Camp pushes to recover from fire |

Camp pushes to recover from fire

The Diocese of Sacramento is forging ahead with plans to hold summer programs at the Pendola Center near the Nevada-Yuba county line, despite a chimney fire that razed a barn and damaged a kitchen and dining room last month.

A new, expanded dining room that can seat up to 100 campers is in the works, said camp director Stephen Tholcke, who hopes to open the youth camp June 10. Tholcke said the diocese will use a mobile kitchen until a new one can be built.

The 45-year-old camp in Yuba County adjoins the Tahoe National Forest and is the only such camp owned by the diocese, which stretches from Reno to Vallejo and from Galt to the Oregon border.

The camp was donated to the diocese in 1945 in memory of the late Frank Pendola of Grass Valley, who operated a lumber mill on the site.

The destroyed barn was built in 1940, milled from the Pendola family mill. The barn housed tools, camping and recreational gear that was lost in the blaze. The fire was extinguished with the help of the North San Juan and Camptonville fire departments and the U.S. Forest Service, according to the statement.

The camp also includes a lounge, two dormitories, 13 cabins, a health center and a chapel.

Tholke said campers usually stay at the facility for one week, and it’s also used as a camp and retreat for families. It is open to the public, and Tholke said 80 percent of those who use the camp are members of the diocese.

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