Flintlocks and MACC Work Together to Build Quonset Hut

The Flintlocks and the Mount Allamuchy Construction Corps (MACC) worked together to build a Quonset hut storage building at Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation last year. The building is used to store the ATVs owned by the council, and for winter storage of the camp’s tent boxes and cots. It is located at Camp Somers near the parade field.

Pictured from left are George Van Dyke, Chris Kennett and Frank Wallace after working on the Quonset hut at Camp Somers.

The dimensions of the Quonset hut are 24 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 18 feet high. MACC put together the metal frame in the fall of 2018. The Flintlocks started working on this project at Allamuchy on Wednesdays starting in April 2019, and finished the project in August 2019.

The story goes that someone ordered a metal Quonset hut kit for his residential backyard, but, after it was delivered, he discovered that it was not allowed by his town building zoning. Since he could not use it, and could not return it, he donated it to the Boy Scouts of America, Patriot’s Path Council. It sat unused at Allamuchy for over a decade. In 2018 Chris Szymczak and Russ Jenkins, who are members of both the Flintlocks and the MACC, and Flintlocks Frank Wallace, George Van Dyke, Al Thomas and Harold Bork decided that it should finally be built.

Examining the kit, they found a stack of 56 steel parts and four buckets containing over 6,000 nuts and bolts, but no instructions! (Real men don’t need to read the instructions anyway). The building is made up of eight steel arches, each of which is assembled by bolting together seven curved steel segments. Chris Szymczak is an engineer and helped to design and organize the construction. Chris, Frank and Russ went to MASR on the regular MACC weekend to instruct the MACC volunteers how to assemble the frame. The MACC assembled the massive metal frame over two weekends in October and November 2018. Then, working from April through August 2019, the Flintlocks constructed the front wall, back wall, doors, windows, trim, fixtures and lofts.

They decided to put sliding barn doors on the front and back to make easy access for the ATVs. There are two windows above the doors both front and back for some natural illumination. The front and back walls were made out of pressure treated decking, so they should last in the weather for many years. An electrical junction box was placed on a pole nearby because the Flintlocks plan to install inside lighting next year.

First the guys built inside framing to reinforce the metal structure. One difficult part was installing the beams, which were 24 feet long and weighing 300 pounds each. The Flintlocks constructed the beams by layering 2 x 8s with plywood then 2x6s underneath, and bolting the three layers together. The beams needed to be slightly cambered so that when loaded, they would settle down straight. Al Thomas brought his farm jack that can lift heavy objects up to 12 feet, which was used to lift the 300-pound beams into place.

The MACC spent two weekends working on the Quonset hut: October 20, 2018, and November 3, 2018. MACC members who participated included President Carl Zipper, Rachel Adams, Ryan Gallagher, James Hitchings, Russ Jenkins, Doug Jenkins (and his young son Andy Jenkins), Sean Johnson, Emily Locke, Matt McGuinness, Patrick McGuinness, Tom Mauriello, Sam Minetti, Tom Peterson, Brendan Stokes (and his dog Moose) and Chris Szymczak

The Flintlocks working on the project were Harold Bork, Chris Kennett, Russ Jenkins, Randy Johnson, Ed Sharpless, Chris Szymczak, Al Thomas, George Van Dyke and Frank Wallace. MACC guys coming on Wednesdays were Barry Bird, Leo Redmond and Tom Mollica. The volunteers came up to the camp on Wednesdays from April through August to complete this project.

The Quonset Hut is a big improvement to the camp, and will provide storage for many years to come. This is a good example of how the volunteer organizations work together to help the Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America, offer outstanding outdoor experiences.

The Flintlocks are a 501c3 with 27 retired Scouters and meet every Thursday at Camp Winnebago. We are currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus shutdown. Check the Facebook Page “Flintlocks” for updates, or contact Flintlocks Secretary Dr. D. Michael Hart at [email protected].

MACC is a co-ed group of MASR staff alumni and other friends of the camp ages 18 and up who volunteer one weekend a month at the Allamuchy Scout Reservation. For info contact MACC President Carl Zipper at [email protected].

Wood framing was used to reinforce the metal structure of the hut.

The Quonset hut at Camp Somers begins to take shape.

The two windows above the sliding barn doors help bring in natural light.