Camp Manatawny 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.
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 by 2020.
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. The first two cabins will likely be built in "boys 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 will begin in the Winter of 2019-2020. If all is completed on time and funding is secured, construction on the first new cabins will begin after the 2020 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.
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 maximum of $325. 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 about $210. The capital campaign has eliminated the Camp debt and will fund the capital improvements.
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 12 per side, 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. 20 years later, campers and staff relish the climate controlled building, bathrooms, and finished meeting space.
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: