The iconic Camp Pin Oak Lodge is once again ready to serve as a gathering place for families and youth at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today.
The original structure, which was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, caught fire during a thunderstorm in 2010 and burned to the ground, leaving only the charred remnants of its stone fireplaces on either side of the building.
"Today, we are celebrating the reopening of Camp Pin Oak Lodge as a place for Missouri families and young people to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories," Gov. Nixon said. "One week after the fire which struck this camp, I stood in the shell of this iconic building and pledged to return it to its original grandeur. Today, thanks to collaboration and partnership throughout state government and with our education partners, we can look forward to 70 more years of camping, adventure and the great outdoors at Camp Pin Oak."
The Governor today cut the ceremonial ribbon reopening the Lodge, and was joined by students and officials from State Fair Community College, and the leadership Missouri State Parks and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
In 2011, Gov. Nixon announced a memorandum of agreement between Missouri State Parks and State Fair Community College in Sedalia for a training and education project with SFCC students rebuilding the lodge. The Missouri Department of Economic Development authorized a community development block grant of $1.5 million to Pettis County to fund the project.
Camp Pin Oak was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1934 and 1938. The lodge was considered one of the finest examples of CCC buildings throughout state park system because of its rustic architecture and craftsmanship. The lodge featured a stone foundation, large stone fireplaces, a rustic front porch and light fixtures with the oak leaf motif.
Camp Pin Oak has been used by many organized youth groups, including the Girl Scouts, since 1938. Today, many church groups, church youth groups, the Future Farmers of America, and other groups bring youth from all over Missouri - and even internationally - to use the camp. Many families also use Camp Pin Oak as a site for reunions and gatherings.
The finished Camp Pin Oak Lodge was built with careful attention to historical accuracy in the same location and approximate size of the original structure. Interior and exterior features were designed to match the originals. Historic features of the building include salvaged stones in the rebuilt fireplaces and foundation, and the use of a special mortar mix used to replicate the original. All of the posts, beams and haunches on the exterior of the building came from downed timber salvaged following a storm at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in St. Louis County. Tables and benches in the building were replicated to match the originals and were also built with salvaged timber.
The rebuilt Lodge now includes a modern kitchen, laundry and accessible restrooms. The hall accommodates 135 people, is fully accessible and is centrally heated and cooled.
For information about state parks and historic sites and the Camp Pin Oak Group Camp, visit MO.gov.