heard from Director Cliff Branam.
At the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop, special speakers were Steve Evans, Stephanie Lloyd and Zach Lloyd who discussed the Jellico UMC mission. Drinks were sponsored by ORNL Federal Credit Union.
Participants also took part in a scavenger hunt in downtown Jellico, before heading to lunch at the Jellico library. Lunch was sponsored by Builtwell Bank and provided by Vanessa Dupuy’s Classy Threads and Catering. Mike Johnson and Mark Tidwell were special speakers at the library.
Thursday’s itinerary also showcased Indian Mountain State Park where Ranger Brett Beglutti spoke on the park’s history, as well as the recent upgrades and fun things the Park has installed such as the 18 hole championship level disc golf course.
The 218 acre park has also recently added 10 primitive camping sites to complement the 47 full hook up modern camp spots it already had.
Beglutti also spoke about community events the park hosts each year such as the fishing rodeo for kids in June when they fully stock the lake with channel catfish and the upcoming Halloween in the Park event that will feature a DJ, and all the campers will decorate their camp spots and hand out candy.
“This has become a huge event for us, and last year we had over 3,000 people attend the Halloween event,” Beglutti said.
He also touched on the history of the park, how it went from being farmland with one of the earliest airstrips in Tennessee around the time of World War I, to being strip mined in the 1940’s and 1950’s, before becoming a park. The new primitive camp spots are right next to where the old airstrip was.
The small lakes at the park were created due to the strip mining process.
Now the park is home to a modern campground, nature walking trails, volleyball and basketball courts, paddle boat, paddle boards, kayak and John boat rentals, picnic pavillions, playgrounds and tons of other fun stuff such as the annual disc golf tournament.
According to Beglutti, more upgrades are in the works and the park will be redoing the camp store this fall and adding heating and cooling to the bathrooms.
The park’s annual Halloween in the Park event will be Thursday, September 28th.
After leaving the park, the Leadership Campbell County class toured the Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries (SEKRI) plant facility, before finishing up the day at the Jellico Welcome Center.
A total of 14 participants are taking the 10 month Leadership Campbell County program.
The annual leadership course kicked off its 2023-24 session in June and will finish in March with a trip to the state capitol in Nashville. The class takes place one Thursday a month and highlights businesses, tourism, non-profit organizations and more in Campbell County.
For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 423.566.0329. You can also check out the Leadership Campbell County Facebook page. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/22/2023-6AM)