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New Cabin Q & A

  • Why is camp planning to replace the cabins?
    Health: Our summer session weeks are packed with exciting and fun activities. In the summer, specifically in mid July and August, extremely hot conditions coupled with daily physical activity and mental learning/stimulation requires siginifcant rest for campers and staff. Frequently, night time temperatures and humidity are so high campers/staff don't sleep well. Climate controlled cabins will allow staff to turn on air conditioners, if condtions warrant so campers/staff can rest well and remain healthy and strong for the weeks activities. Safety: To ensure appropriate guidence and oversight of our campers, it is required that the summer session directors staff two counselors per cabin. The current goal of two counselors per cabin (two counselors to seven campers) is challenging to staff. With a larger cabin, we could have two to three counselors per cabin and still maintain an appropriate staffing ratio (two or three counselors to 16-18 campers - American Camping Association recomendations) Mission: The cabins will primarily be built to support the core mission of Camp Manatawny's summer sessions. Configuration will accommodate staffing requirements and provide flexibility, and better recruitment of staff and campers, to grow to full capacity. The cabins will be climate controlled, comfortable for sleeping, will include bathrooms and some units will be handicap accessible. The new cabins will offer additional opportunities for year round use for retreats, weekend events and rental groups. Camp has received increasing feedback from parents and potential campers that the existing cabins are lacking. In some cases, feedback is that the exsisting cabins preclude campers from attending summer sessions. The camp board believes that replacing the exsisting cabins will allow more campers to attend summer sessions and experience the life changing impact Camp provides!
  • Why not refurbish the existing cabins and continue to use them for summer sessions?
    There would be a siginifcant cost to fully refurbish the foundations, floors, siding, roofs, doors/windows, electric, ventilation, etc. for our exsiting cabins. Even if we enhanced the exsisting cabins, there would still be health and safety concerns. The camp board decided it was in the best interest of our future campers and other camp programs to replace the exsisting cabins.
  • Why do it now?
    The existing cabins are approximately 80 years old and have exceeded their original useful life. Additionally, the Camp board identified adding climate controlled sleeping quarters as one of our four primary goals to complete.
  • How will the project be funded?
    A capital campaign (Honor our Heritage, Secure our Future) has begun which will fund facility upgrades and expansion as well as to free funding for ministry by eliminating debt.
  • When will the project occur?
    Cabins will be built after funding is secured. The desire is to build two cabins in pairs, if possible - one in "boys town" and one in "girls town". Before any new cabins can be built, we will need to prepare the infrastructure, which includes electricity, sewer, water, tree removal and many other up-front tasks. These tasks have already begun and will continue in the Fall of 2023. If all is completed on time and funding is secured, construction on the first new cabins will begin after the 2023 summer sessions.
  • What will happen to the old cabins? Can I purchase a cabin for my property?
    Camp is considering what to do with the cabins. It's likely that some of the cabins will be moved to other parts of camp for continued use. It's also possible that cabins could be auctioned or purchased as part of a fund raising effort.
  • What will the new cabins look like?
    The new cabins will conform to current building codes whose rules specify the construction standards and are designed to protect public health, safety and general welfare of those using the cabins. We have worked with the local building codes officials and an architect to design the new cabins to respect the current building codes. The design will include handicap access (in some of the cabins), HVAC, small in cabin bathrooms (we will still need to use the bathhouses for regular bathrooms), roofing (to match the cabins in the woods and pool bathrooms), a welcoming front porch for gathering, and a maintenance free interior and exterrior. The cabins will house about 24 to 28 people (12 to 14 on each side). When all cabins are completed (four to five cabins in boys town and four to five cabins in girls town) we expect full capacity to be about 192 to 280 campers per week.
  • Where will new cabins be built?
    The cabins will be built on roughly the same location as the exsisiting boys and girls town cabins. Boys town cabins will be set back further and from the exsisting gravel road.
  • Why not repair exsisting cabins and use the savings to help lower camper fees?
    Camp is funded by a combination of donors, camper and rental fees, and is currently in a strong financial position. This allows campers to enjoy a week of overnight camp for a reasonable amount. In fact, with discounts and financial aid to those in need, the average out-of-pocket cost to the family of an overnight camper is in the low $200s. The capital campaign has eliminated the Camp debt and will fund the capital improvements. Fixing the old cabins (instead of building new cabins) won't affect the financial standing of camp or impact camper fees. In our surveys, discussions with campes/parents, and industry data, we know our Camp fees are low (the lowest in Eastern Pennsylvania and in the lowest 20% among Christian Camps in the U.S.) and do not preclude any prospective camper from attending camp.
  • Will a cabin with a larger number of campers detract from the Camp expereince?
    Every camp week is a different experience due to the exciting and unique activities provided, the various staff who make each week special, and the varying age ranges of the campers. The dynamic for campers in a large cabin will likely be different, but because the cabins will be split into two sides, with bunks arranged in a circle, we will strive to preserve the current feel within our rustic cabins.
  • Is there a precedent for such a change at Camp?
    Yes, Camp has moved and/or built buildings in the past. The closest comparison is the building of Garrett Hall in 1997 after the Recreation Hall (aka Rec Hall) roof was heavily damaged during a snow storm. There was significant debate regarding the location of the new structure, the cost and the amenities in the new structure. 25+ years later, campers and staff relish the climate controlled building, bathrooms, and finished meeting space. Garrett Hall has, in fact, become the new "Heart of Camp". The Camp Board believes the addition of the new cabins will enhance the experience of campers and the camp community for decades to come.
  • How can I help?
    During this exciting time of change, the Camp Board asks our staff, campers, and the broader Camp community for a few things: Flexibilty: Change is challenging. The exsisting green cabins have been an important part of Camp's fabric for 50+ years! Cabin designs, locations of the new cabins, and the timing of the changes have been finalized. Relocation of the old cabins (greenies) and there ongoing usage is being discussed. With any construction project there are often changes and delays. As the Camp Board discusses, plans, and executes changes we ask for flexibilty and understanding throughout this process. Feedback: As campers and staff get to experience the first of the new cabins, we'll be asking for what you love about the cabins and what you'd like to adapt. We will strive to incorporate your feedback into the following cabins to be built. Financial Support: We'd love for individuals, families, churches, and other groups to consider sponsoring (or sharing) the cost of a cabin or the furnishings of a cabin. Final cost estimates are. We will be posting further details regarding the sponsorship opportunities on this website. Prayers: Lastly and most importantly, please pray that God will use these new cabins and all that we do to continue to expand His kingdom. God has blessed us by allowing us to reach the Phase 1 goal of debt elimination. Please pray that more lives will be "Transformed for Christ" due to the programs and facilities at Camp Manatawny.
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