RIO GRANDE — ECHO is officially open for business as it hosted an open house Saturday afternoon.
Folks from Ohio and West Virginia drove from over an hour away to see the newly renovated camp. Food was served and guests were welcomed to tours, witnessing the upgrades as well as discovering what the facility has to offer. The afternoon was completed with a dedication ceremony at the chapel overlooking the lake.
Some of the new improvements to the camp included necessary upgrades and repairs to the main lodge. New roofing, paint, flooring, bathroom stalls, gutters, windows and doors, some walls removed in the lower hall, HVAC repairs, and some stone work around the fireplace.
“It’s like a new building, we’re very pleased with how it turned out,” said one of the board members. Other improvements around camp include a new roof on Welsey Lodge, which still needs plumbing work and interior repairs before campers can take advantage. Timbering is going on across the property to help maintain the health of the forest and land, and a new two lane road will be cut down to the lake.
Local Troop #200 Boy Scout Adam Stout also cut and cleared the hiking trail that circles the lake for his Eagle Project; a large scale project to benefit the community and achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouts. Stout had the help of other scouts and friends to make the trail usable. Other trails across camp property are also being improved, providing miles of Appalachian hills for guests to the camp.
This is the third Eagle Scout project at ECHO. An amphitheater located by the lake shelter house was constructed in the early 2000’s as were renovations to the camping tree houses in 2010. Both projects were led by members of Troop #200 in Gallipolis.
The open house was concluded with a dedication service, where portions of the Bible were read, songs sung, and a brief message given by Perry Prosch.
“This camp is what it is because of the hard work of many people, and we hope for the best future here,” said Prosch. Many present Saturday expressed their hope for the future of ECHO and how it can serve the community; a sentiment shared by those working hard for the camp.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.