Extraordinary, awesome and fantastic are just a few of the words to describe the support our community has shown for Camp Anderson. When Camp Anderson members and Trustees talk to others from outside of our area about the community support for our camp, the response we most often hear is “Wow!” They are in awe.
Because of all this support, Phase 1 of our Capital Campaign was successful and is complete. We have paid off the $225,000 mortgage in 1 ½ years. Camp Anderson is now and hopefully will forever be the community camp that the community and Camp Anderson Corporation have worked toward and volunteered to provide.
Now not only scouts, but also the entire community, have a beautiful and rustic environment for their scout camp outings, wedding receptions, church functions, family reunions, and other organizational and private functions. Please visit our website at www.campanderson.net to read about the camp and the numerous testimonials supporting what we have to offer.
We are constantly improving our facilities and will continue to do so. Recently we installed new lighting in our dining hall and have been a beneficiary of a $3,500 matching grant from the Blair County Commissioners to develop a metered walking trail around the camp. We also received an $1,800 grant from the Central PA Landlords Association to upgrade one of our bridges over Vanscoyoc run. Two recent Eagle projects involved a new recreational gaga pit and a new pavilion.
Much is being done to improve our camp but much more is being envisioned. If you would like to become a member of Camp Anderson or would like to volunteer for any of our activities, please visit our website. We have volunteer workdays at the camp monthly and if you check our calendar on our website come to the camp on one of those days and we will put you to work.
Phase 1 of our campaign was not only successful in raising the money to purchase the camp and keep it from closing; but also, thanks to word-of-mouth and the many articles The Daily Herald has published, it has raised our community’s awareness of the camp and all that it has to offer. The use of the camp has increased phenomenally. The camp is used almost every weekend by not only the scouts but also all types of community organizations and events.
Phase 2 of our Capital Campaign is focused on maintaining and improving our camp infrastructure. Even though our organization is 100 percent volunteer, we still require about $50,000 a year to run the camp. Our income comes from rentals (25 percent) and programs such as Fear Fest at Camp Anderson, the sale of the Camp Anderson calendars, our first Annual Car Show, and the Allegheny Trail Runners Trail Fest. Additionally, memberships in our corporation and donations make up the additional 75 percent.
In 2018 our rentals brought in approximately $11,000. We have the lowest rental fees of any facility in Central PA. Scouting troops get an additional 25 percent to 50 percent reduction in our normal rental prices. Our rental fees are low because it is more important to us to share the many benefits of the facility with our local community. We will need to make marginal increases in our rental fees for the coming years, but that will not be enough to keep our camp running.
Our greatest needs right now are to upgrade our septic system and to improve our parking areas to accommodate larger numbers of visitors. With increased use comes the need to improve our infrastructure. We also need to update many of our existing buildings by extending our barn roof area to protect our equipment, replace several pavilion roofs, extend some electrical and plumbing lines, improve existing trails and build new pathways. Our long-term plan also includes a climbing wall and a zip line.
So, the main thrust of our Phase 2 Capital Campaign is to create a fund that can sustain the camp for years to come. The Bald Eagle Methodist Church is the first organization to support our campaign with a very welcome donation and were quite excited to be the first donor in this phase of our drive. We are working toward the creation of a long-term endowment program whose intent will be to sustain our annual operations as well as to improve and increase the programs and facilities for our community’s use. With this in mind, we have established a goal of one million dollars to allow the camp’s continued operation to be funded by the interest on our investments. This may seem like a lofty goal. But we hope we can once more count on our community to step up for a worthwhile cause which will benefit all of us for generations to come.