Many don’t realize that Rock Springs operates like a small town: it manages its own electric lines and transformers, collects and transports recycling and waste from all facilities to a central collection point, maintains roads, sidewalks, and trails, and even has its own freshwater and wastewater systems. And, like many small towns, from time to time challenges pop up!

This spring, during preparation for camp, a challenge with the freshwater treatment system resulted in a required automatic boil advisory until a water sample could be cleared by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This had the potential to leave the 400 Rock Springs guests and staff without drinking water in 90 degree weather. It also posed a great concern for the 700 campers and camping staff who would arrive in just two days.

Fortunately, some local philanthropists made it possible for everyone at Rock Springs to experience camp safely. Thanks to Walmart of Junction City, HyVee of Manhattan and Pepsi Co. of Manhattan, 14 pallets containing more than 22,000 bottles of water were secured, less than five hours after the issue arose.

The water was delivered to Rock Springs with help from Waters Rentals of Manhattan. With June 1 being the busiest moving day of the year, this truck was the last available between Topeka and Salina.

Pepsi Co. of Manhattan donated an entire pallet of bottled water and offered ongoing support until water needs were met. President and CEO of Pepsi Co. of Manhattan, Jake Wassenberg, shared why they jumped in to help so quickly.

“Here at Pepsi Co. of Manhattan we understand the impact philanthropy can have. When we heard there was a need, I was proud of my team’s desire to be a part of the community that came together to fill that need.”

While all water samples tested safely, the generosity of these business kept campers and staff happy and hydrated as testing occurred. The Kansas 4-H Foundation and the Rock Springs Staff would like to extend a special thank you to all who contributed. Because of these champions, camp continued as planned and youth from across the state had the chance to explore, learn and grow at Rock Springs. They truly showed how a little help can make an immense impact.

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