HANCOCK COUNTY — A multipurpose dining and event hall that was to have been first on the Nameless Creek Camp master plan in 2006 has now become the facility’s capstone as a capital campaign begins to fund the project.
The Lodge at Nameless Creek will be a 2,700-square-foot structure fronting the property at 2675 S. CR 600E. Officials hope the building will transform the operation into a year-round facility.
“This was actually the first piece of the master plan that became the final major project for the renaissance of the camp,” said Nameless Creek Camp President Jerry Bell.
The facility will house a large banquet-style dining area that will accommodate approximately 100 guests, a certified kitchen and ADA-compliant restroom facilities, said Benny Eaton, camp vice president.
“We’re currently working toward finalizing the design and plans,” Eaton said. “We are starting our fundraising campaign now and hope to start construction in 2015.”
The camp is already two-thirds of the way toward meeting the anticipated $60,000 cost with $20,000 in grant money and in-kind pledges worth about the same amount already on the books, officials said.
The camp hopes to raise the remaining $20,000 through its “Nature’s Gift For All” capital campaign, a pass-through component fund of the Hancock County Community Foundation.
The foundation will accept donations to the nonpermanent fund and provide administrative support for the camp during the campaign and then release the funds when the project is ready, said foundation president Mary Gibble said.
All the money raised from the campaign and released to the camp will go directly to building the lodge, Bell said.
Camp officials hope the new building will be one more attraction to the 12.7-acre camp that includes a fish pond, trails, cabins, recreational pavilion and activity fields.
The lodge will be available as a low-cost venue for Scout troops, churches and civic groups, as well as private banquets and events, Eaton said.
Once underway, construction of the building’s outer shell will be performed by a contractor with the majority of the remaining finish work completed by the camp’s volunteer workforce.
“We have a core volunteer group of about eight that show up every Wednesday to work,” Bell said.
Over the past nine years, volunteers armed with in-kind donations of all types from area businesses have revamped the camp with campsites, trails, landscaping, building renovations, restrooms and a recreation pavilion.
“We have 20 to 40 businesses in the area that have demonstrated a willingness to help us,” Eaton said. “And that demonstrates the kind of community we have in Greenfield and Hancock County.”
The camp currently operates on an annual budget of about $10,000, which covers its operating costs, officials said.
“We have no paid people here,” Bell said.
In addition to a wood-splitting and firewood sales operation, the camp relies on user fees, memberships and donations to meet expenses.
Memberships are available in the form of an annual pass for $50 or a group membership with a sliding scale fee between $50 and $200, depending upon the size of the group.
“Being a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that operates a low-cost venture, we’re the only facility of its type in this area,” Eaton said.
To donate to the project online, visit the Hancock County Community Foundation website at www.givehcgrowhc.org, scroll to donate online, select nonprofit organization funds and click Nameless Creek Youth Camp Capital Campaign fund.
To donate by mail, send checks payable to Hancock County Community Foundation noting the “Nature’s Gift For All” campaign to the foundation, 312 E. Main St., Greenfield, IN 46140.
HISTORY OF NAMELESS CREEK YOUTH CAMP
1951: Nameless Creek Youth Camp was established by Lowell and Adeline Toms in eastern Hancock County. In 1956, electrical service was installed at the camp, with the original mess hall and kitchen coming in 1957. In 1962, a lighted shelter house was constructed.
2006: A master plan to upgrade the park was initiated, improving campsites, buildings, roads and other facilities.
2014: A new, 1,100-square-foot recreation hall was completed and capital campaign started for the Lodge at Nameless Creek Camp.
For more information: visit www.namelesscreekyouth camp.com