Watch a Message From Dan Mundt Below
For several years now, unknown to many of our camping programs and leaders, the pool at Camp Hickory has been rapidly deteriorating.
The pool is an integral part of our summer camp season. We simply cannot see running camp without the option of afternoon swim times on these hot summer days. We do not have lake access, so it truly is one of the best features of our camp. While it is our deep desire to possibly build and increase lodging space at our camp, the cost of repairing the pool has risen to the top of the needs here at Camp Hickory.
Because our camp operates on such a slim financial budget, many times, improvements and changes can not happen as soon as we would like them too. Our facility manager, John Gylleck, has been working behind the scenes for many years doing his best to keep this pool open. He has done patches, deck sanding, painting and more. This year we faced more obstacles than any year previous as he discovered cracked pipes and broken valves in the pool systems room. The ancient pool boiler-heating system finally is un-fixable.
The pool, which was originally installed in the 1960’s is literally cracking apart inside the cement structure, with thousands of gallons leaking out each swimming season. To keep it ready for campers, we are constantly filling it, always adding more chemicals, and running the circulation system harder than it was designed for. The cement deck surrounding the pool also has heaved, sunk and cracked over many Winters and Summers. John never takes short cuts in repairs, and visits the pool multiple times daily to maintain the PH-health of the water for our campers.
We have spent time researching with multiple commercial pool companies, receiving inspections and estimates to get various bids with solutions to fix the pool. The Illinois Department of Health has also been included in this process regarding the codes and rules that cover the camp ground facilities. Some of the solutions for repairs were in the neighborhood of $250,000. That amount seemed so far out of reach for us that we set it aside, prayed, and hoped John could keep the pool running for a little while longer. Last Fall we once again started the process of searching for repair solutions. We have finally found a company that can create a commercial liner for the size of our pool. This solution is compliant with our Illinois state health codes, and will be sturdy enough to stop the leaks and give us about 10 more years of life to the pool.
The combined cost of the liner, replacing the cement deck, the fence, and privacy bathroom screens, is around $80,000. The cost of an engineer to draw up the plan is $4200. There is also the cost of a new pool furnace which adds another $15,000-$18,000. One last need is a handicap chair lift. This cost adds another $5000-$7000. For all repairs and equipment and permitting, we will need around $106,000.
The need is overwhelming , almost ludicrous in every human sense of reason. Spending that much money on a pool, really? But we know this camp has been dedicated to the message of the Gospel, and to serving the Next Generation of our district. The heart of ministry that happens on these grounds is anointed by our Father. We are asking individuals and churches to consider the eternal impact of camp, and many campers who have had life changing experiences at Camp Hickory as they give towards our Pool Repair Campaign. #CampMatters