CRANBERRY, Pa. – Over the last two years Camp Coffman, a 240-acre camp owned and operated by the Scenic River YMCA, has evolved into a day camp and a unique wedding venue.
“We were hoping to have some of our cabins rented every week, but with the weddings, the cabins are rented every weekend in the season,” said YMCA Executive Director Tom Spence. “I didn’t imagine that happening, and that’s a huge blessing. If you’re counting the number of heads in beds, we can accommodate 80 people in the cabins.”
All eight cabins are rented out for wedding parties on weekends in season, with bookings running through 2017 and are also available individually throughout the year.
(Photo above: Tom Spence on the Treehouse’s upper deck next to a chair built by his son Casey.)
A Treehouse Cabin inspired by Treehouse Masters, a reality TV show on Animal Planet, is the latest addition to Camp Coffman. The two-story “Treehouse” cabin sleeps eight, has a full kitchen, indoor plumbing, and beautiful forest views. Even though it is not part of the wedding weekend package, some staffers are already describing the Treehouse Cabin as the honeymoon suite.
About 10 volunteers built the cabin, with roofing installed by the Amish and some additional work by Tionesta Builders.
Spence’s love of Treehouse Masters was also fueled by a visit to Seattle, Washington, last year with Jesse Kelley, program director of the Clarion County YMCA, to view some exciting new YMCA buildings to incorporate into the planned Clarion County YMCA. While there, Spence took the opportunity to also visit the Masters and talk to their people.
After the visit, Spence hatched some plans for an addition to Camp Coffman. Working on the “cheap,” Spence recruited a small but dedicated group of volunteers including his son and daughter for the construction of Cabin Number Nine. He also praises the work of two volunteers, Larry Schmader and Raymond Beichner.
“A gentleman out of Tionesta built our railings, chairs around the bar, and did some of our furniture,” said Spence. “Some of that was in trade because his son had a wedding in April, and his son asked if we would trade furniture for a wedding. He’s got a store on Main Street in Tionesta.”
Camp Coffman also offers activities such as a zip line, climbing wall, group team building, and trail rides on a seasonal basis from April 15 through October 15, depending on the weather.
Hiking trails on the property lead to Deer Rock, Balancing Rock, and throughout the forest.
While the cabins have been a definite draw for the facility, especially weekend weddings, Spence doesn’t think any more of the smaller cabins are needed for the time being.
“We’re focusing more on activities and what there is to do that’s fun and things that don’t require much manpower,” said Spence. “Then again,” looking at the new Treehouse, “two years ago this wasn’t in my head either.”
Rentals start in September at $175.00 a night. Call the Oil City YMCA at 814-677-3000 to make a reservation.