The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
For more than 50 years, through good economic times and bad, the Home Builders Association of Hartford County has made sure thousands of Connecticut children get to have the experience of going to camp. HBA members have donated time, money and labor to construct many of the buildings at the Channel 3 Kids Camp in Andover, Conn. Their most recent project, completed in September, was a pavilion valued at $150,000.
“This is an industry that has been hard hit by the economy,” said Eric Person, executive officer of the HBA. “Yet they are still stepping up to help others.”
Builders — including Santini Homes, House of Hanbury and Freeland Brothers Construction — donated materials and services such as site work, concrete, a truss system and building materials. More than 50 volunteers were involved in the design, planning and construction of the 60'x40' pavilion, which includes gas heaters and a stage for either camper performances or visiting entertainers.
For the Hanbury family, helping the camp is a family tradition.
“Strangely enough, my grandfather and father were active with the HBA. They built buildings on this property,” said volunteer Alan Hanbury. “It’s come full circle.”
Alan’s brother, volunteer Bob Hanbury, said, “As an active member of the HBA, it’s a joy and an opportunity to help the community. We do it because we love it.”
For the builder volunteers, the project was more than a way to stay busy during slow construction times.
During the summer session, the camp offers a week in the country to children from families at any income level. “Camper-ships” provide the tuition for children from foster homes or families in need.
The first camp project the HBA undertook was in 1959 rebuilding a model home from its annual home show to serve as a year-round residence for the camp director. This enabled the camp, which now serves 4,000 children a year, to continue operating through the winter months. During the 1960s, many of the camp’s smaller outbuildings were also constructed by HBA members.
The HBA created a video that shows the construction of the pavilion and includes interviews with volunteer builders and the camp director. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PE0m4OpZfk.