Gretna Glen camp hit by storm and high winds

Possible tornado?   A fallen tree caused signficant damage to Gretna Glen’s outdoor pavilion especially at the end housing the camp store.

The first week of camp was turned topsy-turvy, as Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center was hit by a storm with severe high winds at 4:30 pm on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 22, 2010.

Camp staff immediately put storm plan and emergency procedures into place, and campers and staff sought shelter.  “Everyone had been briefed at the beginning of our week of camp, and knew where they were to go,” said April Miller, Gretna Glen’s director.  “We are thankful that everyone is OK and no one was hurt.”  Ms. Miller said staff wondered if a tornado were associated with the storm.

According to Ms. Miller, the camp immediately lost power, and they were without electricity for a little over four hours.  Camp staff placed phone calls to the parents of campers to reassure them that their children were safe.  In the wake of big hail and downed branches, camp staff used a snow plow to rid roads of debris.

After electricity was restored around 8:30 pm, camp staff began washing the dinner dishes, and campers again participated in camp games and activities.

A tree hit the back of the pavilion and demolished the camp store.  Ms. Miller has already contacted Arthur Funk & Sons construction services to come out to look at building damage and to begin planning repairs.

Miller’s car, a Suburban, was also hit by a downed tree, as well as the camp’s brand new zip-line.

Gretna Glen zip-lineGretna Glen’s new zip-line was part of the camp to suffer damages in the storm that blew through Lebanon County on the afternoon of June 22.

The camp will have a need for volunteers to walk trails and check for downed branches, to do tree work and cut up branches.  Starting Thursday, June 24, camp staff would welcome calls or emails from persons willing to volunteer with this clean-up.  Please contact the camp office directly by calling 1-877-UMC-CAMP, opt# 4, or 717-273-6525; or email camp@gretnaglen.org.

Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center is located at 87 Old Mine Rd., Lebanon, PA 17042; www.gretnaglen.org.