Camp Susque celebrates its 75th anniversary | News, Sports, Jobs


For those who want to participate in the summer camp at Camp Susque, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, time is running out.

Peter Swift, the camp‘s executive director, said summer camp enrollments – after a year down due to COVID-19 – tend to be higher than they have ever been at this time of year. the year.

“There is clearly a demand for camps”, he said.

This year is a milestone for the camp and interest is high.

It’s interesting, he said, because last year the camp near Trout Run got the extra boost from everyone who signed up in 2020 and decided to defer their deposit until in 2021.

“So we basically started 2021 way higher than any other period year, and yet we’re trending higher right now,” he said.

Early risers catch the worm

“It is important for us to let parents know that they should register their children and grandchildren as soon as possible,” Swift said.

This is because the camp may run out of space before the early registration deadlines.

The camp has three weeks for girls camps with 400 places and about seven places remaining. Boys’ camps are not as full. There is a young explorers camp with room for 10 boys and 15 girls.

The camp is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian camp.

Its founding 75 years ago began with a need for young people to have parental guidance in the aftermath of World War II.

As fathers returned from overseas and mothers went to work, men like Swift’s grandfather, Bob Dittmayer, encountered difficulties, who filled in the gaps of absent fathers by asking church members and himself to take the youngsters on hikes, camping trips and nature walks. .

“It increased their confidence” Swift spoke about her grandfather’s efforts.

It was in 1947.

They rented space at a Boy Scout camp, Camp Kline, which they passed.

A new location on a farm has been found. Soon hundreds of pavilions and a dining hall large enough to hold 300 people were built.

Over the years, Camp Susque has been a retreat for Boy Scouts and Boy Scouts, for educational homeschooling, field trips, youth summits and rentals.

Swift still has volunteer staff, but it’s a challenge to meet staffing needs.

Typically, the camp hires 120 counselors from high school through college.

Staff undergo training from May to June in preparation

Professionals such as Tim Bryant, a family therapist, are brought in to prepare staff for campers. Camp assistants are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Campers start arriving in mid-June.

May 21 is Camp Susque’s annual fundraising banquet.

This year, the camp plans to raise between $70,000 and $100,000 through donations and donors.

“We are looking for sponsors” he said.

Events such as a silent auction are part of fundraising.

Last year, the camp raised $93,000 in donations through hosting the banquet.

The cost for campers is $500 and that’s about half of what’s charged nationally. It costs about $970 to support a single camper, Swift said.

“We are non-profit and have been blessed by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania in the past by helping raise donations,” he said.

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