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This new cooking station is just one of several upgrades that Greg Woody, director of the Upshur County Youth Camp, was able to make to the camp last summer while the pandemic closed it down. / Photo courtesy Greg Woody

A mini-makeover: New archery range, cooking station, water wheel among upgrades that await visitors to the Upshur County Youth Camp

SELBYVILLE – The Upshur County Youth Camp implemented several upgrades last summer, including a new archery range, outdoor cooking area and a water wheel.

Greg Woody, the director of the Upshur County Youth Camp, said the camp was closed last summer because of the pandemic, but the silver lining was, it gave him plenty of time to finish several projects.

“The archery range is probably the biggest project we have done,” Woody said. “It was basically intended for 4-H kids of all ages and also wanting a safe place to shoot away from the rest of the areas. It was a good place for it because there’s no reason for any kids to be down in that area unless they are using the archery range.”

The new archery range / Photo courtesy Greg Woody

The Upshur County Commission and 4-H were involved with building the range in late summer and early fall, and Woody built an outdoor grill earlier in the summer.

The new archery range from the opposite angle / Photo courtesy Greg Woody

“We have worked with World Vision out of Philippi for several projects, and they donated different things like an outdoor grill and fire pit to make an outdoor cooking area for the 4-H campers,” Woody said. “They have several outdoor cooking classes during 4-H camp, so this will give them an area for that.”

Woody also built a waterwheel where runoff water was coming from a pipe over the summer.

“There has always been runoff water that was coming out of that pipe, ever since I’ve been here, and to put it plainly, it was a nasty looking ditch with a pipe running out there, and there’s always water flowing,” Woody said. “I just dreamed up the idea to build a water wheel if I could get it to work, so I just started to build and that’s how that came about, and we dressed it up with some big stones, we landscaped around it, set the water wheel in there and piped the water up over top of it.”

Once an unsightly ditch, this area is now a functional water wheel. / Photo courtesy Greg Woody

He said over the last 11 years he has been at the camp, they have also installed new windows, new paint, a new metal roof on the dining hall and a new metal roof on one of the big cabins.

“We were completely shut down – everybody altogether made the decision to shut down – so it was a quiet time here,” Woody said. “It was different, but at the same time it did let me get a lot of these projects done without having to work around camp schedules or people being around. Everything we do here as far as remodeling projects, you always have to work around the scheduling of people coming in and out and try to do it when nobody’s around and it worked out in the end with all the projects we had to do, but I’m ready to have some people back.”

Right now, it appears as though children and families will be back – pending clarification on COVID-19 protocols from the West Virginia Governor’s Office, Upshur County Administrator Carrie Wallace said this week.

“Overnight youth camps are permitted to open, and the Upshur County Youth Camp will open, pending the receipt of updated guidance from the governor’s office,” Wallace said Wednesday. Although 4-H will not host overnight camp, day camps are planned, and Wallace said the Youth Camp is currently accepting reservations. For more information, contact Woody at 304-924-5356.

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