Life Adventure Center-Our Mission
LAC will be a recognized leader in providing outdoor based, experiential education and a premier knowledge resource as we constantly research and develop new empirically proven programs to meet our objectives.
Life Adventure Center programs transform lives by enhancing growth, improving communication, and building resiliency for both individuals and groups, especially underserved youth through professionally supervised outdoor group challenges and shared reflection opportunities.
- We are committed to making both the emotional and physical safety and well-being of children and families a priority.
- We believe individuals learn best about themselves and others when physical challenge is combined with directed reflection that allows for personal introspection.
- We believe every individual deserves to be treated with respect and dignity regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, color, family status, marital status, and life circumstances.
- We aspire to maintain programs with high standards of community and social responsibility.
- We are committed to teaching appreciation for all living things and an understanding about the interdependent relationships within the natural environment while encouraging sustainability principles.
- In 1875, on 12 acres at the corner of Park & Green Streets in Versailles, KY, Mr. John Cleveland, Physician and Farmer of Clover Bottom of Woodford County (Nonesuch area) had erected a multi-story brick Classic Revival dwelling. Interestingly, this site (next to what's now called "Big Spring" was actually the original "Falling Spring"- the original water source for a growing town of Versailles. Mr. Cleveland's intent was "for the purpose of educating, feeding and clothing the poor orphan female children of the State". The money came from income from his farm enterprises and business proceeds that were put in the hands of trustees and incorporated in 1869. The Home opened its' doors that year to 4 children: ages 3-13.
- Sometime later, the Home operated shortly as a women's college, then as an orphanage again until it burned in 1926. The trustees, with help from the Versailles Optimist Club, immediately rebuilt a currently standing 2 1/2 story, 12,500 square foot architecturally styled Dutch Colonial Revival home and reopened it in 1927 to continue the mission.
- In 1964, Judge Field McLeod donated farm property on Milner Road- Versailles (Current location of Life Adventure Center.) The property dedicated to cattle, hay and tobacco continued operation as a tenant farm for nearly 40 more years well taken care of by the Richardson Family until 2005, when all of the operations of The Cleveland Home moved to the country. Additional contiguous wooded acres were added bringing the total to 575 acres.
- In 2000, a chance meeting between Life Adventure Camp (LAC) and The Cleveland Home staff led to a strategic alliance. LAC operating in Estill Co., Kentucky and headquartered in Lexington was organized by Roger Charlett, Dr. Ross and Cathie Brown, Evelyn Brown and Michael Bates. From 1977-2001 Life Adventure Camp staff taught at-risk youth effective living skills through wilderness, challenge and structured group experiences on its ruggedly beautiful farm near Natural Bridge State Park.
- In 2005, a difficult decision was made to close The Cleveland Home and move its' operations to the Milner Road Farm acreage 3 miles west of Versailles. The decision was driven by the desire to better serve the local community by redirecting resources to prevention prorams for area youth and families, as was the original intent of John Cleveland.
- In 2005, The Cleveland Home was sold to John & Rita Lauderdale who remodeled and refurbished it along with then business partners, Ken Lawson and Kathy Lawson. The Woodford Inn was created and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 2007. By 2008, Bruce & Linda Parker leased a portion of the Inn and opened a restaurant known as Addie's LLC.
- Since the late 1800's, Life Adventure Center has established a rich history of serving the community with a special focus on supporting underserved youth. Life Adventure Center emerged after a historic encounter between The Cleveland Home and Life Adventure Camp. In 2006, our name changed to Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass, and in the summer of 2013, we began the management of the Buckley Wildlife Sanctuary in Frankfort, KY. With our current locations, we serve a much larger and more diverse audience in and around the Bluegrass than ever before. During the 2014 Strategic Planning process an updated mission, vision & values statement emphasised a commitment to under-served populations.
Judge Field McLeod
Current: The Woodford Inn/ Addie's Restaurant(140 Park Street-Versailles. Formerly The Cleveland Home 1869-2005)