Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday, July 30 2010

The youth group from a Catholic church in Des Plaines, IL has been coming to Camp Daniel for one week work missions trips for a number of years now. It all started with Cherylee Hamilton at the opera. She got to talking to a lady next to her whom had a home on a lake somewhere around here, and she hosted this group every other year while they did work at the Rainbow House in Marinette. She got us hooked up with the group. For a few years they alternated between Rainbow House and Camp Daniel. Then that lady sold her house, so the group started coming to work at Camp Daniel every year. They are very organized and really know what they're doing. They have a great system down of breaking the group up into "families" of 5 with a college age leader. Each family takes turns doing meals and chores. And each family has a project to work on for the week. Their youth leader, Deacon Jim, comes out in the winter and a couple of times in the spring to decide on projects for them do to and to order stuff from Menards. They raise all of the money needed to do the projects. This year they worked on four different projects:
I have only one picture to represent this massive job. They put capstone on many many running feet of retaining wall. Many had to be cut to fit and they were all glued into place. The capstones really finish off the walls. They put in a nice gravel path from the Hartley House deck stairs, thru the wildflower garden and to the sidewalk near the nature center. They dug up the grass/weed/dirt that was on the already established path. They used concrete edging pieces and filled the path with compacted gravel.

The most difficult project that the group worked on was a simple gazebo or shelter. It has a gravel floor. Eventually, we'll build in benches between the posts. The shelter will be used for prayer and nature studies.

Finally, they installed a long retaining wall at the edge of the sand between the dorm and Tony and Jo's house. There's a huge grade difference between the two, probably 8 or 10 feet, so this retaining wall will hold back the hill.

They did a great job, and this group is such a blessing. They all include the guys in whatever they're doing. Of course, George is in heaven with all the people around, too. We've been doubly blessed to have some of the kids come back as counselors at camp. We hope to have more, and look forward to next year!

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

It's been so long since I've last blogged, that I don't really know where to start. So I guess I'll try to go back to the last entry. I gave it a quick look before starting this one, and I saw that I said that the water was coming any time. Well things didn't turn out quite like planned. In the pic below the well guys were running lines for the well. In the sandy soil, to get 15' deep, you have to go pretty wide. The next day the other crew came to finish the process, but they dug up the power lines going to the dorm (not their fault, as the lines were not where everyone thought they were). So this happened in the afternoon on the Friday before 4th of July weekend. We were able to get the power company to come turn off the power that day, but we didn't get power restored until after we were already at camp, so that's over a week. When the power lines were ripped out of the box that's connected to the building, the guts of the box got all busted up. So Tony spent the rest of that Friday calling around trying to get what we needed asap. It was hard to even get a hold of people as many were already on holiday. Tony finally got the sole person at the place that makes them in Milwaukee. It was gonna cost $1,200. Tony didn't even give the lady a sob story, but he did give her our website, which, we assume, she must have looked at because we got the part donated. Tony found out later that she has a child with a disability. Tim Mandich was able to pick up the part in Green Bay that day. Pretty cool ending to a really crappy scenario. Even after getting the part, it was a slow process getting all of the utilities up and running. The hot water wasn't running until today because the lines had to be pressure tested first. Tomorrow a culligan man will be coming to adjust the settings on the water softeners, which don't appear to be doing much of anything right now. So while the power was out, the week before camp it was all about tiling and grouting. Some days it was just Tim and I, and some days we had the help of many on the Camp Daniel staff. I worked thru the Wednesday before camp, but I had to stop at that point to get camp stuff ready. Tim and the guys kept at it. Tim built the stall dividers, hung the doors, finished trim, installed trim, and did a bunch of mechanical stuff that I don't know anything about. He did have the help of Jerry Reiss, a plumber from Crivitz. He put in a lot of hours setting toilets and sinks and working on the instant hot water heaters. I think he also hooked up the used water softeners that were donated to us by the Catholic Church in Wausaukee. His help was a Huge Blessing! We were also very appreciative of Rick and Carol Bub, whom helped trim the Silver Birch dorm room. Both the Bub's and Jerry even worked while we were at camp. Tim was also able to sneak away on the Monday of each camp. He also worked on the day off between the camps. When we broke camp on Saturday, Tim came back to Camp Daniel in the morning to finish things up. I jumped in when I got back at about noon. It was crazy how much work was left to do. The place was a disaster and many things still needed to be installed, including the shower curtains. You wouldn't think that shower curtains would be that big of a deal, but you would be so very wrong. It's hard to explain verbally, but we needed to divide the shower area into 4 sections; two shower areas, with two dressing areas. All needed curtains for dividers (for certain wheelchair situations). It took Tony and I probably two hours at Menards figuring out how to do it and which materials would look the best and be durable. Well, it all made sense at the store two weeks ago, but yesterday, it was just a blur. It didn't help that some of the parts we bought got separated and lost. Well, we struggled thru and got over half of them up yesterday, but then we needed more parts. When you live in Athelstane, there's no quick runs to Menards. Tony's getting the parts we need today. (He had to go to Green Bay anyways for a meeting with the Hilliard Foundation. We're raising funds for the kitchen/dining hall) So as soon as he gets back, we'll get that done, so that the youth group can have some privacy in the showers. Our Lady youth group got here at about 6pm, which was another blessing, because I was afraid they were going to show up at 4, which wouldn't have been pretty. We had done what we could when they got here, but they didn't have hot water and the dorms reeked because of the coat of poly protectant that Tim had put down in the Red Oak bath just two hours previous. They couldn't walk on that floor til about 9 last night. Below is the pic of the Silver Birch dorm room. The adults from the youth group are staying in there.
Below is the pic of the Red Oak bath. Oh yea, forgot the mention that the mirrors were delivered on Saturday and installed on Saturday too. Also forgot to mention that Joel Bosaki helped Tim trim on Saturday for a few hours. Every little bit of help helps.

Below you can see the shower area and water closet stall doors in the Red Oak bath.

I didn't really say what the deal is with this youth group. In summary, this youth group, from DesPlaines, IL has been coming up to Camp Daniel for a week long missions trip for about 3 years running, and about 2 or 3 times when they were coming every other year. They are a great group that raises all of their own funds for the supplies for whatever projects that they are doing. They are an organized and friendly bunch that are a treat to have around. They are self sufficient enough that it's not a hassle to have them here the week between the camps. And for me, the best part is that they feed all of us all week!!!!! The guys, and George all love hanging out with the kids. I'll blog again later this week and explain more. I'm sure that you're sick of reading this by now anyways.
Oh yea, almost forgot, we had two weeks of camp since I last blogged too!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday, July 2

It's been a busy week, and the days will only continue to get busier and more hectic. It's different this year, from most because of the deadline to get the two dorm room/bathrooms and new sound and stage trailer done before camp. All on the heels of the Kenya missions trip to boot. So Molly's been doing all of the computer work and data entry for camp. Plus figuring out all of the special diets, which is quite the job, in and of itself. Tony's been working on camp stuff. Finalizing camper/counselor matchups is a major undertaking. Yesterday he had two meetings in Green Bay, then did a bunch of errand running. He's working on the theme for the chapel for camp, buying clothes for the dummies, etc. Tim and Karol have been tiling. After Tim leaves for the day, then Karol works on camp stuff. Unfortunately she's behind on getting camp crafts done and packed, but is now moving along. Yesterday, Bob Wegman came out after lunch to help tile. What a blessing that was. A lot was accomplished and pretty soon the grouting can commence. Below you see Anthony helping out by taking out the stabilizing screws that have to be used to hold the tile up til dried. Tuesday the well drilling company came out to drill the well for both dorms (the bathrooms won't do us much good without water!!). The pump guys are here now, so hopefully we'll have H2O today.
The guys played lumberjack when the well trucks were here. We have this pile of huge logs that will become posts for the dorm porches, and it was in the way. Each log was rolled off behind the dorm.

Anthony and Tony have been collecting treasure for months. Well this week they took a quite plain trunk (yea for super clearance at Hobby Lobby) and transformed it into a super treasure chest. You really need to see it in person. Lots of awesome detailing. But hey, that's what makes Camp Daniel, right?!

Marceaux got the new axel on the trailer that will be the sound and stage trailer (I'll explain more later). Jen helped Jo with the immense amount of patch sewing that needed to be done. We buy plain hats and shirts and order the patches, then just attach with glue and sew. Tim Kelly and his crew of the Hartley House guys do all of the cleaning, setting up and tearing down at camp. They're called the Pit Crew, so we went with a racing theme and got them a "uniform" of matching hats and shirts in red with black and white. Anthony is excited to join the team this year.