CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Salvation Army's Camp Happy Valley will reopen as a day camp this year, after being closed entirely last summer, officials from the nonprofit agency said.
"We still have some infrastructure things to check and make sure water and electric are working fine," Maj. Darrell Kingsbury said Tuesday.
The Salvation Army's board decided last year to close the Teays Valley camp after it became clear there wasn't enough money to make repairs to keep the facility operable.
Kingsbury said those needs were the result of "wear and tear" over time that was never addressed. Damage from bad weather caused by high winds and freezing temperatures also contributed to the camp's mounting costs.
"For a variety of reasons, it didn't get repaired, and once you get used to seeing something, sometimes you forget that it's there," Kingsbury said of overdue upgrades. "It just grew and grew."
The organization needed about $80,000 to complete those projects, according to a 2013 Gazette report.
The Pilot Club of Charleston recently donated $1,500 to the camp as part of its Million Pennies Project. Club president-elect Linda Conner said she started the program several years ago to raise money for the Salvation Army, and Camp Happy Valley in particular.
"It's been a longstanding project of ours to support the camp," Conner said. "Right now, they're in a crunch with trying to put that camp back together, and we wanted to help."
The club donates the money in increments, rather than waiting to collect all the funds, since the camp's need is immediate, Conner said.
Church groups, businesses and construction professionals also have contributed their time and skills to get the camp up and running again. Many of those lending a hand were once campers at Happy Valley, Kingsbury said.