Every year during the survey series we like to touch base about our facilities to learn more about your daughter’s experience and address any questions or concerns that might arise.
This year is no different. But before I launch in about what’s happening now, I’ll also encourage you to read last year’s facilities blog just in case you’re curious about where we’ve been and what’s changed.
Also, I want to address questions from the survey about facilities.
Answering your concerns
Many parents asked about the possibility of re-doing the tennis courts. This is absolutely in our five-year plan (to completely re-do them). It’s just not this year that we’re tackling it. Garrett said he would work to smooth out the cracks this year with some cement. We do, however, want you to get excited for new courts within the next five years!
There are almost always comments on the bathrooms and showers. Rustic living can be a shock and the bathrooms are ALWAYS the biggest complaints.
Part of me says, “Hey, it’s camp, not the Plaza!” 🙂 The showers and bathrooms aren’t going to be luxurious by any stretch of the imagination. But let me be clear that we do recognize that our toilets are very old, and starting to get to the point of being TOO old.
A couple of years ago we replaced all the sinks, and now we’re looking into replacing the toilets. Ideally that would happen before summer 2015, but it may not be until 2016. But it’s definitely on the short list and you’ll see improvements soon.
As for the showers…well, they do the job, again, in the rustic setting that kids today may be less familiar with. The water works, it’s clean and safe, and it in turn gets the girls clean. Right now we’re brainstorming ways to create a couple of more showers which can at least help with capacity. But it’s unlikely that we’ll go “fancy” for the showers. Fortunately mom and dad can stay at the nearby Greenbrier with luxury facilities! 🙂
But on to the things we’re sure of.
We’ve got some wonderful behind-the-scenes things happening in camp even as we speak. And as long as this lovely and temperate autumn weather holds out I’m sure our Facilities Director, Garrett O’Dell, will try to make headway on these projects before finishing up any remaining details after the thaw of spring.
Fresh new buildings
First off, we’re thrilled to announce an expansion of the Rifle Range. Because our rifle program has proven to be so wildly successful ( I’m a graduate of its excellent methods myself), we saw that it was time to make this available to more campers each summer. The new range will double the size of our current range!
Down on the Waterfront we’ll also see a new Canoe Hut. The canoe hut in general had seen better days so it was next in line to be refreshed (after Wild World, Sports & Fitness, and Tennis recently got their new huts). This isn’t where the new kayaks will be stored necessarily, but simply having the kayaks is a tremendous complement to the Waterfront along with the new Canoe Hut!
I recently blogged about the urgent need for repairs to the Cottage Porch. That fine old building, which has housed the directors for so many summers, (and stood steadfast but empty over cold West Virginia winters), desperately needed to be shored up for safety reasons. We got a sneak peak at some of the progress earlier this week, and we can’t wait to see the finished product and be able to use the porch there once more.
Bringing back a slice of camp history
We’re also rebuilding Uncle Bill’s Cabin to include a wraparound porch that may be used by campers for shade or during a rainy day.
But wait…you’ve never heard of Uncle Bill’s Cabin? Well, here’s the story.
Uncle Bill’s Cabin is a little two-room cabin up by the Rifle Range that got its name from Bill Kiester (“Uncle Bill”) who ran the Rifle Range for many many years back in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.
After Uncle Bill, it was inhabited by a married couple, Frank and Ruth Fiala. Frank ran tennis for years, and Ruth headed up both Campcraft (what Wild World was formerly called) and later Arts and Crafts (this couple lived there when I was a younger camper).
After the Fialas various people have lived in it. But then, given its age, it’s started to show some wear and so we took it out of commission for the past two summers until we could make the time for repairs and renovations. Finally that time has come so look for a newer Uncle Bill’s Cabin next summer!
Make-up and face lifts
There are also smaller maintenance and beautification projects in the works.
We’re staining all the wood on the newer things that have recently been built such as the new office, Dining Hall and Play Hall porches, Cowbell porch, etc.) and generally touching up in other areas of camp.
An ongoing project is the replacement of older tent floors with newer ones. We do several of these each year on a rotating basis.
Finally, with fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate, we’ll also squeeze in a new Infirmary porch as well. If there are any delays there, it’s first on our list for next fall’s maintenance jobs.
Garrett has once again assembled a great, hard-working team that is busting their rears to get all of this accomplished in our short window of time, since camp is not accessible from December through March.
We’re super excited about these upgrades and we know you will be, too!!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls