Camp Cann-Edi-On summer camper Deeairy Jordan, center, and Dezareé Adams, both 11, play a trivia game at the YWCA facilities in Conewago Township Monday.
Camp Cann-Edi-On summer camper Deeairy Jordan, center, and Dezareé Adams, both 11, play a trivia game at the YWCA facilities in Conewago Township Monday. YWCA officials plan to repair many structures at the camp. Kinsley Construction has agreed to donate time and equipment to the project, and the YWCA needs to raise $50,000 for materials. (Bill Kalina photo)

There's an otherworldly quaintness in some parts of York County, and the YWCA's Camp Cann-Edi-On is one example.

Resting in the wooded hills of Conewago Township since 1930, the 227-acre campground provides outdoor opportunities to a generation that feels more at home around computers and smart phones.

This summer, 116 kids, ages 6 to 14, are attending the 11-week camp. They create arts and crafts, go hiking, canoe down the Conewago Creek and swim in a pool on site.

But the campground isn't what it used to be.

There are just three nights a year that campers spend the night. When they do, they group in the recreation center instead of the dilapidated sleeping cabins.

A deteriorating roof on one of the cabins at Camp Cann-Edi-On is just one of many issues needing repair.
A deteriorating roof on one of the cabins at Camp Cann-Edi-On is just one of many issues needing repair. (Bill Kalina photo)

The 15 A-frame cabins used to provide shelter for about six campers each, said Kristina Schindler, the camp's director.

Now they're either locked or used for storage, with torn screen doors and wooden roofs that need to be replaced.

"It has great potential, but it also needs a lot of work," she said. "We're just ready to keep it up to date and safe for the next generation also."

The goal: The five-year plan is to restore the overnight cabins and allow campers to spend their nights at Camp Cann-Edi-On. Girls and boys would be separated, and overnight camping would cost extra, Schindler said.

Fortunately for the camp and its campers, Kinsley Construction will donate labor and equipment, valued at more than $68,000, Schindler said. The YWCA and its donors will now try to raise $50,000 to provide supplies to renovate the camp.

'A jewel': The YWCA has not had the funding to keep up with the cabins' structural needs, said Roberta Geidner, the organization's CEO.

"I think it's just tremendous, the challenge that Kinsley has put out to the community," she said. "It'll just transform the camp back into something that's even more usable than it is today."

For most of the campers, Camp Cann-Edi-On is the one opportunity they get to connect with nature. About 50 percent of the campers are from York City, and even those from rural parts of the county do not get outdoors enough when they're at home, Schindler said.

"It's such a jewel," Geidner said. "And I think our children today have lost their connection to outdoors and nature."

Slumber parties: Several campers were excited about the prospect of sleeping overnight.

"I can't wait, I can't wait!" shouted Alexis Smith, 8. "This camp is awesome."

The Devers Elementary School fourth-grader said she would want to hold movie nights, girls' nights and dress-up.

"And you could go visit your family whenever you want to," she said. Her friend Zoe Snell, 9, agreed.

"I think it's a great idea," the Trimmer Elementary School fourth-grader said. "It would be fun."

Help out: To donate to the restoration of Camp Cann-Edi-On, visit campcannedion.kintera.org.

--Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.