Camp Anderson, located in picturesque Tyrone, Pennsylvania, has been an integral part of our town and community for decades. It is, in fact, one of the only places left in our community that has widespread ties to people across the area. Many of our older generations knew it as the “Boy Scout Camp,” where our younger crowd fondly refers to it as “Camp Anderson.” These integral community ties, if looked at closely, will reveal the importance of keeping such a fundamental part of Tyrone intact.
Camp Anderson represents a significant part of the history of Tyrone. My family has experienced this beauty and rich history during our family reunions, which Camp Anderson has hosted every year for the last six years. With a reunion of 80+ people and going back at least five generations are stories of positive experiences at the camp from swimming and fishing to camping and scouting. My eldest family members, going back eight decades, remember fishing and swimming at the camp, along with hiking and learning survival skills. Our younger generation family members now have similar memories and skills, thanks to the older members passing them down and continuing traditions we enjoy when we have our family reunions every year. In addition to the positive experience is a safe, natural environment for all to enjoy.
Not only is Camp Anderson a part of Tyrone’s history, it continues to be a large part of our current community and a constant source of positive role models for some of our toughest, disadvantaged youth. Among others, one example might be the Haunted House sponsored by Camp Anderson. Not only is it something many kids look forward to during the Halloween holiday, it represents an example of how our youth today work together to get a monumental job done. Kids gain a sense of accomplishment planning and pulling off this event in something greater than themselves, a task only gained when working together, much like we do in our lives as adults. Without these experiences, how do our youth learn to work together in organized events? How do they gain these valuable skills essential in becoming a successful adult?
In addition to the historical piece, Camp Anderson has been a stronghold for young men and women, shaping their futures to be the people they are today. I live just minutes away from the camp, and on many weekends we notice and hear the activities, which no doubt keep the young people of Tyrone out of troubling circumstances found in other places. The positive role models and activities could very well save the lives of many young people, as it has become a rock in which our youth have grown to rely on for strength, looking forward to the Camporee, the Klondike Derby, and the Order of the Arrow events to name a few. These events have taught our young people values, survival skills, the importance of team work and self-reliance, and skills to avoid choices that would lead to a life filled with struggle. These struggles, no doubt, would cost the community a hefty price. As a teacher in the Tyrone Area School District, I have a unique opportunity to hear what our young people are participating in at the camp and understand what it means for our kids to have a place like Camp Anderson to experience things found nowhere else. Because it is close, it allows those kids who may not have the financial means to travel, to be part of something which will have an enormous impact on their futures.
While it is impossible to put a price tag on the far reaching influences which Camp Anderson has been involved, it is important to consider the financial cost of running such an organization. The camp was recently purchased from the Laurel Highlands Council for $215,000.00. The Camp Anderson Corporation needs to raise those funds along with 285,000.00, which will be used as an endowment that will help sustain the camp and continue the necessary work to keep it updated. While the camp is known for scouting activities and adventures, it will also be open for many other groups, families, and businesses to name a few.
We are asking for our region to step up and help us save this vital part of Tyrone, Pennsylvania. You can help in two ways!
Brochures detailing this crucial endeavor can be found at Bressler’s Food Mart, The Tyrone Chamber of Commerce Office, the Daily Herald, and Gardners’ Candies.
The cost of running Camp Anderson pales in comparison to the consequences felt in the community as a whole, if it did not exist as we know it. Please consider donating your money or time to help keep this historic camp available for generations to come.