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Carter Family Center Groundbreaking

Orefield, PA (January 23, 2024) – Valley Youth House is thrilled to announce that ground was broken today for their new state-of-the-art recreation and education center, the Carter Family Center, located at Camp Fowler in Orefield, PA.

Plans for the Carter Family Center were approved on January 2, 2024 by the North Whitehall Township Board of Supervisors. The new recreation and education center will be about 5,000 square feet in size, and will include the Schamberger STEM Lab as well as an Arts Lab, camp coordinators office, break room, and a storage space – a welcome addition to the extensive programming offered by Valley Youth House at Camp Fowler.

“It’s exciting to see the Carter Family Center project moving forward,” said Eric Scheler, VP of Construction at Watson Land Company. “This facility will complement the recently completed cabin rebuild project and add a vital new education and recreation facility for our youth to utilize during their camp experience. The efforts of all those involved are greatly appreciated and the long range planning of Camp Fowler continues to become more in focus.”

Camp Fowler was established in 2004 and offers a variety of programs that utilize nature’s restorative and stress-reducing benefits to provide therapeutic outdoor experiences for young people. In addition to the summer programs, Valley Youth House also rents out the camp throughout the year to different organizations such as Pennsylvania State Police Troop N Camp Cadet, and Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Camp Red Jacket.

“Valley Youth House has been a mainstay in our community for the past 50 years in providing innovative ways to help children and families become stronger. Camp Fowler provides fun, restorative outdoor education programs for children from all walks of life to explore the outdoors and grow physically, mentally and emotionally,” said Tom Harrington, President & Executive Director of Valley Youth House. “The Carter Family Center will provide our team with additional in-door, year-round space to work with groups of children, including local school groups, church groups and Scout troops, in providing these exciting educational programs,” he added.

At the end of 2021, through the generous donation of her home in South Carolina, Valley Youth House received a lead gift from Tammy Carter to help with the campaign to build the Carter Family Center. The vision for the Carter Family Center is to have a recreation and education center to round out services for Valley Youth House’s young campers. The agency envisions a space for indoor activities and educational programming to complement their enrichment programs. The Carter Family Center will expand the usefulness of the camp for Valley Youth House clients, as well as for the many community groups that use Camp Fowler.

“We are thrilled to help celebrate this exciting milestone on the journey to bring the dream of the Carter Family Center at Camp Fowler to life. Our team is quite literally ready to dig in and get to work preparing this dynamic recreation center to serve the youth of our community,” shared James (Jim) Hoolehan, President of Penntex Construction, the Carter Family Center’s construction management partner who is donating their project oversight services in support of the effort. “We are grateful to our many trusted construction partners and vendors who did not hesitate in stepping up beside us to go the extra mile in their commitment of talent and resources to help ensure this new vital community resource could become a reality.”

Valley Youth House would also like to thank their executive planning committee and generous donors for ensuring that Camp Fowler continues to serve young people for many years to come.

Executive Planning Committee:

Mike Brady, Valley Youth House

Richard Brooks, Brooks Development Group

Jason Englehardt, LANGAN

Matt Galle, Valley Youth House

Mackintyre Garber, NORR Architects

Tom Harrington, Valley Youth House

James (Jim) W. Hoolehan, PE, Penntex Construction Co., Inc.

Chris A. Jacangelo, PA P.G., J. Rockwood & Associates, Inc.

Rick Koze, Kay Builders, Inc.

Mark Mancini, Valley Youth House

Kristin Moeser, Penntex Construction Co., Inc.

Tony Perri, NORR Architects

James F. Preston, Esq., Broughal & DeVito

William Schaefer, PE, LANGAN

Eric Scheler, Watson Land Company

Christina J. Schoemaker, Valley Youth House

Kristen Walsh, Valley Youth House

Melissa Welsh, Penntex Construction Co., Inc.

William Westhafer, AIA, NORR Architects

Visionary Sponsors

ATAS International, Inc.

Brooks Development Group

Broughal & DeVito

Tammy Carter & Family

Kay Builders, Inc.


Muschlitz Excavating

NORR Architects

Penntex Construction Co., Inc.

Elizabeth & Patrick Schamberger

Watson Land Company

Catalyst Contributors

4 Winds Concrete, Inc.

BEI Electrical

Cope Commercial Flooring & Interiors, Inc.

CP Rankin

Door Supply of N.J., Inc.

Geo-Technology Associates, Inc.

James Hardle Building Products, Inc.

John A. Kortvely Geologist, Inc.

Lithko Contracting, LLC

Malishchak Brothers, Inc.

M A Yeakle Sons, Inc.

Mbengue Painting Company

Niagara Bottling, LLC

Nu Cor Management, Inc.


J. Rockwood & Associates, Inc.

Rutkoski Fencing, Inc.

Schaible’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Service Electric Cable TV & Communications

Smith Miller Associates