Capital Improvements

The recent major capital improvements to Nature Camp were completed in spring 2008.  These involved the complete renovation of the water, sewage and electrical systems and were made possible by the generosity of hundreds of supporters of The Campaign for Nature Camp, initiated in the fall of 2006, which raised over $600,000.

Since then, various follow-on projects have been undertaken – apart from the labor freely given by volunteers on service weekends –  that required significant capital outlays.

The addition of a new intra-camp phone system and new speakers for the public address system, installed in spring 2011, greatly facilitated communication between buildings and throughout the camp. It helped improve camper safety and staff coordination, especially during busy times, such as the reception and departure of campers. While the company that installed the system donated the equipment, the labor costs of installation were over $7,000.

The old truck the camp had used was rusting out and needed to be replaced. After much searching, a new (used) dump truck with snow blade attachments was purchased in spring 2012 that has already proven its value for the care and maintenance of the camp.  That cost was $25,000.

Perhaps the most important recent capital outlay has been for a new well. The old well shaft had partially collapsed and high iron content and sediment in the water had threatened the existing filtration system. Coordination with the Forest Service allowed plans to go forward for digging a new well higher up the slope. The water was tested and approved by the Health Department, and it provided a new and more secure source of drinking water for campers during summer 2012.  A newly designed filtration system was installed, tailored to the needs of the fresh new source. The total cost for the new well and associated filtration and storage systems was roughly $50,000.

Many campers have seen the capital outlays involved in upgrading the kitchen. In addition to a new floor and ceiling, together with improved lighting, the addition of a new dishwasher has improved the spirit of the cooks perhaps more than any other change at the camp. The old Hobart, known to generations of campers for its quirkiness, has given way to new Champion equipment, which has proven more efficient and reliable, greatly easing the dishwashing burden.

Meanwhile, service weekends also have capital costs. While shingling of the building roofs continues, a major effort is underway to strengthen the floors of all buildings. Nearly 100 floor joists have already been “sistered” by being strengthened with new joists, yet some 500 remain. The costs of lumber and equipment alone for this project will exceed $10,000.

Future outlays will be needed for further kitchen upgrades to ranges and counters.  New laboratory and museum expenses are coming down the road.  These invite continuing support from us all. Capital outlays are for work that is best contracted out – rather than done self-help during service weekends – or for equipment that must be purchased to make Nature Camp the safe, secure and healthy place it is, while providing the best possible experience to campers wishing to know more about our rich natural resources in such a unique learning environment.

If you would like to help with these capital costs, please send your contribution to the NCF Treasurer.



Spring Service Weekend 2017

The past Spring Service Weekend, which took place the third weekend of May (as it does each year), resulted in the completion of many smaller projects as well as progress on those continuing from weekends prior. Service weekend is an opportunity for those who believe in Camp’s mission to gather there, enjoy the company of […]