The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Mifflinburg Region

April 28, 2013

Renovated dining hall at Camp Karoondinha named for John Fogarty

MILLMONT -  A newly renovated and expanded Boy Scout camp dining hall has been renamed in honor of one of the major donors to the project.

The Fogarty Dining Hall at Camp Karoondinha was named in honor of John Fogarty, vice president of properties for the Boys Scouts’ Susquehanna Council, on Sunday. Fogarty used his personal funds to finance a large part of the renovation.

“This dining hall is one of the many projects John has put his blood, sweat and tears into,” said Jon Brennan, Scout executive of Susquehanna Council, at the renovated hall’s opening ceremony.

“He (Fogarty) does anything and everything.  . . . His footprints are in every section, every tree around here,” said Ethel Snook, chairwoman of the Endowment Committee for the Susquehanna Council.

The renovation to the facility, formerly the Ray Rugh Memorial Dining Hall, began in September and cost approximately $800,000.

The interior is now known as the Ray Rugh Memorial Dining Room.

The additions can hold 60 to 100 people, making the capacity of the hall approximately 300. Another 1,000 square feet has been added due to the renovations, increasing the size from 3,000 square feet to 4,000.

New windows, doors, equipment, tables, chairs, air conditioning and paint have been added to the building.

The old kitchen has been turned into the Paul Snook Memorial Room, a multi-purpose area named for Ethel Snook’s husband, who died last summer.

“He was always up here working,” Ethel said.

Her husband, among other things, was responsible for running electrical wiring across much of the campground.

Fogarty, an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster, said the renovations were necessary because of the increasing number of boys who have been coming to the camp.

“As we rededicate this 60-year-old dining hall, we must also rededicate ourselves to Scouting and this camp,” he said before the official ribbon-cutting. “It is up to us to ensure that Scouting stays alive at Camp K and in the Susquehanna Valley for future generations.”

Numerous groups in addition to the Boy Scouts make use of the campground, including the Girls Scouts, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, local youth groups and ROTC chapters, Fogarty said.

In addition, the Paul Snook Memorial Room can be rented out for a variety of community purposes.

Attending the ceremony were local political leaders, including state Reps. Fred Keller, R-85 of Kreamer, Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, and Rick Mirabito, D-83 of Williamsport, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-5 of Howard, John Mathias, Union County commissioner, and Rick Shoch, Northumberland County commissioner.

The camp has “helped 80 years worth of Scouts find their strengths and overcome their weaknesses,” said Culver, adding that Fogarty has been a big contributor to the camp.

“It’s great they upgraded the dining hall,” said Shoch, a former camper at Karoondinha. “His (Fogarty’s) commitment to Scouting is second to none.”

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