Camp Gilmont will host the #SamStrong Fun Run on Saturday, May 6, 2017, with registration starting at 10 am and the run starting at 11.  The run is held in memory of dedicated volunteer, Samantha Watkins, a young lady from Kilgore who shared her joy and sweet spirit with the families of children with developmental disabilities at Circle of Friends Camps. 


This special Fun Run through the woods offers something for everyone.  Whether you are a more serious 5k runner, or part of a family who just wants to enjoy the day getting some exercise – you can run, skip, walk, stroll or even roll in a wheel chair –  all are welcome!   


Sam is being honored through the naming of this Fun Run which supports Circle of Friends Camps. “Sam loved Gilmont and the Circle of Friends Camp experience.  She brought us together as a team and was always encouraging. She was just the right mix of fun and business.  Sam shared how she hoped to work with children with disabilities as a career one day.  We miss her so much.” shared Katy O’Quinn, one of the camp’s volunteer coordinators.


For the past 20 years, Gilmont has hosted Circle of Friends Camps for children with developmental disabilities and their families.  Young adult volunteers, like Sam, care for the kids while parents get a much-needed break.  “These families have so many expenses and stresses, we have always offered these family camps as a ministry, with no charge to the families or the volunteer participants,” commented Executive Director, James Hilliard. “This benefit run will help us with the costs of these camps and provide a way for the community to get involved and show their support.” 

Gilmont hosts Circle of Friends camps three times per year.  The camps provide respite care for the parents, and a wonderful camp experience where all of the children enjoy camp activities.


The Fun Run will be great fun for families, featuring a cross country trail for walking or running and a 5k challenge for those who would like to participate in a longer more serious course that is timed.  Individual: $35 and Family Cost: $50. 

All proceeds go to support the families and volunteers at Circle of Friends.  Run will be at Gilmont, 6075 State Hwy 155 N, Gilmer, Texas 75644, located 6 miles east, northeast of Gilmer on Hwy 155, toward Lake of the Pines.  Camp phone 903-797-6400.  For more information and registration, visit