Rotary learns about Camp Pioneer

Elkins Rotarians took a virtual tour of Camp Pioneer near Beverly during the club’s meeting Monday.

Amanda Johnson, 4-H Youth Development WVU Extension agent for Randolph County, described upgrades to the camp, along with needed renovations.

“We have one of the nicest 4-H camp facilities in the state,” Johnson said. “We are extremely lucky but we are still making improvements. The camp board came up with a five-year plan last year to determine what improvements are needed.”

Johnson described recent improvements made at Camp Pioneer.

“The assembly hall was brought up to fire code and the only repair needed on the care taker’s residence is a new roof,” she said. “The kitchen needs updated to come up to the fire code. This is our next big project.”

Johnson said the girls’ dormitory has been renovated, but the boys’ dorm needs updating.

“There are some code violations that need fixed and we are going to work hard to take care of those,” Johnson said. “It was built in 1968 and has 58 beds. It has some issues.”

Board member Andy McCauley said the boys’ dormitory has new beds and mattresses, and officials are looking for grants and donations to update the facility.

“The girls dorm is pretty much up to speed,” McCauley said. “We just need to make improvements to bring it up to ADA standards.”

Johnson said the craft house is currently not being used, and may be demolished.

“It is not up to code either,” Johnson said. “It has some issues with the foundation.”

Johnson said the council circle and Annie Wood Building are in good condition.

“Vesper Knoll is where folks get married and is used for a time of reflection,” Johnson said. “Some of the trees were destroyed during the storms and there are trees that need replaced. We may need to take down all of the trees and replant them all.”

The lower campus facilities need very little work, she said.

“We have the Agriculture complex, the live stock barn, a riding arena, an outhouse, two ponds and campsites,” Johnson said. “These are all in good shape. We are also constructing a new arena.”

McCauley said the arena should ramp up the business at the camp, providing income to make further improvements.

Currently, the buildings and facilities are available for rental for summer camps, weekend retreats, family reunions, weddings, outdoor competitions and agricultural events. Camp Pioneer is home to the Randolph County 4-H Camps and the Randolph County Fair, and serves as a Red Cross Emergency Shelter in times of need.