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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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August 19, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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August 19, 2011
 

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Camp Fox Completes Major Renovation Camp Fox at Buttonshell Beach recently completed a major reno- vation to the facilities. The big- gest project was the installation of a new waste treatment plant that will increase the capacity of the camp. This unique system was de- signed by AdvanTex and installed by Integrated Water Systems. It includes 28 large (5,000 to 20,000 gallon) subterranean tanks, thou- sands of feet of pipe, a secondary treatment farm and 55,000 square feet of drip lines which have the added benefit of irrigating newly installed grass lawns. All of the wastewater goes through second- ary treatment and is environmen- tally safe for irrigation. During the construction proj- ect, all of the domestic water lines, electrical lines and telephone lines were also replaced. The first-of eight barges arrived on Oct. 28, 2010 with the equipment materi- als for the project and the camp was operational on Feb. 28, 2011. This was a huge undertaking and was completed on time and on budget. The total cost of the waste treatment plant project was $1,800,000. Besides the waste treatment plant, many other improvements and additions were added to the camp this past winter. A series of paved walkways were installed around the new grass lawns. A competitive sand volleyball court was constructed with an adjacent Gaga Pit (a form of dodgeball). The ropes course was upgraded with two super swings, a "power pole," a giants ladder and all new lower rope initiatives. The archery range was rede- signed around a pirate theme. Two portable rock climbing walls were installed but are slated for replace- ment with permanent towers in the future. The restrooms received a face- lift with new fun and.bright colors. Several of the beachfront villas were partially enclosed and paint- ed with the new brighter colors. The dining hall was also up- graded with new floor paint, up- graded lighting, new windows and doors along with new tables and chairs. Several traditional cabins have been renovated and painted as well. Future plans for the camp in- clude continued renovation to the cabins and villas, construction of additional camper and staff hous- ing. There will be a new marine biology programarea and com- plete renovation of older existing structures. In 2007, Guided Discoveries was awarded the lease by the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy. The 80-year-old YMCA camp needed upgrading. Guided Discoveries set to work removing an old historic landfill, removing unused equipment, mak- ing initial repairs and planning the new waste treatment plant. Working closely with all LA County agencies and the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy, the permit and planning process took nearly four years. One of the biggest hurdles was money. While Guided Discoveries is a non-profit organization, do- nations are difficult to raise. "The organization decided to secure a low-interest bond, issued by the California Infrastructure Bank, which is available to non-profits and other public agencies. Camp Fox operates outdoor education programs for mainland schools during the fall, winter and spring and YMCA groups during the summer. The Guided Discoveries family of programs include the Catalina Island Marine Institute at Toyon Bay, Fox Landihg and Cherry Cove, Catalina Sea Camp and Jr. Sea Camp. Camp Fox YMCA Camp, Astrocamp in Idyllwild, Ca- lif., and the 156-foot three-masted tall ship, Tole Mour. Guided Dis- coveries also operates the Marine Institute programs on the island since 1978. The Marine Institute programs are fun educational programs de- signed to make a positive differ- ence in the lives of children through unique opportunities for discovery. They serve over 30,000 children annually on the island, while the Guided Discoveries family of pro- grams serves over 48,000 students, campers and teachers each year. The Marine Institute has intro- duced over 650,000 children to Catalina who have gained a valu- able insight and appreciation to this unique and special island and ocean environment. In 2012, the Guided Discoveries family of programs will have served 1,000,000 students, campers, par- ents and teachers since 1978. Long time islanders, Ross and Kristi Turner founded Guided Discoveries and the Marine Institute. h CATALINA COUPLES: ERIC AND MICHELLE JAEGER Please send us your favorite photo of yourself or the of another local Catalina couple to be included in the Catalina Islander. They can be youngor old. In special places, special occasions or just at home. Email your high resolution photo to dan@cinews.us. THE CAYAMNA ISLANDER ..................................... Friday, August 19, 2011 i 7