The late Oscar and Virginia Ebner bought Camp Awosting for Boys in 1948, having worked there for many years before. Chinqueka was founded by them in 1955, as a response to the Awosting parents that kept asking “What about my daughter?” The land was purchased from the Doll family in 1953 and construction began soon after. The only buildings on the property at the time were the Lodge, the boathouse, and the carriage house (now the canteen building). Chinqueka opened its gates to the first campers in 1955 – there were only 4 cabins and no dining hall! Camp opened that year with 35 campers and 10 staff, plus administration and support staff. Meals were cooked and served in the Lodge! The dining hall was built in 1959, along with more cabins to serve the increasing number of girls.
Chinqueka began with very few activities – arts & crafts, trailblazing, dance, drama, music, swimming & boating, archery, writing, sports, and gymnastics. Virginia was a true believer in teaching the arts – we have the Virginia R. Ebner Creative Arts trophy presented each summer to prove it! 50+ years later, we offer over 25 different activities, including those Chinqueka was founded with, as well as photography, video filmmaking, bungee trampoline, martial arts, motor sports, and so much more.
Today, Chinqueka proudly welcomes 140 girls to each session, whether they stay for 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks. We also are proud of the fact that our “family” consists of young women from all over the world. We believe in fun with a purpose – yes, you will learn how to shoot an arrow or paddle a canoe. You will also learn patience, self-reliance, how to live with a group of peers, and acceptance. We strive to help our girls become the women they are meant to become.