Though the summer season is long over, YMCA Camp Rocky Creek of Cornwall recently saw a bustling day of activity as employees of Charter Homes & Neighborhoods volunteered their time and effort in a number of maintenance and improvement projects.
Like any summer camp with a limited season, Lebanon Family YMCA’s Camp Rocky Creek requires a lot of year-round work to keep grounds and facilities in shape, and there’s not always time or necessary resources available to tackle some of the larger projects that crop up.
That’s when Charter Homes came in.
Each year, the Lancaster-based construction company chooses an area nonprofit to dedicate a day of work towards in what is known as Making a Difference Day. According to Michelle Fischer, one of the project’s organizers, it was a Charter employee and fan of the camp who suggested this year’s project.
The camp, until recently operated by the Lancaster Family YMCA, was formerly known as Camp Shand and is a summer fixture for many in the region.
One draw for the project was the natural beauty of the camp in mid-autumn. “We usually do a lot of projects in the city, and so we thought, ‘why don’t we get out in nature this time?” said Fischer.
On Oct. 22, in just one day of work, the 65-person crew of employees tackled a slew of projects from a list provided by camp executive director Chris Smith. They rebuilt fire pits, raised a dock on the camp’s central lake, overhauled the archery range, created new fire pit areas within the camp’s cabin “villages,” repainted interiors and exteriors, and installed new safety features on various bridges.
In anticipation of the camp’s annual Creepy Camp event, held on Oct. 23, the crew also added Halloween-themed decorations around the grounds and buildings.
All of the supplies and labor were provided by Charter Homes.
Another major project involved transforming a long-unused bathroom building into a library space. Plumbing was removed and holes filled in, walls were redone, and employees even donated a collection of books.
“One of our [company principles] is Making a Difference,” explained vice president of marketing Lindsay Dunn. “Each year we pick a day to go out while the whole company closes down for the day. Whether someone’s an accountant, builder, salesperson, or designer, everybody combines their talents.”
“It’s a great day to connect with each other and spend some time together and really make an impact,” she added.
It’s a sentiment shared by camp and YMCA staff, who expressed their deep gratitude and excitement for all of the day’s work. Those present included Smith, program director Spencer Shambaugh, YMCA CEO Phil Tipton, and director of community engagement Amy Pennycoff.
“It’s everybody’s favorite day of the year,” said Dunn. “What you can take on in a day is incredible.”
More photos of the day and projects below:
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