If you’ve ever been to Covenant Pines, you’re familiar with the drive in. You take a right on 245th Place and drive down that beautiful road past a few mysterious houses that you think belong to camp staff.
Your first real glimpse of camp comes when the road curves left and you turn to face the Retreat Center. Our prayer for everyone of you is that this first view fills you with a sense of warmth and belonging.
That first view has changed a bit since camp’s founding in 1954. Guests in the very early days would have just seen a grassy hill. Campers in the 60s and 70s would have seen the Rec Hall on their left and the Dining Hall straight ahead. Folks from the early 80s and on have gazed upon the Retreat Center. But one thing that has been constant over the years is that same patch of grass that was there in 1954; what we now call Fireside Lawn.
This simple patch of grass has been trampled by joyful and excited campers for over 60 years. It has served as a central meeting space to give rules, start games, and perform skits. It’s patio has hosted countless games of foursquare. It’s deck has held up the weight of thousands of campers, anxious to buy candy from the Canteen. This place that we call Fireside Lawn has given us so much over the past 60 years that we feel it’s time to give it an upgrade.
For the past few years, Covenant Pines leadership has been tossing around the idea of building a new patio on that spot. Overtime that idea turned into a solid plan. Now that plan is in progress. Below you’ll see some blueprints designed by Jim Sirilla for the new patio. We’ve already started the creation of the patio by cutting down the large Oak Tree that was in front of Fireside Lounge and mapping out the placement of the patio. It may be hard to picture now, but the patio will be raised off the ground and have stairs that lead up to it from the ground level. There will be ample space for foursquare, fire pits, skits, or simply basking in the sun.
This new patio will be completed by the start of our youth camps this summer. We’re eagerly anticipating the new view our guests will have as they make that left turn into this amazing place. We hope that this change of scenery will only enhance the feeling of warmth and belonging that our friends have known for so many years.
Want to donate to this project? Click here and select “other.” Just specify in the comments that the donation is for “Fireside Patio.”
Check out the gallery below to see historical pictures that catalog the evolution of “Fireside Lawn.”