History of Antietam Recreation...
Antietam Recreation is named for the Antietam Creek which borders the camp on three sides and for Antietam Battlefield which is a few miles away. Antietam Recreation's secluded 32 acre site was the old Turner Farm and was purchased by the Rotz Family in 1971 after a long search for a piece of ground that would contain water or a stream to facilitate a recently inherited canoe and fields and pasture to accommodate their two horses.
Antietam Recreation is located in a rural area only minutes from Hagerstown and surrounded by woodlands and open fields. It has been a wellspring of fun, recreation, and inspiration to many children, families, groups, and organizations for the last 33 years. The family-owned and operated facility is designed to provide active, exciting, and unique activities in a friendly, Christian atmosphere.
About Bob and Mary Rotz, founders of Antietam Recreation...
Bob Rotz and Mary Overington grew up in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. They were high school sweethearts. Bob and Mary had been involved with camping in their early years. Bob held summer jobs at Camps Wohelo, Swatare, and Comet. And Mary worked as a counselor and program director at camps in Waynesboro, Maine, Maryland, and Mississippi. Upon finishing high school they attended Lock Haven University graduating in 1971 and were married a few weeks later. Bob, who grew up with horses, designed the horse barn and the other buildings at Antietam Recreation while teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in New Baltimore and Mowry Schools in the Waynesboro School System. He retired from teaching in 1985.
Mary, an outstanding athlete both in high school and college, went on to play for the Mid East USA Field Hockey Team for a number of years. She taught health and physical education at East Jr. High School from 1971 until the birth of her daughter in 1981. The couple completed graduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi where they received their Master Degree and Master Equivalency in Physical Education and Recreation in 1975. Since then the couple has planned, designed, and worked at camp while home-schooling their 5 children. In 1977 when Antietam Recreation opened their doors, their earlier vision of a camp for children became a reality. Today - it's a dream come true.
The day camp has grown from 20 campers to 350 campers per week. Groups rent the facility on Saturdays and school and home school groups utilize the facility May through August. Families and bus groups enjoy the exciting Dinner shows, performed in the fall and winter months.
Back Row: Andy, Jessica, Rob
Front Row: Tim, Bill, Tracey (married to Rob)
The Rotz family has grown to include 5 children and two great grandchildren who are all actively involved in the camp.
Jessica is the office manager, and also enjoys investing in the lives of our camp kids through storytime as well as other avenues. She also serves as the treasurer for Bless India Ministries.
Rob heads up the camp's development projects. In 2006 we were blessed to have Tracey Thompson, who was a secretary in the office, join the family. Rob and Tracey had an outdoor wedding at the camp on August 29th. Robby was born in 2008 and Jake in 2009.
Andy is a world champion roper and is the featured entertainment for our Cowboy Christmas shows. Andy divides his time between Hagerstown and points west such as Branson, MI and Las Vegas, NV were he is pursuing other performance opportunities. (Check out his video on the left!)
Tim directs our Shows as well as producing our video productions. Check out Tim's website at www.timrotz.com. Tim married Kristi Cook here at the camp on September 1st, 2012. Tim and Kristi got to know each other through the many years Kristi's mom directed our Asthma camp. Our family is growing!
Bill is involved in the construction and developement of the camp and is active in the lighting, sound and special effects for the shows.
Bless India Ministries...
Antietam Recreation is pleased to have the U.S. office for Bless India Ministries located at our facility. Bless India is a 501c3 non profit organization that ministers to orphans, widows and pastors in South India. Find out more about what Bless India is doing in India by visiting www.blessindia.com.
Timeline of Antietam Recreation...
1971: The Rotz Family purchased the 32 acres known as the Turner Farm.
1974: The barn construction was completed.
1975: Vision of Antietam Recreation was put on paper and a feasibility study was done.
1976: Tennis court, pool, and field layout construction is completed.
1977: The bathhouse is completed. Antietam Recreation opens its doors as a summer day camp.
1979: Our group picnic programs begins.
1981: The pavilion is constructed.
1985: The carousel ride is added.
1988: The burma bridge is built.
1991: The boatslide, rope swings, barge, tennis court, badmitton court, volleyball court, horshoes pits, and four square area added.
1992: Our school field trips program begins.
1994: The cable ride is added.
1995: The falconhurst tree house is finished.
1998: The chapel and creek pavilions are built. Summer Wild West shows begin.
2001: The pavilion was enclosed in glass. A stone fireplace, sound and lighting system added. Antietam Recreation becomes incorporated.
2003: Cowboy Christmas dinner shows begin.
2005: The summer Wild West Show goes public.
2009: The Valentines Show begins; a junior camp for 5 & 6 year olds was started.
2011: The Century of Song & God & Country Shows begins.
2012: Our summer camp is expanded to include two weeks of Adventure camp for age 14.
2013: Antietam Recreation's Cowboy Christmas Dinner & Show celebrates it's 11th year!