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Antietam Recreation Day Camp to hold open house this weekend

April 11, 2007

Antietam Recreation Day Camp on Garis Shop Road, Hagerstown, first opened its doors on June 11, 1977, with just 20 campers.

Today they are making plans for their 31st year with an open house this weekend on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The open house is designed to provide tours of the facility, distribute literature, demonstrate some of the activities, and answer questions.

The facility is on a beautiful 32 acre site, surrounded by trees and the Antietam Creek. The original buildings are all in use, along with many added improvements over the years.

The camp will have approximately 220 campers per week and run 11 weeks from June 11 to Aug. 24.

Surprisingly, the schedule will begin exactly as it did more than 30 years ago; however, many new activities have been added.

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In 1977, horseback riding, canoeing, tennis and swimming were the four main activities of the camp. Today, campers still have those four activities plus a wide selection of free time activities such as the cable ride, flume ride, rope swings, Burma bridge, barge, petting zoo and more. In addition, optional activities include drama, crafts, baking, archery, marksmanship, forting, fishing, tumbling, badminton, skating, puppets, and numerous adventure and field activities.

Each week has a different theme, such as Splish-Splash Week and Crazy Critter Week, and daily lessons emphasize character development based on Christian principles. Some of the original staff is still intact, including directors/owners Bob and Mary Rotz, and counselor Pam Hind Rowland. For 26 years the camp has enjoyed the same head counselor - Jim Hutson, also a teacher and coach at Clear Spring High.

The Rotz "children," ranging in age from 14 to 26, are all still involved with the family business. Some of the remaining 30 counselors for 2007 have been on the staff for 10 years or more.

Antietam Recreation is also home to the Wild West Dinner Shows featuring World Champion Roper Andy Rotz.

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