Over the past 7 years, Camp Moshava Ennismore has experienced unprecedented growth. Attendance has increased significantly and the outlook for the camp is brighter than at any time in its recent history. Though welcome, this expansion poses its own set of challenges. Due to the increase in the number of campers, the age of the facilities, more stringent government regulation and a continuous need to innovate and introduce new programming, the existing infrastructure and camp facilities require upgrading to meet current and future requirements. To date, we have already raised $1.3 million of our $5 million goal.
The discussion that follows identifies deficiencies in four areas: Living/Housing, Facilities, Activities and Infrastructure. An action plan and cost estimate to address each issue is provided.
The most popular and most used building in camp is also our oldest. From daily meals, Shabbat dancing and slow Shira as Shabbat ebbs away, the Chadar Ochel is in many ways (along with our Beit Knesset) the centerpiece of our campers’ experience.
Our current building is too small for our growing size, and quite simply does not properly suit our needs. In addition, the kitchen area, where our food is prepared, is too small, and its refrigeration and freezer sections are not large enough to accommodate our food requirements. As a focal point, both geographically and programmatically, of camp, a new Chadar Ochel and Kitchen would dramatically change our camp. It would not be an exaggeration to say that a building of this sort would provide a paradigm shift in what the Camp Moshava experience would be like.
Moshava has undertaken the task of replacing all of our older bunks (those built prior to the year 2000). We have been able to do this, through generous donations, at a rate of two bunks per year. To date, we have replaced 14 of 26 bunks. Our cost is based on using in-house staff for construction, which brings our cost down 25-40% when compared to outside contractors. The new bunks are beautiful and spacious, and are a considerable upgrade from the older ones.
The need for newer, cleaner and better designed bathroom/ shower houses remains one of our top priorities. Once the preliminary work (water supply and septic) has been completed, new bathroom/shower houses will greatly enhance every camper and staff member’s experience immensely. A total of six bathroom/shower houses are required to replace the current six that we have
The current arts and crafts centre that we have is both outdated and not large enough to suit our needs. We envision a new building that will allow for more and better choices, so that campers will have an opportunity to learn and explore different skills that will enrich their summer experience. A ceramic studio, a place for drama/music and a dance instruction area are some of the additions we envision.
The swimming pool we have is a popular area of camp, and nothing beats the heat of summer quite like a nice swim. Due to our full capacity, we have outgrown our current pool. In order to maximize campers’ swim times, and to be able to offer both free and instructional swim, we require a second, larger pool. Being able to offer both girls and boys swim simultaneously by having two pools will increase our efficiency in scheduling and allow for more campers to come home with badges as well.
Water supply related concerns (but, thankfully, not water quality concerns) have become more prevalent as the number of campers/staff has increased. Issues include inadequate water pressure and a frequent lack of hot water.
These problems have repeatedly been mentioned in parent/ camper surveys as one of the most negative aspects of the Moshava experience. Water related issues arise sporadically and their exact cause is unknown but it is assumed that they are related to one or more of the following components of the water system:
• Well Capacity
• Pumping Capacity
• Distribution system including holding tanks
• Water heating systems
• Shower/Sinks/Toilets and other appliances
To determine the precise cause of these issues, the camp has contracted consultants to evaluate the camp’s water supply, distribution system, current usage and projected water
needs. The cost of these studies is $40,000. Based on the consultants’ recommendations, it is likely that improvements to the water system may be required. If they are needed, bids
will be solicited to provide the necessary upgrades.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has determined that the camp’s septic system requires upgrading to meet existing standards and some recently introduced requirements. In 2001, the camp submitted a plan to the MOE which addressed the lower camp’s septic issues. This plan was approved by the MOE and allows for the replacement of the four existing bathroom/shower houses with new ones. In 2015, a comprehensive septic plan incorporating the approved 2001 plan and addressing upgrades in the remainder of the camp was submitted to the MOE. Approval of this plan is expected in 2016. At this time, the camp has decided to proceed with the implementation of the approved 2001 plan. This will provide
the infrastructure which will allow for construction of four new bathroom/shower houses which are urgently needed. After soliciting bids, a contractor has been selected. The infrastructure cost of the lower camp septic improvement project is approximately $200,000. Once the comprehensive plan is approved, bids will be solicited for the remaining costs of the septic improvement in other areas of the camp.
As a religious Zionist camp, having a desirable facility for Torah study is essential. Once again, we have outgrown our current facility. We envision a building which would function both as a beit midrash and also have classrooms; both to conduct our chinuch sessions and to be used by staff for programming.
In light of the need for heightened security at all Jewish institutions, in 2015 the Vaad established a Security committee responsible for fostering a safe and secure environment for our chanichim, tzevet and guests. In addition to the creation of protocols to increase the day to day security level at camp, the committee has recommended the following infrastructure improvements:
1. Lighting in specific areas
2. Additional fencing
5. Gate camera
Additional landscaping is desired to beautify the camp, provide additional shade and enhance modesty in key areas. The landscape committee is in the process of identifying areas for improvement, the type of landscaping desired and the cost of this project.
An electrical upgrade to the lower camp boy’s cabin area has been requested by the township’s building department to correct certain elements in the present system. It is also necessary to support the septic system.