As I’m sure you can imagine, this is the time of year when it’s near impossible to contain our enthusiasm. After all, #Summer2017 at Camp Alleghany for Girls is now less than a month away from Opening Day!
But while you’re busy wrapping up your child’s end-of-school-year field trips, gatherings, and lost and found items, and simultaneously getting that camp gear labeled and all your paperwork in — 😉 — we’re busy on the banks of the Greenbrier River making the grounds at camp perfectly suited to your camper’s arrival!
And by we, I mean the illustrious, the stupendous, the what-would-we-do-without-him, Facilities Director Garrett O’Dell and his able-bodied assistants.
What’s Going on Around Camp?
I caught up with Garrett recently to find out just what he has in motion this Spring, especially with camp just weeks away. You can also read our blog posts about our facilities from last fall too, when some other work was being done:
- Camp Facilities Update for Summer 2017
- Drying out over the Winter — Flood Update (By Director Sam Dawson)
First up is the always delightful news that…the tents are up and ready to be inhabited by campers and families and alum! We didn’t have our customary Tent Raising Weekend this year because there were not available weekends for our family (namely my brother, who heads it up) to do it this year. But Garrett and his crew wanted to try out putting them up themselves, and it worked great. That doesn’t mean we won’t bring back Tent Raising next year though!
Speaking of down in camp near the tents…the Sugar Shack (which was attached to the Hickory Hut — see our facilities map for all these places) was not in the best shape, so it was taken down. Garrett has built a beautiful little front porch to the Hickory Hut in its place. Now the Hickory Hut opens up into Junior Camp, whereas before it didn’t, and the Heads of Junior Camp have a nice little inviting porch where campers and counselors can come hang out!
The Grass IS Always Greener…at Camp!
The Facilities Team is also literally greening up the place. I’m talking about freshly sprouting grass of course!
The historic 2016 West Virginia flood may have been a muddy wonder at Mini Camp (and after) last summer, but it seems it left rich fertile ground in its wake because right now grass is growing through all of camp where the mud once ruled. Now if only it would stay a little warmer at night, and the wild turkeys would stay away, the grass would grow even faster!
All that grass growing goes hand-in-hand with general mulching around camp, all of which serves our pre-camp beautification projects. And it really is looking beautiful!
And in other earthy-news, the river bank that we lost in the flood last summer is being rehabilitated in that it’s being graded and we’re planning to plant grass and trees on it. In technical terms this means that Garrett’s team cut a 2:1 slope and seeded it with grass. It’s now able to be maintained easier and we’ll soon plant two or three trees on the slope to help create an anchoring root system to further secure the bank and slow ordinary as well as unexpected erosion.
Infrastructure and Buildings
As Sam wrote about in the blog linked above, the post-flood pipe replacements and new water drainage routes are complete — yay. That’s an unglamorous, totally behind-the-scenes infrastructure project that won’t ever have an obvious “WOW” factor but seriously, wow — it’s a critically important underground upgrade and we’re thrilled about it.
Fortunately the facilities team has also extended their workshop, giving them a bigger space to work on projects both on-season and off.
As for our activities departments, the Rifle Range is getting an extended observation deck so that the Rifle instructors have more room to stand and supervise their stalls. With so many campers interested in taking Rifle it has been a little tight recently, so this will allow for more wiggle room.
And of course everyone loves their eats. We’ve got some upgrades happening in the Kitchen and Dining Hall but I’m sorry that there aren’t any pics of that right now — something to see in person, huh?
We’ll still be working on final details, more beautification, airing out, and generally prepping for campers (including moving ourselves in to camp and running staff training) but I wanted to give you an early inside look at where things are.
Hurry Up And Wait
I’m going to guess that you’re all as excited as we are for the weeks to move swiftly by so that we can sing to that first batch of campers and declare camp officially open for Summer 2017. There’s not long to wait — so you better start getting ready, too! 🙂
And if you haven’t already registered?
Well, space is getting tight but there’s a little room to squeeze a few more in, especially in our Mini Camp for rising 2nd-5th grade girls. Check out my e-book below and feel free to e-mail me if you have questions — or go right to our registration page if you’re ready to sign up.
See you in June!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls