Reviving Camp Thunderbird

They Came

Every October, Lockheed Martin employees across the Corporation focus on supporting their local communities through giving campaigns and days of service. On October 18, in Central Florida, more than 1,000 employees, family members and friends collaborated to revitalize Quest’s Camp Thunderbird for Lockheed Martin’s annual United Way Day of Caring.

Volunteers gathered before sunrise and trekked down a dusty road to the heart of the 37-acre camp for coffee, doughnuts and a welcome, before getting started on 92 site projects.

“We were excited and truly honored to welcome Lockheed Martin volunteers as part of their annual United Way Day of Caring,” said John R. Gill, president and chief executive officer of Quest, Inc. “The Quest Camp Thunderbird team is excited about the work being completed on various projects. This work will enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities so that they may continue to achieve their dreams to live, learn, work and play.”

They Saw

Camp Thunderbird has been in Central Florida since 1969 and provides a residential camp experience serving adults with developmental disabilities and children of all abilities. The camp provides youth and adults with physical and behavioral challenges associated with Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn new skills and focus on the remarkable things they can do, while making new friends and unforgettable memories.

A team of Lockheed Martin volunteers first visited the site in 1982 and most recently returned for renovations in 2007. It was time to revisit and revamp the site.

They Conquered

At this year’s Day of Caring, the crew completed a variety of projects, from rigorous landscaping to much-needed site renovations. A number of the projects were highly technical, including the transformation of a recreation room into a corporate-style conference room, complete with advanced technological capabilities, like wireless microphones, a high-definition projector and plasma monitors.

“As I walked through the camp, I was truly amazed at all we accomplished that morning. In all, 92 revitalization projects were completed,” said Jon Crump, chief information officer and 2014 Community Charity Campaign executive champion for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The leadership of Quest’s Camp Thunderbird was overwhelmed by the turnout, and the resulting changes to the camp were profound and will benefit thousands of campers and their families for years to come.”

After completing work on the gazebo-swing set, butterfly garden, basketball court and projects around the site, volunteers gathered for a well-deserved barbecue lunch to celebrate their success in renovating the camp.

“What an impressive display of love and compassion as hundreds and hundreds of Lockheed Martin employees woke up early and made their way to Quest's Camp Thunderbird for Heart of Florida United Way's Day of Caring,” Kathy said. “You brought your talents and gifts to help renovate, renew, recondition, refurbish, restore, revamp, remodel and fix up whatever needed to be done, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the results.”

—Kathy Lopus, vice president of development at Quest, Inc.


October 23, 2014

  • Camp Thunderbird has been in Central Florida since 1969 and provides a residential camp experience serving adults with developmental disabilities and children
    of all abilities
  • 1,000+ employees,
    family members and friends in Central Florida collaborated to revitalize Camp Thunderbird
  • Volunteers completed 92 projects, some of which were highly technical