Dad’s Place was founded in 2005 by David Harrelson. Harrelson says the inspiration for Dad's Place was his father who had a love for kids and took him hunting, fishing, and did a lot of other outdoor activities with him.
Harrelson and his wife have two boys and at the time of Harrelson’s father’s death, the Harrelson's purchased property in West Tulsa. They invited their son's friends and other acquaintances to roast hotdogs and marshmallows and enjoy the property. The Harrelsons found that those kids we too tired to go to church the next morning after playing so hard so they decided to have chapel services on the property on Saturday nights. Dad's Place grew out of that event since the Harrelsons each had experience in youth outreach. Dad's Place is a non-profit organization and there is no charge for the day camps. Groups of around 20-30 kids can schedule camps through Dad's Place website at dads-place.org. Activities at Dad's Place include around 12 fourwheelers, archery equipment, paintball, and fishing. Parents and guardians are encouraged to stay. Camp is on Saturday afternoons til dark. There is then a bonfire often local bands play and there are speakers. Kids who have their parents with them are welcome to pitch a tent and spend the night. Harrelson says that the focus of Dad's Place is to bring the gospel to disadvantaged and hurting kids, specifically reaching out to kids who can’t afford larger youth camps. They are currently partnering with the North Tulsa Chapter of Young Life and are expecting many camps with that group. Harrelson says Dixie Pebworth at God’s Shining Light Church has been a big promoter of Dad’s Place.
Statistically Tulsa doesn’t do well with juvenile crime and detention, Harrelson says. Those who come can hear anti-drug, anti-alcohol, and anti-gang messages typically from uniformed citizens. Harrelson explains that they’ll often have members of the local police or fire departments or the Broken Arrow Marine Corp speaking at Dad’s Place. “They get to hear from uniformed leaders of the community in a positive way. And so many of these kids don’t get to see that in a positive light. They see their aunt or their uncle or their dad being taken off to jail with handcuffs so they have a negative impression of our uniformed civilians and police officers.” Harrelson invites people who know of an individual that could benefit from this type of an outreach to contact Dad’s Place so they can schedule that individual for an upcoming camp.
Harrelson says they can always use volunteers and support. On their website there is a page for donations. Also donations can mailed to them at Dad’s Place Youth Ministry 2448 East 81st Street Suite 700 Tulsa, OK 74137. All donors receive a tax deductible letter. Businesses can sponsor Dad’s Place through donations of materials. One project Harrelson is hoping to fund is splash pad as an alternative to having a swimming pool. Harrelson is the author of a book called “Why We Don’t Vote.” All proceeds from book sales go to Dad’s Place. His book can be purchased at Amazon.com or at Steve Sundry’s Books & Magazines in Tulsa. His book’s website is whywedontvote.com