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Camp Sinoquipe marks 65th anniversary with $800,000 in facility upgrades

July 23, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Joel Horne of Waynesboro, Pa., designs a flight simulator in the new computer building - formerly a dilapidated health building - at Camp Sinoquipe.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

FORT LITTLETON, Pa. — A Fulton County Boy Scout Camp has marked a milestone anniversary by investing in its future.
Camp Sinoquipe celebrated its 65th anniversary this summer with $800,000 in facility upgrades and $12,000 in program additions, Camp Director Jack Rhodes said.

“Our camp is 65 years old this year. Some of the facilities have reached their life span and just needed to be replaced,” Rhodes said. “Some of them were built right after World War II with volunteer labor and scrounged materials, and they have reached the end of their productive life span.”

New to the 528-acre camp this year is the Edward and Pauline Anderson Building, which includes the Trading Post store, concession stand, conference room, visitors’ bathrooms, first-aid lodge and administrative office, Rhodes said.

The 5,000-square-foot building cost about $400,000, Rhodes said.

He said corporate and individual donors funded the project.

A new computer center was also added this year, as well as two new shower facilities with individual stalls to replace group showers. Six new campsite latrines were also added this year.

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Rhodes said the Sinoquipe Scout Reservation, which is owned by the Mason-Dixon Boy Scout Council of Hagerstown, operates from June 23 through Aug. 2.

Typically, between 800 and 1,000 boys participate in Scouting activities at Sinoquipe every year.

The number of campers has increased continually over the last 20 years, he said.

“That’s another reason for expanding and making upgrades,” Rhodes said.

Today’s Scout is different than the Scout of 65 years ago, he said.

“You must adapt and change with society and the needs and desires of an ever-changing world.

Computers never would have been considered in camp 20 years ago, but now they are part of the camp,” Rhodes said.

Tim Bair, camp program director, has added several new merit badges, including welding, geology, plant sciences, theater and American cultures, to this year’s list of classes.

“It’s a way of trying to keep the program fresh and trying to keep the boys coming back year after year,” Bair said.

He’s been a staff member at Camp Sinoquipe for 14 years.

The camp has changed a lot, and that’s a good thing, he said.

“Having the Trading Post, the program office, the health office and the administrative office all in one building (Anderson Building) is definitely a good move,” Bair said. “Everything is centralized now.”

“The new conference center is a huge hit. It’s a nice place for adult leaders to go and have our meetings,” he said. “It removes some of the scout presence when we are having our meetings.”

“The variety of things we have added this year is just unbelievable compared to years past,” he said.

Joel Horne of Waynesboro, Pa., sat in the new computer building — formerly the dilapidated health building — designing a flight simulator on a computer.

Horne is a staff member who teaches the new theater arts classes.

He said the changes at the camp enhance the scouting experience.

“There are a lot of new resources to use,” he said.

For the first time this year, Horne said Scouts have the opportunity to learn about using theater makeup.

Scout Master Wayne Rankin of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., brought some of his Scout troop to Camp Sinoquipe.

“This is our fourth year in camp,” said Rankin. “I was very impressed with the camp as far as the programming and the staff.”

Both he and his assistant Scout Master Chris Chapman were impressed with the Anderson Building.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” Rankin said.

He said the Michael G. Callas Dining Hall also is a plus, referring to building that was expanded and renovated in 2008 for $1.4 million to better accommodate the campers.

Rhodes said the dining room was expanded because it could only seat 175 and accommodations were needed for 300.

“Half the Scouts were eating under a canopy outside,” Rhodes said.

A fun addition to this year’s programming is the “Iceberg” at the camp’s massive lake.

The $7,000 Iceberg was added this year to the scouts water activities, Rhodes said.

“They love it,” he said of the tall inflatable structure that tests climbing, strength and agility skills.

“It’s been little changes over the years, but looking back over them — it’s just phenomenal,” Bair said. “The program and the camp have definitely evolved.”

For more information about Camp Sinoquipe, call the Boy Scouts of America Mason-Dixon Council at 301-739-1211 or log onto www.mason-dixon-bsa.org.

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