Laurel Bend is a beautiful property on 27 acres located at 86 Oldham Drive in Falmouth, Kentucky. The Licking River bends around the lower portion of the property, that wraps under the bridge to town, allowing for a beautiful river view and an amazing cleared space under the bridge and in the pine trees.
Purchased in the summer of 2020, Laurel Bend has been undergoing renovations and transformations every day. Many locals attended this former camp – for generations – and have such fond memories of their time that we have tried to keep the grounds very similar, just updated and upgraded.
Laurel Bend's Purpose
When the Miller’s daughter, Lauren, was diagnosed with developmental disabilities, her parents put every effort into helping her succeed. As a child, numerous programs were available, but as an adult, options have been limited-to-none for Lauren. So, her parents are creating them. Not just for her, but for others like her, too.
After years of praying and planning about how to provide for Lauren’s needs, the Millers saw the old Camp Northward for sale in Falmouth and knew it would be the perfect place to foster and grow their ministry.
Laurel Bend privately funds programs by utilizing every inch of their 27-acre property with family-friendly lodging, wedding chapel and reception rentals, meeting spaces for reunions/retreats and a breakfast and lunch buffet opening to the public soon.
Alpacas, fiber goats, and more are patiently waiting offsite while funds are raised for fencing and shelter at Laurel Bend. They’ll provide essential esteem-building, learning, teaching, crafting and agritourism components.
Laurel Bend's Programs
We are located in a rural setting a few blocks from the city of Falmouth and convenient to larger surrounding cities. Utilizing much of what is already at the property, we will be incorporating several revenue generating opportunities as outlined on the map above. Each area will be developed with unique, repetitive tasks that can be learned and performed to mastery under supervision.
Aside from initial registration fees, donations to Laurel Bend coupled with the services provided by volunteers, employees and program participants will cover the costs of the program. Program participants will go to their “job” daily, learn skills and be part of community events. Families will be able to use funds traditionally applied to adult day care or other programs for other needs.
Who is the ideal participant?
Those with developmental delays and other disabilities that don’t significantly impair activities of daily living but are significant enough to prevent them from being able to live and work alone would be ideal for this program. At minimum, they will need to be able to dress, use the restroom and feed themselves.
What would they be doing?
We have several opportunities. Those interested in animals can take turns helping care for chickens, cleaning coops, learning and performing flock health, collecting and packaging eggs for sale, caring for goats, including shearing them, socializing baby goats, cleaning and spinning wool and making wool crafts. Baking, cooking and serving those goods for events and general sales. There are also ample opportunities for groundskeeping, housekeeping, retail sales, craft making and more.
A short drive away at Miller’s Harvest, a 5-acre farm in Williamstown, we converted a 7,000 sqft warehouse for microgreens and are raising a breeding colony of Tilapia. Once microgreens are producing and sold at full capacity, we will begin adding aquaponics greenhouses, which will supply Laurel Bend’s produce and provide additional training and work opportunities for program participants.
What do you do with participants?
Focusing on the ABLED in Disabled.
Just as important as likes and abilities are dislikes and disabilities. For example, for those who can’t read, order taking or serving people food or working in a retail setting is not possible without help. A few times a week, perhaps an hour at a time, we would schedule the participant into exactly these roles with 1-on-1 help, making sure that there are photos of each item sold and a volunteer or employee to help memorize what words went with what picture. Our staff can also brainstorm with professionals to see what ways we could support her to overcome or compensate for specific disabilities in a gentle and positive manner.
Laurel Bend's Offerings
Currently part of Answer in Genesis’ Unique Stay program, Laurel Bend focusing on hosting youth groups, small groups and large families looking for an affordable and relaxing experience while touring the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.
In February 2020, we began accepting reservations for weddings, wedding receptions, events and retreats. We also began redesigning our kitchen and cafeteria to offer breakfast and lunch buffets to overnight guests and the local public.
Naming Laurel Bend
The mission to help developmentally disabled adults find their meaning and purpose deserved a name that matched. Lauren, now an adult, is developmentally disabled due to vaccine injury as an infant. When picking out Lauren’s name, the the baby name book said that it meant “crowned with Laurels”, indicating “honor” or “victory”. Laurels were made into a crown (or given as a wreath) and worn by honored individual or groups. These crowns were used to honor scholars and also for Olympians; the best of the best. The laurel (or sweet-bay as it is also known) is often a symbol of prosperity and fame. In Christian faith, it can symbolize the Resurrection of Christ thereby showing the triumph of humanity. When we think about overcoming adversity and disabilities, and our struggles, Laurel seemed a great choice. We love the river and wanted to pay a little tribute to the fact that the property is located on the river bend. And so, we have Laurel Bend!
We would love for you to partner with us! If you are interested in supporting us and staying in the loop with our needs, please use the form here to stay in touch by email or text.
Because we are privately funded by the services we offer, the best way you can help us is to share us with friends and family and on social media and to attend our events and support those who support us! We do also have other needs on a continual basis, the next big expenses being getting a permanent heat and air in source in the buildings and fencing for the agritourism components, both being equally integral components of what we need to be self-sustaining.
We can always use prayers for wisdom and provisions in and for all we do.