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Camp Seeks Dogs That Attacked Animals

Dec 1, 2014   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Camp Seeks Dogs That Attacked Animals

Pumpkin, the lamb, was right at home at Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp.

Born last winter with a leg wrapped around her neck–forcing her neck to be permanently bent–she was placed in a cast for about two months and bottle-fed by her owners.

Once given to the camp for people with intellectual and physical disabilities this summer, she followed visitors around as a pet dog would.

“Her favorite thing was to be right in the middle of all the people,” said Jodi Haas, President of the center’s board of directors.  “When I had volunteer groups…they all would be taking selfies with the lamb.”

the attachment makes last week’s loss of Pumpkin and another ani9mal, Junior, a 2-year-old llama, all the more difficult for Still Headows’ board, she said.

According to Haas, the camp’s caretaker witnessed–and tried to stop– an attack on the animals by a pair of dogs at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 5, and now camp officials are asking for help in finding the dogs responsible.

Junior had to be euthanized, while Pumpkin died the following day from her injuries.

Junior, also a gift to the organization, was known to  nuzzle people’s necks.

“Both of those animals were incredibly social, which made them perfect for the people that we serve.” Haas said.  On Hollar School Road in Linville, Still Meadows offers vaiours services for the disabled, and Haas aaid the farm’s animals, in particular, are beloved by visitors.  She wrote a letter to neighbors warning them of dangerous dogs in the area and has been in touch with animal control officers with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.  Haas said the camp caretaker is unable to identiffy the breed of the dogs, but thinks they are boxers or pit bulls, or a mix.  They wore collars and were “blood-covered”when they leftt the propeerty, sjhe said.  The camp has canceled two field trips this month for the safety of visitors, Haas said.  “We just need these dogs found and the owners held accountable.” she said.  Sheriff Brryan Hutcheson and deputies are investigating Haas’ report, as well as one that goats were possibbly attacked and killed by dogs on a nearby farm several weeks earlier.  Anyone with information should contact Still Meadows at 833-2072 or animal control officers at 564-3000.

By Preston Knight DNR, November 12, 2014 (574-6272 or




Passing of Russell Chewning

Jan 9, 2013   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Passing of Russell Chewning
With heavy hearts we share this update on Russell Chewning, son of board member, Mary Ellen Chewning — The viewing will be 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, January 11 at Kyger Funeral Home, 3173 Spotswood Trail, Harrisonburg. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 12 at Ashby United Methodist Church, 205 S. Main, Harrisonburg. Burial will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 13 at Wilderness Baptist Church, 9701 Plank Road in Spotsylvania County.


Jan 1, 2013   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on COLLEAGUES MOURN PASSING OF VISIONARY CAMP FOUNDER

Below is the text of the article that appeared in The Daily News Record on December 22, 2012:


Still Meadows Serves Those With Disabilities

Posted: December 22, 2012

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY – In the last few months, Janet “Jan” West-Maasch did an admirable job
of hiding any issues her cancer presented.

As for her compassion toward others, especially those with mental and physical disabilities, she
showcased that for all to see, all the time.

West-Maasch, who created Camp Still Meadows on Hollar School Road north of Singers Glen for
people with disabilities, died Wednesday. She was 67.

“Jan was a very special lady and had a lot of vision,” said Nancy Hopkins-Garriss, executive
director of Pleasant View Inc., a Broadway organization that supports people with disabilities. “She
just held on to this vision to have a place that was accessible. She was very tenacious. She was
not going to let this vision go.”

The day camp, which opened in 1997, has a picnic shelter, teepee, tree house, barn and more on
17 acres next to West-Maasch’s home, offering attendees therapeutic activities through interaction
with animals and nature each summer.

“Nature is the most healing thing. You can bring in some of the most potent medication you’ve got,
and it can’t compete with nature,” West-Maasch said in 1998. With animals, the disabled “are able
to show their love. They are not being judged.”

Of the camp’s location, Hopkins-Garriss said, “The view from both directions just takes your breath

West-Maasch was a registered nurse when she moved to Virginia and established the camp. Her
son, John, has a learning disability.

This summer, West-Maasch spoke proudly inside of her house of what campers were doing
outside, as the nonprofit facility had become the Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp to
reflect a growing list of services year-round.

“Other than their family, they don’t have anywhere to go,” she said. “This is their place.”
Still Meadows has expanded to include horseback riding and a monthly worship service. In 2010,
it underwent a major water and sewer system upgrade, buoyed by the financial support and gifts of
time and supplies from friends.

West-Maasch left drawings and plenty of more ideas for the future of Still Meadows, said Jodi
Haas, president of its board of directors.

“Jan had a lot of things put in place and we are very determined to continue her vision and continue
growing her vision,” she said. “It’s going to take an army of us to do the work of one woman.”

The camp will continue under interim executive director Katie Chittum, a Bridgewater College
senior who was a camper as she recovered from a crash in 2000.

West-Maasch’s heart captured Chittum, she said.

“She always remembered that, yeah, it’s great to chase your dreams, but it’s also great to give
back to the community,” Chittum said. “She was so selfless and she would always give everything.”

A memorial service for West-Maasch is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Mountain Grove church of
the Brethren, 12769 Third Hill Road, Fulks Run.

Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or

Passing of Janet Maasch

Dec 20, 2012   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Passing of Janet Maasch

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Janet Maasch lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday, December 19th.

The family will receive friends at McMullen Funeral Home in Harrisonburg, VA on December 21, 2012, from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Mountain Grove Church of the Brethren, 12769 Third Hill Road, Fulks Run, VA. Minister Don Guthrie, will officiate the service. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to Still Meadows Enrichment Ctr., 11992 Hollar School Road, Linville, VA 22834 or to the Legacy Hospice of Fishersville, 17 Parkway Lane, Fishersville, Virginia 22939 in her memory Online condolences may be made to the family at

Her obituary is available at

Fund for Medical Expenses

Dec 16, 2012   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Fund for Medical Expenses

To give back to the woman who has given so much of herself we have established an account so that individuals and organizations may make contributions to help Janet’s family with the medical expenses her treatment has incurred.

Anyone wishing to donate please send your check, payable to Janet Maasch.  Please note medical/care in the memo line.

Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp
Attention: Janet Maasch
11992 Hollar School Rd
Linville, VA 22834

Interim Director

Dec 16, 2012   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Interim Director

Katie Chittum, long time volunteer and Camp Director for Still Meadows, has graciously accepted a position as Interim Executive Director.  We are so very grateful to Katie for picking up the reins to ensure the success of Janet Maasch’s vision.  Her passion and experience are simply invaluable.

Janet Maasch

Dec 8, 2012   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Janet Maasch

JanJanJanet Maasch returned home from UVA Hospital in Charlottesville on Friday.  She is being lovingly cared for by her family, as well as hospice, in her home.  We all recognize that without Jan’s grace, compassion, determination, generosity and love for our special friends, there would be no Still Meadows.

We will be posting information to help coordinate meals for the family, and visits with Jan, so as not to overwhelm them with this community’s generosity.  Please watch our Facebook page as well as our website for further information.

Your prayers and support are, as always, greatly appreciated.



All visits have been suspended for medical reasons.  Thank you for your understanding.

Friends Key To Still Meadows

Aug 13, 2012   //   by camptest   //   News  //  Comments Off on Friends Key To Still Meadows

Community Stepped Up When Camp Had Its Own Special Needs
Posted: August 3, 2012   By PRESTON KNIGHT
Daily News Record

Jeremy and Katie on the See Saw



Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp participant Jeremy B. rides a seesaw with Day Camp Director Katie Chittum of Mount Crawford on Thursday. The camp has battled back from the brink — with a little help from its friends. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)



Micah feeds the donkey



Camp participant Micah M. feeds a donkey a carrot at the camp’s barn Thursday morning. More than 20 campers signed up at Still Meadows this week.




Joey petting ducklings



Camp Still Meadows volunteer Pete Folota of Keezletown (left) and camp participant Joey T. pet ducklings Thursday morning at the camp’s barn.




LINVILLE — Camp Still Meadows thrives in survival mode.

Per Executive Director Jan Maasch’s vision, the 17-acre site on Hollar School Road has served as an oasis of sorts for people with special needs since 1997. People with intellectual and physical disabilities — some severe — have fought and persevered through sometimes dire circumstances, so they rightfully deserve a place to unwind.

And it just so happens that place had a major obstacle of its own to overcome, albeit from its own doing.

Today marks the end of Still Meadows’ annual three-week summer camp season, the third since it installed what Maasch calls the “biggest drip septic system in Rockingham County.” In 2009, with the camp at risk of going out of business because it needed such a system to meet county code requirements, the community came to the rescue.

Donors provided cash and in-kind services worth more than $500,000, Maasch said.

“No little nonprofit could afford that,” she said in her house on the property Thursday.

The place is now called the Still Meadows Enrichment Center and Camp to reflect a growing list of services.

Permit Violated

In 2003, Maasch obtained a permit to operate the camp for three separate weeks during the summer. It included several conditions, including installation of permanent bathrooms.

Yet by 2008, the camp was operating continuously from March to November and still had portable toilets. This prompted complaints from neighbors about traffic and led county officials to discover that Maasch was in violation of her permit.

To come into compliance, a major water and sewer system upgrade was needed, or else the camp would have to shut down, she said. That’s when the community stepped up, including about $160,000 in labor and materials from Douglas Joseph Sr., the owner of Dry River Excavating, who installed the entire sewer portion of the system for free.

Still Meadows now has a water maintenance building, four permanent bathrooms around the property and electricity running to every structure. Even as work went on during 2010, camp continued.

“This place was totally ripped up for water lines,” Maasch said. “We never closed at all. It was unbelievable.”

‘Their Place’ To Go

In addition to camps, Still Meadows holds worship services, hosts school groups and runs special programs, such as horse therapy. Maasch wants to establish a yearlong vocational program for people with special needs.

It was through horse therapy that Katie Chittum, the summer camp director, encountered Still Meadows. Now 21, she was a Pleasant Valley Elementary School student in 2000 when a tractor-trailer slammed into her school bus about three miles south of Harrisonburg on U.S. 11. Chittum, from Mount Crawford, suffered brain trauma and had mental issues after the crash. “I was frustrated I wasn’t like I used to be,” she said. Chittum participated in horse therapy and recovered. She wanted to give back to Still Meadows, and has worked her way to become camp director.

Reflections of a volunteer

Jun 24, 2011   //   by camptest   //   News  //  1 Comment

Today saw the final day of the first camp of 2011. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the entire week at Still Meadows volunteering with some of the most loving and caring people I have ever meet. This was the first time I had spent an a full week volunteering at Still Meadows and the experience is one that will stay with me forever.

Our campers are such wonderful people. Despite the hurdles that they face in their everyday lives, the courage and happiness that they display is incredible. Still Meadows is an amazing place and the loving environment that our campers experience is shown through the beaming smiles on their faces.

While today was a sad day for me, saying goodbye and knowing that it would be a long time before I see some of the faces that have become so familiar to me, I know that the time I spent with our campers during this session made a difference to their lives. Not only that, but Still Meadows helps to put my life in prospective. I am so happy for the life my family and I have been blessed with and having witnessed the strength and courage of our very special friends, I know that anything is possible.

I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering at Still Meadows to anyone. It is a life changing experience that benefits you and a bunch of our special friends.

Thank you Still Meadows for allowing me this amazing experience. I’ll see you all again next year for sure!

James Carter
Camp Volunteer (first session 2011)

United Way Day of Caring

May 19, 2011   //   by camptest   //   News  //  1 Comment

We want to thank all the folks from Eastern Mennonite University for all the work they did for us on the United Way Day of Caring for all the hard work they did on 5-18-11.

  • They cleaned all cobwebs and washed down all stalls in our barn
  • They cleaned the office in this building and everything is sparkling clean
  • A group put up 2 platform tents down in the woods
  • Another group put together a playground set and will be coming back next week to finish it – WOW!
  • A garden bench had a finish put on it
  • On the 11th hour missing the rain, they put in a whole new flower garden with edging, top soil which was keep dry, compost and raked everything else very nicely
  • Our volunteers once they left for the day filled the bed with tons of flowers and the bed was mulched before ANOTHER storm hit us last night.  It is going to be just beautiful for all to enjoy this summer.

Thank you all for a hard day’s work, all this was so much appreciated.

Jan Maasch

April 2018
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