CARTERET—When Joe Gadomski, assistant scoutmaster of Carteret Troop 88, heard that troops can adopt camp sites at Kittatinny Scout Reservation in Branchville for the purpose of upgrading and maintaining them, he and Scoutmaster Fred Gerstler didn’t hesitate to offer their troop’s services.
They adopted Welch Lodge, a building used to house boy scouts located on the far end of the camp grounds. Welch Lodge was named after brothers Robert & Wesley Welch, who helped to acquire the land that is now Kittatinny Scout Reservation.
Welch Lodge was in dire straits from years of neglect. Over the past five years Troop 88 rebuilt the lodge with help from corporate donations, fellow leaders, scout parents, and boy scouts.
Work performed included: expanding the cabin sleeping quarters by taking space from the building’s storage area, installing two steel entrance doors which were donated by Pioneer Door in Hackensack. The kitchen cabinets, counter tops, tables and a shelving unit used to hold supplies and water were custom built by troop leaders with cabinet grade plywood donated by Tulnoy Lumber in Carteret and Formica donated by the Gerstler family.
Windows were replaced with energy efficient units. New lighting, hard-wired smoke detectors and emergency exit signs were donated by PSG Electrical Systems of Edison. The wood burning stove was replaced with a modern unit, which was donated by the Gadomski family.
The most daunting task was replacing the aging shingle roof that was no longer protecting the building. Englert Metals located in Perth Amboy donated 3,000 square feet of metal roofing.
Ken Krawcheck, vice president of Englert, personally came to the construction site and spent the day educating the troop leaders on proper installation of the metal panels and how to bend necessary brackets. The value of the roof alone is estimated to exceed $7,000.
Volunteers, pictured from left to right, are (Back Row) Joe Gadomski Jr,. Eric Palmer, Daniel Gerstler (Front Row) Joe Gadomski Sr., Fred Gerstler, Ken Krawcheck, and Gene McDermott (Photo courtesy of Carteret Boy Scout Troop 88)
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