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#MyHoneyRock Blog

Posted September 10, 2015 by

What building is more than 50 years old, sometimes is nothing more than a closet and has been described as "possibly being the worst building currently owned by Wheaton College" according to Wheaton College President, Dr. Phil Ryken?  Sadly, the answer is ... the HoneyRock Health Center.

Built in the 1960s, the current health center is a summer-only building that does not meet the standards for a medical care facility of the 21st century. The complexity of medical care today requires a fully functioning health center on a year round basis. In order to provide modern medical care that meets the expectations of both our constituency and Wheaton’s Student Health Service Policies, we have hired Diane Reeves, RN, on a permanent basis and have developed a plan to construct a new, up-to-date health center.

"Our health center runs triage, while practicing under the standing orders of a physician and within a defined scope of practice", says Diane. During the summer, HoneyRock's nursing staff most commonly sees insect bites, sprains/strains, sunburns, complaints of pains and aches, cold symptoms and the physical symptoms resulting from homesickness.

4 people walking from Dingin Hall

HoneyRock now operates as a full-time campus:

"With year-around students of college age, we will have different issues related to wilderness trips and living in Northwoods year-round," predicts Diane. To meet the needs of a year-round campus, HoneyRock is planning to build a new health center as an addition to the back of Chrouser Dining Hall. Centrally located, this addition will simplify medication distribution at meals and will allow us to connect with current utilities and septic systems of Chrouser, which provides considerable cost savings.

HoneyRock Health Center Plans


As well as the physical renovations, the new health center will allow upgrades to our medical records system. We plan to link this system to Wheaton College Student Health Services to provide continuity of care between the two campuses for the 1,000 Wheaton students who come to HoneyRock each year. Camper medical records are already electronic but student records are not, making it difficult to appropriately share information between the two campuses.  


HoneyRock Health Center schematic 2      HoneyRock Health center schematic drawing 1

Upon vacating the old health center, we will renovate it to provide three one-bedroom apartments for senior summer staff and graduate students. The old Health Center will be repurposed by summer 2016.

Building the new Health Center and renovating the old will cost $250,000. Led by our Construction Manager, George Polcaster, a significant portion of the work will be completed by our college and high school students. All construction costs will be covered through fundraising. To assist HoneyRock, a $75,000 matching grant has been provided for the Health Center.

To date, we have $180,000 of the $250,000 needed. Toward the matching grant, we have $57,000 raised of the $75,000 goal.  To complete our fundraising goals, we need $52,000 to finish the project and begin breaking ground.

Currently, we are are in the final stages of drawing up the plans and obtaining state building permits, which are expected to be complete in the next few weeks. We hope to put the foundation and exterior walls along with the roof up before mid-November, which is when the ground freezes and our long Northwoods winter comes to stay for the next six months.

We would welcome all donations toward our new Health Center. If you are interested in contributing to this critical project, there are three ways you can contribute:

  1. By Mail: 
    Bonnie Welsh 
    Advancement Services-Wheaton College 
    501 College Ave 
    Wheaton IL 60187 
    When sending a check to Advancement Services, please specify your donation in the memo line (i.e. HoneyRock Health Center).
  2. Call Us:
    Please call Wheaton College's Advancement Services Office at 888.525.9906 and they can process the credit card information for you and answer any questions you may have.
  3. Go Online: 
    Go to giving.wheaton.edu, Wheaton's secure website, and click on Make A Gift Today. Under Designation Options, please be sure to click on "Give to area(s) of your choice," then select HoneyRock under "Programs," and finally, enter Partners (or the fund of your choice) under "Gift comment." (Credit Card payments only. Contact Advancement Services for direct deposit recurring donations.)

Your support is critical as "HoneyRock no longer operates just as a camp, but is now a campus!"

 - Written by Lisa Therron, HoneyRock Marketing Specialist