As Brookwoods and Deer Run have grown, we have outgrown our Dining Hall. Since the “new wing” was added in 1985, we have grown from 160 campers to 300, but have not increased seating and food service capacity. The kitchen serves two “sittings” each meal, the first of which separates the Senior Staff and Leadership Development Program (LDP) from the rest of the camp. Remember the value of the time when we came together as a camp family around a meal? Today that is not possible.
Expanded seating capacity will bring us all together again and has many additional benefits. First, it gains needed efficiency in costly kitchen operations. Returning to one sitting per meal helps us regain 45 precious minutes of evening programming time, particularly critical when we are racing the clock with August’s earlier sunsets. It ensures integration of LDP and Senior Staff into the lives of the campers and counseling staff through modeling by being together.
While expanding Dining Hall capacity and renovating Kitchen facilities, we are adding features benefiting both camp and conference ministry. Additional space will include a downstairs 40-person meeting room. During the conference season, the addition of this room allows us to host up to three separate groups at one time and increases our marketability to larger, single groups. Plans include ground level and upstairs meeting rooms, including a “coffee shop” for small group gatherings, and a smaller conference room upstairs. While each of these rooms has specific conference application and value, they will give us highly useful multi-purpose space during the camp season as well. We can achieve significant cost savings if these renovations are performed alongside the other work in the Dining Hall.
This illustration shows the additional Dining Hall and Kitchen enlargement. This is what it will look like when viewed from the existing Brookwoods parking lot.