It’s hard to believe that our camp is almost 100 years old! What a century it’s been. And I’m amazed to think that I’ve been a part of it for three decades, since my childhood!
Recently I’ve been marveling about our history as one of our interns has been working on decade-by-decade photo books that show how Ghany has changed — and stayed the same — over the years.
Since some of our parents wondered in the survey about aspects of our facilities I thought that would make a wonderful addition to this blog series.
Our little slice of paradise
Some things about camp that are most charming are its many rustic features, from the architectural styles of our buildings to living in harmony with nature in tents during the summers.
While we’ve clearly updated many buildings and infrastructural elements over the years, we’ve retained the laid-back visual style of the original camp. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely rustic. In fact, updates to our facilities are an on-going endeavor, something we tackle every year in the off-season and sometimes during camp, too. (Read about some of the changes we made before summer 2013 for example.)
We always make a complete check of camp after each summer season, assess our needs and the condition of things, make a list of priorities, and from there make fixes, updates, renovations, additions and even whole new buildings! It’s fun to see camp change ever so slightly each year and to manage the facility to continue meeting our needs.
Yet through all that we retain the ease, simplicity, and charm we love about Camp Alleghany!
Thank you for Garrett!
It’s also a privilege and tremendous asset to have Garrett O’Dell as our facilities manager. Garrett’s keen eye for detail, attention to safety matters, and creativity relative to facility opportunities makes him an amazing part of our team. He comes up with great ideas for utilizing space and is always on top of any facilities matters that need to be attended to both during camp and after.
Some specific questions were raised by parents about facilities in the survey and I want to address that here so you’ll know where we’re at on those.
Parents wondered about tent floors. Are they in good shape? Are they all updated and tended to? Are there some in worse shape than others?
Garrett is definitely addressing tent floors before next summer. Every tent platform needs to be inspected by us every year after the winter and before tent raising weekend. It’s then that we find any issues and do the fixes. From time to time, a more major overhaul has to take place and a tent platform might need a big fix or to be entirely rebuilt. Any tent floors that were in bad shape from last summer will certainly be fixed by summer 2014!
People also expressed worry about shower privacy, specifically that the curtains were not seeming to cover the entire shower opening. Garrett is completely re-doing the curtains for next summer so there is more privacy.
Finally, some were concerned that hot water in the showers isn’t consistent. They said their daughters said showers were sometimes very hot, sometimes cold.
Garrett is researching alternative ways to heat our water. He says the system we have now is old and unique (he’s never seen anything like it before!) and wants to make any transition to an improved or different system in a way that will work for the area and the demands of large numbers of people. He’s been studying it for a few years now, since he started working for us, and is researching other ways to heat the water in all of camp in general.
But one thing to keep in mind is how many people are taking showers in any one day during acutely short periods of time. Also, what time of the day showers are taken. Even the best system has to adjust for variables such as these and we will try to help communicate this better to campers so everyone will understand why the temperature might seem to be different at different times.
In addition to our routine fixes we’ll also have completely new updates, like the large structure I mentioned in a recent blog. This NEW building will be almost as large as the Play Hall and will provide a wonderful adjunct to our space needs.
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls