“CAN YOU SEE GOD IN ME?” That is the frame of reference we want the campers to have as they make the many choices and decisions in their lives. It has been said many times that the most important goal a person can achieve is to make a difference in the life of a child. Thank you, dear friends and sponsors for 25 years of dedication, caring, and support of Ron Sr.’s dream of building Ron Burton Training Village. You have been with Ron Sr., my family, and me from the beginning of this very challenging, important, and rewarding mission. Because of your unwavering care and support, RBTV is accomplishing all of the goals Ron knew could be achieved through faith, dedication, perseverance, and the support of caring people. He knew it because he had lived it. He took this same method that gave him success in life and applied it to build RBTV. He always told me, “There are things in this world that money can’t buy, and no one can give then to you — one is the profile of courage and the other is the will to succeed.” The camp has been successful in helping to make a difference in the lives of youths. Yes, sponsors and workers, my family and I see God’s light reflected through the way you reach out to help the campers strive to become the best they can be. My family and I are very thankful and humbled by the caring and support you give. You are a blessing and we are grateful for it. I want to also thank my family, for like their father, they work hard, give their time and talents to continue to make the camp successful. My family is a very special blessing to me and I love them dearly. May God bless you all.
JOANN BURTON RON BURTON TRAINING VILLAGE 11
START Life’s reward is in the
It’s during this journey that you experience
JOY, overcome SORROW, and gain the COURAGE to
conquer everything that stands in your way. Ron Burton, Sr. embraced this philosophy very early in his life. When a high school coach told him that if he wanted to be great at
he had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. every day and run seven miles five days a week,
RON DECIDED TO GO THE DISTANCE.
It was this routine that led him to become a high school All-American and and a college All-American. He was also a FIRST-ROUND DRAFT CHOICE in the NFL. Today, the students at the Ron Burton Training Village
FOLLOW IN RON’S FOOTSTEPS and run the seven-mile course
DAY. EVERY DAY.
It is through this small journey that they
LEARN to tackle
the bigger challenges in life.
Seven miles every day for 12 years.
AS RON BURTON, SR. USED TO SAY, “WE ARE ON A RACE TO THE STARS, THE SKY’S THE LIMIT, AND ONLY THE BEST WILL SUCCEED.”
“IF YOU WANT THINGS TO HAPPEN, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE THEM 55
FOR OVER 25 YEARS, THE RON BURTON TRAINING VILLAGE HAS SERVED MORE THAN 3,000 CAMPERS.
Every summer, young people from diverse backgrounds come to the camp in Hubbardston, Massachusetts to embark on a mental, physical, and spiritual journey.
“LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”
Campers come to the Training Village with various aspirations, and we provide all the necessary tools to help them follow their dreams.
HUMILITY RBTV is grateful to Laurie Watts from the Helping Hearts Foundation for sponsoring the printing of this annual report, and to Hill Holliday for their design services.
Every child is welcome at the Ron Burton Training Village. Many children attend the five-week camp on scholarships from generous sponsors, who work hand-in-hand with us.
Reebok provides uniforms and shoes to all of our campers, so that there is no disparity and every child is dressed the same.
Most of the children who attend the camp come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. At the Village, they are surrounded by love and peace so that they can strive to make their future brighter.
3 0 “IF YOU SEE BEAUTIFUL THINGS, YOU THINK 1717
SPREAD OVER 305 ACRES, THE VILLAGE IS PERFECTLY GEARED TOWARD PROVIDING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT FOR THE CAMPERS.
“PEOPLE LIKE NICE PEOPLE.”
WE BELIEVE THAT INWARD CALM CAN ONLY BE ATTAINED THROUGH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS.
All campers run seven miles every day and are taught to swim. They can also choose to play their favorite sport and attend any of the clinics taught by coaches who specialize in that sport.
“GOD FIRST, OTHERS SECOND, ME THIRD.”
ALL STUDENTS ARE TAUGHT TO SPREAD THE WORD OF GOD AND TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY IN ANY WAY THEY CAN.
With the help of the United States Military Academies, our students receive coaching from Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel. These mentors teach them core values like discipline, courage, and love for your country.
“IT DOESN’T COST ANYTHING TO SMILE AND SAY HELLO.” 3434
LOVE CONQUERS ALL, SO WE ENSURE THAT EVERY CAMPER FEELS LOVED AND LEARNS TO LOVE.
07 “ ONCE YOU STOP GETTING BETTER, YOU 3838
A MAJOR PART OF CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT INVOLVES MAKING THINGS WITH THEIR OWN HANDS.
The Village includes several well-manicured gardens that the students maintain themselves. They learn to nourish and care for every plant and tree at the camp.
Every year, Home Depot, Kurtz Farms, Cavicchio Greenhouses, and J.P. Bartlett donate supplies to the Ron Burton Training Village to keep the space all set for our campers.
Students enjoy the bounty of nature and learn to live in harmony with it. The tranquility provides fuel for their ever-growing personalities.
The finish line isn’t always the end. At the Ron Burton Training Village, the end of the camp is the beginning of
NEW THINGS TO COME COME..
We encourage our students to keep running the
SEVEN-MILE COURSE every day, even after the camp is over. It’s the small journey that will lead to several grand voyages.
Our campers return each summer to
CONTINUE their training.
And many move on to achieve great success and become
ASSETS to society.
But wherever they go, every camper will always continue to spread the message of
PATIENCE, PEACE, LOVE LOVE, and HUMILITY, every step of their lives.
RBTV has taught me to seize every opportunity in my life. One of my greatest achievements has been attending Bentley University on a full RBTV scholarship. This is a dream come true for me. Thanks to RBTV, I am currently a sophomore at Bentley University and I’m majoring in Computer Information Systems. I hope to become a software developer when I graduate. RBTV has made a tremendous impact on my life, and the lessons I learned there I will continue to apply to my life. Love,
“I WILL CONTINUE MY RELATIONSHIP WITH RBTV WITH THE GOAL OF BECOMING A SPONSOR MYSELF.” — WILLIAM PANORA, RBTV SCHOLAR
I will never forget Ron Burton, Sr.’s famous saying, “Once you stop getting better, you are no longer good.” This saying alone holds more legitimacy and significance to me than any other form of advice I have ever received. It has become the foundation upon which I base my own progression. Since the first time I heard this saying, I have taught myself to never assume that I have done all I can do until I have succeeded in whatever it is I am striving for. I have become more motivated to be my own person and to uphold the values that Mr. Burton demonstrated, and I have not ceased to give thanks to God for all of the things I have achieved to this point. Today, I am a freshman at Stonehill College on a full RBTV scholarship with a major in Communications. I owe all of my thanks to Ron Burton, Sr. and RBTV for everything they have allowed me to become. Love,
CHRIS BORELLI Stonehill College
— YOHANNES DANIEL, RBTV SCHOLAR
My name is Michael Williams and I have attended the Ron Burton Training Village for nine years. RBTV was more than just a camp to me. It was a brotherhood and my second home. RBTV is a place I could go and just relax in the setting and not have to worry about things going on at home.
My name is Chris Borelli and I have been attending the Ron Burton Training Village for eight years. Though attending the camp has aided greatly in forming the young man I am today, the most important lesson I have learned involves the progression of one’s self.
“ I LOVE THIS CAMP WITH MY HEART AND I LOVE WHAT THE CAMP IS TEACHING.”
“I’VE MADE LIFELONG FRIENDS AT THE CAMP AND MET MANY INSPIRING FIGURES.” — MIKE LASHUA, RBTV SCHOLAR
My name is Walter Pope and I am a Midshipman with the United States Naval Academy. Upon graduation, I will have obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as an officer in the Navy or Marine Corps. I would not have this opportunity and blessing if it weren’t for the Ron Burton Training Village. My life changed dramatically after having gone to the camp. I vastly grew physically, mentally, and spiritually in ways that will impact my life forever. The camp helped instill in me a strong foundation in God. The biggest thing that I learned was that the world and your situation in life do not have to be the deciding factor on the quality of your future. With God and a strong work ethic, which I developed at RBTV, anyone can go beyond their dreams. Love,
United States Naval Academy
Instead of supplying a random array of plants, we visited the camp to understand the concept and extent of each garden. So, after scouting the areas that needed tending to, we started to know the family along with their values—giving us a direction that can impact the gardens in a personal manner. The plant material chosen has the intention of bringing out the spirit of each garden; whether based on color or the name, everything served a purpose. The urns around the house were a mixture of purples and lavenders, with our geraniums Hope and Faith being the focal points; knowing Ron Burton’s favorite color was purple. Each year we try to provide more color to the planters and gardens, but it’s the kids and the family that truly make that place beautiful. The campers welcome you with a hug. Seeing their eagerness to learn and help plant the gardens is a joy that has humbled our own lives. The Burton family has embraced J.P. Bartlett Company as a part of their family. One might think that that bond may not be as strong as stated, but when the day is over and you’re thanked again with hugs and smiles, it solidifies the fact you have touched the campers’ lives in some small way. Our company does what it can for the Ron Burton Training Village, yet it pales in comparison to what they do for you and how they touch your life. Love,
FRED McCARTHY, JR. J.P. Bartlett Co., Inc.
Congratulations to the Ron Burton Training Village for 25 years of teaching humility, peace, patience, and love to young men and women from all over the United States. RBTV not only teaches this message — but also lives it. RBTV passes this message on to all the people and organizations it meets, including Blue Ribbon Barbecue. Bearing witness to this mission of service to others by RBTV and the changes in the lives of those that it serves is why we make our commitment every year. We at Blue Ribbon Barbecue witnessed this mission firsthand in July of 2009 when we made contact and accepted an invitation to come out and meet the campers. What we witnessed helped change our lives not only as individuals, but also as an organization. It was then that we decided to sponsor the RBTV summer banquet. We are grateful and proud to serve RBTV because of the important and meaningful way it helps and serves all of its campers and the community. Blue Ribbon is happy to participate and looks forward to the end of July, when we know the barbecue will bring a smile to the faces of all those at RBTV who have worked so hard toward achieving humility, peace, patience, and love. Thank you, RBTV, for allowing Blue Ribbon to serve all of you. Love,
GEOFF JANOWSKI Blue Ribbon Barbecue
The Home Depot “Team Depot” associate volunteer force has had the honor to work with the campers at the Ron Burton Training Village over the past few years. To experience the rural natural environment is rewarding. But helping the young, impressionable campers from such diverse backgrounds, some from economically disadvantaged and others from troubled and at-risk situations, is an unforgettable and wonderful adventure. In this inspiring setting, campers not only improve their athletic skills, but they learn to respect themselves, avoid negative influences, and make decisions that will serve them well in life.
Each year, we see the peace, patience, humility, and love showered upon these campers. These virtues are the core values of RBTV. These values are the backbone of the Burton family, who live Ron’s dream and lifestyle every day. An important part of the fabric of The Home Depot is giving back our time, talents, energy, and resources to worthwhile causes in our communities. There is no cause I can think of that is better than helping RBTV campers become productive, valued members of society. As Team Captain and ambassador to RBTV, I can attest that the Team Depot Associates and I will once again roll up our sleeves and work hand-in-hand with the campers at RBTV this spring. Love,
KEN LaCROIX The Home Depot
The J.P. Bartlett Company is fortunate to be welcomed, with open arms, as a member of the Ron Burton Training Village family. We have been donating plant material for the past three years, but it wasn’t until the second year that J.P. Bartlett Company became involved with the camp. We saw a canvas that needed completion, bringing Ron Burton’s saying, “You see beautiful things, you think beautiful thoughts,” to life.
Yearbook for the RBTV