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Boggy Creek Gang Camp – Theatre

Eustis, Florida

  • 11,476 sq. ft.
  • IIDA Forum Design Award
  • Associated Architect: Morris Architects

The Boggy Creek mission statement is “Create a camp to enrich the lives of children who have chronic or life threatening illness by providing camping experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun, empowering, physically safe and medically sound.” Each year more than 1,000 chronically ill children between the ages of 7 – 17, and their families visit the camp for week long sessions. For campers with critical health problems of all types, accessibility and safety features are of the utmost importance. This state of the art theatre accommodates 156 seated guests and 12 wheelchair guests. All areas are totally accessible to all with seamless ramping and the camper’s art is featured on panels “dancing” down the side isles.

The camp Florida cracker cabin architectural theme is expressed in a rustic, hand crafted aesthetic with whimsical childlike touches. Clear finished pine is a constant anchor juxtaposed on bold colors, fantasy prints and crazy quilt patterns. There are abundant handcrafted materials and details and the campers’ art is featured “dancing” down the side ramps providing fun and acoustical relief.

Coordination challenges for this effort were magnified as all design disciplines donated their efforts. The volunteer team involved Camp representatives (including Camp founders Paul Newman and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf); corporate sponsor, Universal Studios Florida; design and record architectural firms; interior design and engineering firms; scenic and signage designers and a construction team. The joy and enthusiasm of the children enriched by this camp inspired a highly successful and rewarding project for all.