With little time left to register, Camp G enrollment lags

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 10:30 a.m.

Pitcairn Camp B has reached it 67-year mark and still is going strong, with nearly 100 boys registered to head to the Laurel Highlands for a weeklong camping retreat on July 14.

The news isn't so good for its counterpart, Camp G for girls. Camp G, which dates to the late 1960s, has slipped in registrations for its planned excursion to Laurel Highlands that starts Sunday, said Maureen Hartin, president of Camp G.

“Registration is not as high as it has been in the past,” Hartin said Friday. “We have 60 girls or so right now, but we usually get about 100. Last year, we had more girls than we've had in years.”

Activities at the camp, which costs $150 to attend, encourage the girls to have fun with a different theme each year. This year's theme, Disney Princesses, was chosen by last year's camp participants.

Pinpointing the cause of the sudden drop in registration has been difficult. Hartin said camp administrators have been active in getting the word out.

“We have been taking applications out to schools in the area and local restaurants,” she said.

There have been various problems scheduling the Laurel Hill State Park campground for Camp G. And this year, the girls' camp runs from Sunday to July 12, just after the July 4 holiday.

Some families make plans that week, Hartin said. “We've called previous campers who haven't registered, and they want to be home to see relatives,” she said. “There are parties, family reunions and families coming in to visit for the summer.”

Lou Condrasky, director of public relations for Camp B, has another theory.

“The kids who are athletes compete, and the date is in the middle of the travel-league time period,” Condrasky said. “Sometimes they don't have time.”

Though Camp G enrollments are lagging behind those for Camp B, Hartin isn't too worried.

“Even with 60 girls, we will still take them and use one less cabin,” she said.

Camp organizers want to keep the Pitcairn tradition alive.

“It's more important now because the kids play video games in front of the TV. At camp, we are outdoors with no TV. We encourage kids to be active while they are there,” Condrasky said.

“The outing builds good principles and virtues. The kids learn teamwork and forge friendships that last a lifetime.”

David Ruby, in his fifth year as president of Camp B, will be at camp for his 31st consecutive year. He said the children gain independence and learn to do things on their own.

“The camp keeps the community's name alive,” Ruby said. “Even though a lot of us moved away, it keeps us connected to the community.”

Jacqueline Dell is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2311 or jdell@tribweb.com.

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