2008-10-02 / Local & State

Dining Hall To Be Upgraded At Camp Sinoquipe

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

From left to right are Dennis Donegan, Dennis Swope, Brent Bailey, Chris South, Chris Motz, John Itell, Cathy Lewis, Doug Moul, Tim Campbell, Duane Kinzer, Greg Miller, Jack Rhodes, Dale Lambert, Dr. Jerome Harness DVM, Jay Lauver and Don Shepard. Photographer: Robert Holsinger II. From left to right are Dennis Donegan, Dennis Swope, Brent Bailey, Chris South, Chris Motz, John Itell, Cathy Lewis, Doug Moul, Tim Campbell, Duane Kinzer, Greg Miller, Jack Rhodes, Dale Lambert, Dr. Jerome Harness DVM, Jay Lauver and Don Shepard. Photographer: Robert Holsinger II. Camp Sinoquipe is located in the Tuscarora Mountains of Fulton County, Pa., and has been operated by the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America since 1946. It serves Scouts and Scouters primarily from a four-state region. Over the years its program has been expanded to include non-Scouting youth and organizations as well as to provide for special community events. Camp Sinoquipe averages more than 4,500 camper nights during the July-August summer resident camping season and typically logs over 16,800 camper nights during the remainder of the calendar year. It is literally occupied nearly every weekend in addition to summer camp.

The Boy Scouts of America and Camp Sinoquipe are committed to preserving the time-honored human qualities of fairness, honesty, hard work, leadership and moral ethics through Scouting programs. Camp Sinoquipe has served three generations of youths in this way and the council seeks to ensure it will continue for future generations.

Consequently, the council has initiated a Capital Campaign to update and expand the existing camp facilities. The current dining hall is one of the most widely used facilities and has reached the peak of its ability to serve the modern day Boy Scout programs. The seating capacity is too small, cooking facilities are rapidly becoming inadequate and there are no restrooms within suitable distance.

The primary use of the dining hall is the feeding of 300 campers per meal. Of these, 200 are able to be seated inside and more than 100 youths and leaders per week must be seated outside under temporary shelter because the dining facility is overcrowded and experiences extreme temperatures due to the lack of air conditioning. The temporary outside shelters also present many challenges during bad weather and high winds. The new dining hall addition/ renovation project will permit adequate seating now and in the foreseeable future, allowing for strong programs in a climate-controlled environment through the use of year-round heating and air-conditioning capabilities.

Boys and girls participate in the Venturing and Exploring programs and are represented in the adult leadership of all Scouting programs. Therefore, accommodations for female participants are critical. Existing bathing and toilet facilities are seasonal and have inadequate shower areas. Year-round facilities in a climate-controlled environment with privacy are needed for a yearround program. The proposed dining hall expansion will satisfy these two needs also for the foreseeable future. These new year-round showers and flush plumbing facilities will accommodate our changing market.

The Mason-Dixon Council's longrange planning committee has determined that the dining hall renovations will permit expanding the use of Camp Sinoquipe beyond its current, primarily Scouting market. More community groups and private citizens will be able to utilize the camp's resources, making it possible to sustain the camp for many years while providing a much needed service to the surrounding communities.

The $1.3 million renovation / expansion project has begun and is scheduled to be completed by March 1, 2009. To date, the Mason-Dixon Council has raised more than $850,000 through its board and key contributors and is looking forward to the public phase beginning October 1, 2008, to complete the funding for this much-needed improvement. Any consideration for support can be forwarded to the Mason-Dixon Council, Camp Sinoquipe Dining Hall Project, 18600 Crestwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742. Questions can be directed to the Scout Service Center at 301-739-1211.

On September 11, 2008, several members of the board of the Mason- Dixon Council, together with representatives of the Michael G. Callas Trust and Callas Construction, attended Camp Sinoquipe to officially commemorate the existing dining hall and kick off the construction efforts for the renovation and new addition.

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