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“In the Works” A Look at Facilities Projects and Progress at Vanderkamp

Thanks to generous contributions like yours, many facility projects were initiated, completed, or progressed at kamp this year. We invite you to take a look…

Download 2018-2019 Facilities and Operations Appeal Letter & Donation form: 

Cabin 1 Replacement–in progress (anticipated completion Spring 2019) thanks to Liverpool First Presbyterian Church’s donation of their Great Commission funds and volunteer labor to see it through.

Future Plans (Long-term):

  • Replacement of 4 more rustic cabins. Including moving and re-purposing existing cabins for day use.
  • New cabin layout will be accessible to people of all abilities. We would like to purchase accessible  amenities such as picnic table, fire ring, and charcoal grill from a commercial park/campground distributor so that they will be durable enough to last for many years to come.
  • We would like to add single row of upper and lower cabinets with counter top, dorm refrigerator, and propane wall unit heater. These improvements would enhance the experience of family and group rental guests.
  • Renovations to make bathhouse more accessible.
  • We would like to create/establish permanent tent-kamping sites.
  • Construct 2 pavilions in cabin area to facilitate gathering and picnicking of kampers/groups using more than one cabin
  • Improvements and surfacing of drive throughout cabin and tenting area (e.g., gravel or oil and stone)

Fellowship Hall Renovation–in progress (anticipated completion TBD by available funds and volunteer support) Completed: demolition and clean up of old insulation, ceiling and light fixtures, trusses repaired, NEW steel roofing, insulation, drop ceiling, energy efficient LED light fixtures. Thank you to the many donors and churches who contributed specifically for this project! Thank you to First Presbyterian Church of Liverpool for providing many hours of much needed volunteer assistance as well.

Future Plans (short-term):

  • Facia and soffit on gables and back, rake trim, replace flue pipe
  • Installation of new front doors thanks to the grace and generosity of Zion Lutheran Church’s Endowment Fund Grant. Design will match that of new front doors on Commons.
  • Repair and painting of interior walls thanks to Megan Wolling securing a Thrivent Grant on behalf of Vanderkamp and securing volunteer help to see the project through.
  • Bathroom renovation: ceiling, flooring, repair/paint walls, new vanity, faucet, mirror, lighting, and the addition of heating.
  • Heating improvements
  • Bench repair
  • New flooring
  • Exterior trim repair and staining
  • Screen repair

Future Plans (long-term):

  • Addition of a deck on back of building that would step down to a prayer/meditation garden by the existing ponds.

Replacement of Commons Front Doors (anticipated completion Fall 2018). Thanks to the generosity of the Presbyterian Women of the First Presbyterian Church of Oneida.

Future Plans (short-term):

  • interior sheet rock repair/painting
  • exterior staining
  • screen repairs

Future Plans (long-term):

  • Replacement of Dining Hall exterior doors with same design.
  • Re-roofing of Commons
  • Interior renovations/remodeling

Poultry Palace–in progress (anticipated completion Spring 2019). Sadly, our chickens are free-range no more. Every year flocks decimated by wild predators. Old coop was decaying and we needed an enclosure that would do double duty in protecting ducks and chickens while providing access for educational purposes. As you can see, the youth LOVE spending time here. We were here multiple times everyday of kamp.

Future Plans (short-term):

  • Construct duck coop to mirror new chicken coop
  • Improve filtration for duck pond
  • Complete electrical and plumbing to enclosure (so we can stop running extension cords in winter for heat lamps and to make cleaning easier.

Other Farm Projects–Vanderkamp was gifted 2 bunnies last summer, which is great. The youth love them! However, the timing was unexpected and we now need to construct a suitable home with adequate enclosed area for them to run and play; protected from predators. (anticipated completion spring 2019)

Future Plans (long-term):

  • We would like to see the farm continue to expand with possible addition of sheep, goats, and pigs.

NEW Playground Equipment–completed in time for Ninja Warrior Week at kamp this summer: constructed combination hand over hand, campus board, and traverse swing pegs. (Not pictured: quintuple steps)

Future Plans:

  • The potential for providing exciting, engaging, and developmentally appropriate amenities for children/youth at Vanderkamp is amazing.
  • Improvements/expansion of current unstructured play area
  • Continued improvements/expansion of day use area playground (used to be called “family camp” area) including addition of basketball courts
  • Addition of adventure playground
  • Addition of children’s garden

Other projects that “just came up” during the course of the year…

Another Water Main Repair–(completed August 2018) This break occurred outside of Confirmation Lodge and required removal of the accessible ramp. Discovered and repaired some old electrical wiring “uncovered” (literally) during excavation of water main that did not comply with current building codes.

Spring Storm Damage–mostly completed:

  • Commons BBQ Grill replacement–completed: Old one destroyed after atypical windstorm from the east blew it off back porch and rolled across the lawn.
  • Contracted tree service to remove damaged 215′ White Pine that was leaning over the Commons Building
  • Cleaned up numerous trees throughout kamp following 3 major wind storms this spring

Lodge Repairs–completed:

  • Robert Lodge: another section of roof replaced with steel panels, chimney enclosure, finished renovation from removal of french doors some time ago (Thanks to the generosity of King of King’s men’s group who provided funding as well as volunteer support for earlier phases of this project.).
  • Resurrection Lodge: replaced tub/shower unit, installed additional emergency exit lighting requested by Oswego County Health Department
  • Multiple Lodges: too many toilet and plumbing repairs to name, repairs/replacement of steps, etc…

Future Plans (short-term):

  • Screen repair
  • Interior painting
  • Exterior painting and staining

Future Plans (long-term):

  • Major renovations are not planned until completion of the cabin replacement project. Given these lodges are historically significant to Vanderkamp’s history as a Great Camp, we are exploring options for their future restoration.
  • We would also like to see the modern construction of smaller lodges/cottages that would provide amenities people desire and facilitate rentals by number of rooms required rather than limited to entire lodge.

Numerous Equipment Repairs: replaced window in backhoe after broken during tree clean up efforts, hydraulic hoses, bearings, tires, starters, and blades for lawn mower. 

Future Plans (short-term):

  • Need to replace tire on John Deere tractor, Ford tractor still not running (NEEDED for mowing large fields), Zero-Turn lawnmower in really rough condition–requires major repairs and possible replacement

Housekeeping–replaced 2 damaged residential vacuums with NEW commercial vacuums better suited to withstand Vanderkamp’s sand and heavy traffic, replaced many worn out brooms in lodges, purchased NEW welcome mats for lodges

Future Plans (short-term):

  • We have a continued need to replace/purchase more commercial vacuum cleaners and housekeeping equipment to be made available to guests within each lodge.

Waterfront–We purchased new oars and oar locks for Vanderkamp’s rowboats.

Future Plans (short-term):

  • Installation of concrete pad for waterfront pavilion

Future Plans (long-term):

  • replacement of canoes and kayaks. Purchase of sups.
  • Replace outhouse at waterfront

Battling with Beavers–ongoing cycle. Beavers move in, dam up outlet and spillways, we hire a trapper… after a short while the cycle begins anew. This summer the beavers came back and are busier than ever.

Trails–Thought progress has been made, we have much work to do still in reclaiming our trails following Spring storms. Volunteer support is essential to ongoing trail maintenance, whether skilled with chain saw or just able to enjoy a walk in the woods picking up sticks.

Future Plans (short-term):

  • We are seeking volunteer support for mapping current, old, and logging trails throughout Vanderkamp’s expansive 850 acres. This information will be used to inform trail location/maintenance decisions and creation of an updated trail map.

Future Plans (long-term):

  • We are working toward creating a trail system that is well-designed to currently accepted best practices, environmentally sustainable, provides a variety of scenery, distance, and accessibility (e.g., difficulty) options for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

 We try very hard to keep Vanderkamp’s rates affordable for families, church groups, and other users.

The revenue Vanderkamp generates from our summer kamps and facility rentals is sufficient to cover day to day operating expenses but we rely on contributions like yours for facility repairs, updates, and new construction.

We thank you for your support!

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