Everyone loves a good renovation. How fun is it to get a kitchen re-do, remodel a family room, set up the baby’s nursery, or add on a deck? When it’s all done you’re so excited to host a party and share your pleasure!
Clearly you don’t get the same creative fun and oohs and ahs from friends and family when you, say, upgrade your electrical wiring! Or put in a new hot water heater! Or — woo hoo — patched the ceiling and rehung some sheetrock! (The crowd goes wild!)
But, we all know that keeping things up to code is essential to our family’s safety and that boring things like hot water heaters and furnaces add to our family’s comfort.
Behind the curtain
The same thing goes for camp.
While we do see a lot of what our Facilities Director Garrett O’Dell and his team does, there’s also just as much (if not more) that we don’t really see, or that our campers and visiting parents will never see.
But that doesn’t make them any less important.
This fall, winter, and spring many of Garrett’s projects are going to be more in the “behind the scenes” category, as you’ll see in my list below.
Still, no matter how much important planning and execution got into it, or how many supplies, resources and man hours will be devoted to it, on the other side of completion this year’s projects simply won’t be as visible as usual.
However there are at least a couple of very visible projects to get excited about, just not as many as in the past couple of years.
So what have Garrett and his crew been up to since everyone left camp? Here’s a summary:
1. New Infirmary Porch.
This year, an alum’s husband who is a Family Camper described Garrett as a “porch-building machine.” I guess our porches have been in the most need of attention since we hired Garrett six years ago. This year it’s the Infirmary’s turn, so get excited to see that this coming summer. They are also doing some interior work in the Infirmary as well (namely one of the bathrooms needed a major redo, and they are rearranging the inside to create better flow).
2. A new back porch behind the Counselors’ Lodge.
The back porch behind the Counselor’s Lodge was beginning to show its age. And with a leaky roof adding accelerated wear, we wanted to head off any more damage before the porch started falling down. So we decided now was the time to put a new one in the works.
3. Work Shop Area Updates.
This is the ultimate camp version of “behind the scenes.” It’s an area that is little known to the greater camp community (and actually is off limits to campers). Garret revamped the laundry room in the work shop, and added gravel to some of the surrounding areas to make designated parking for work vehicles. He also re-routed the whole entrance to the area, so that when campers in Wild World go on a hike up the mountain, they are even less exposed to the Shop than they were before. Boring, practical, but oh so essential on so many fronts.
4. Tennis Court Refurbishing Project.
We’re actually at the beginning of an exciting tennis court refurbishing process, which will take a few months. For now new posts have been set on the ends of the courts in preparation for the new fence and wind screens that will go around it. More tennis court refurbishing will be happening all year, so get excited about that!
5. Archery Range Revamp!
As part of an ongoing effort to look at all our activity areas and install re-dos or updates (see an older blog on Rifle and Canoe upgrades here) we’re relocating the Archery Range just slightly. The Archery Hut has been moved already, and a wonderful new structure is in the works (coming this spring) to allow campers to shoot in the rain, and also have shaded area when it’s very sunny! That’s awesome!
6. A Super Special Secret Project.
Now how much fun would it be if I told you everything we are doing? I’d much rather save something for late-breaking news! Suffice it to say that a fun new project is happening in the trees behind Unit 1 Senior Camp! Hmmm…what could it be? Maybe I’ll run a Facebook contest and see what you all cook up for ideas.
Other facilities news
There are other things happening all around camp, a lot of it in this behind-the-scenes vein. Some roof replacements are coming up this spring, and we’ll be cleaning out an old building to use for storage.
Some years call for a little more of the back-end projects, but be assured that Garrett and his crew are working hard, and were pulling long days while it was still light before daylight savings kicked in. They’re working very hard to complete as much as possible before the weather turns and they pull the barge out the first week in December!
So when you and your camper come back to Camp Alleghany next summer (register by December 1 for Term Camp for Early Bird Savings) there will be an air of renovation, even if it is hidden from the eye…and a few dazzlers to surprise you, too!
— Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls