Work under way at Camp Summers pool with more funding needed

submitted photoSandy Turner, right, looks over plans for a new pool at Camp Summers with Jeff Chambers of Chambers Land Surveying while Hunter Morgan with Cross Construction begins work at the site.

Demolition work is now under way at the Camp Summers pool which was damaged by the June 2016 floods to allow for the construction of a new pool.

At January’s Summer County Commission meeting on Jan. 10, the commissioners agreed to accept the lowest bid from Cross Construction of Ballard and work began the next day.

The 80-year-old Camp Summers, located along the Greenbrier River in Forest Hill, attracts over 2,000 campers a year.

“Almost anybody that you speak to has some sort of memory of being at camp,” said Sandy Turner, the camp’s director.

While the flood may have been the final nail in the coffin for the camp’s pool, Turner said that pool had needed work for quite some time.

“We have needed a pool for many, many years,” she said.

With work under way, not only will Camp Summers receive a new pool, but they will receive an upgraded pool.

The new pool, built inside the existing one, will feature two small water slides and an ADA-compliant lift, along with other ADA-compliant features.

“It wasn’t ADA-compliant in the past just because it was so old,” Turner said.

That age and the camp’s rustic feel are what Turner believes makes the camp special.

Although slow connections are often thought to be a headache in the Mountain State, the camp director is proud that the rural camp is lacking in cell service and wi-fi connectivity.

“The kids actually have to speak with each other,” Turner joked. “Their fingers can’t do their speaking. It’s a great place to build life lessons.”

According to Turner, those life lessons take many forms: from both the Summers and Monroe County 4-H camps being hosted at the location, to the sports teams that use the facility as a practice ground.

“Over the 80 years, Camp Summers has impacted so many people,” Turner said.

While Turner is proud of the camp’s history, she said that she is most concerned with the camp’s future.

While a large portion of the funds necessary to complete the pool has been raised through donations, grants and insurance funds, Turner said more is still needed to have the pool running by May 31.

“The volunteers and I have worked so hard to try and get the money collected,” Turner said adding that the project has been overwhelming and exciting.

According to Turner, around 86 percent of the funds necessary to replace the camp’s pool has been raised.

With the county operating the camp on a tight budget, Turner is hopeful that the funds can be raised through further community donations.

Donations can be made to the Hinton Area Foundation/ Camp Summers, 451 Fist Ave., Ste. 201, Hinton, WV 25951.

Email: mcombs@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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