Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday, September 29

Well alot has happened since our last blog last week, but I think I'll focus on the youth work weekend we just had. The Faith Presbyterian Church (Crivitz) youth group sponsored the work weekend. We also invited all of the younger counselors that we had at Camp this summer. Most of the kids came Friday night and worked thru Sunday at noon. The above picture really captures this group. Getting stuff done, while never losing sight of having fun and being a bit dramatic! There were 15 to 20 workers here, and let me show you how much they got done:

Joe T, Pat Neitzer and Nick hanging drywall in the Trapline Lodge dorm room that will be used as a work room this winter.
Nick and Brian were able to do some plastering under the mentorship of Luke Kotecki.

Luke did all of the high plastering after they taped all of the joints and put the metal corner pieces on the outside corners.

Here the kids are "working" at spreading topsoil around the Trapline Lodge. Looks like they're having too much fun..

Tim had Pat do some caulking on the Trapline Lodge.

Now we get to the bulk of work that was done. Staining. Here Molly and Emily Neitzer are staining a porch on the Trapline Lodge. They did three of the four, as the fourth one had too much stuff in the way to get to the siding.

Karol bleached the eight dormers on the Lumberjack Lodge where the siding had turned black from the snow sitting up against the wood. After she was done, Nick Sterry, Johanna Hensler, McKenna Kelly and Emily braved the dangers of being on the roof and stained all eight dormers.

JoJo was a bit nervous, but she did great!

The kids found a great way to have fun. A hose and sand. Really, the possibilities are endless.

More staining...
Did I mention that they stained?

Last Friday, Anthony got to drive the excavator all by himself, for the first time. Tony stood outside the cab and told him what to do. He moved loads of gravel into the dump truck, to be used on the roads.
Also here on Saturday were Jerry Reiss, Dewey Sessler and two of his boys. They started the plumbing in the Trapline Lodge. They ran supply lines, and ran lines to where the furnace and water heaters will be. Also, a faucet was installed so that we have water in that dorm now for construction purposes. It was a huge jump start to getting that building done. Tim also had them move an outside faucet on the back of the craft cabin and install the washing machine in the basement of said building. We're always extra appreciative to have skilled labor here on work days. Tim was not about to let either of these guys touch a staining brush!!
So when the dust settled, and the staining brushes were all clean, here's what the teens did in a weekend: stained the entire Lumberjack Lodge, stained the logs on the Trapline lodge, raked out dirt, stained the Hartley House deck, stairs and lattice, filled in the trenches from the buried propane tanks, drywalled one ceiling, got about half done on the plaster work for ceiling of dorm in Lumberjack, caulked some of the Trapline Lodge.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday September 20

Tony and I have always said that there's so much work done that no one will ever realize. Some of that is just brain time; time spent thinking about the best way to do something, and some of it is physical work that goes unnoticed because, in the end, it just looks "right". The main example of this phenomena is the excavation of the grounds: knocking down hills a few feet, making a level area larger, easing a grade difference, making low areas for run off water to gather in, etc. Well, this past week there's been a lot of this kind of thing going on. Tony and Tim have spent a lot of time in the bulldozer and excavator, respectively. Don't forget to give Marceaux credit for keeping those old beasts running! So it all started with the need to dig the trenches for the lines that will carry the propane to the dorm heaters. (Remember that the propane tanks were installed a couple of weeks ago) That led to the need to decide where poured concrete walkways would be, which, in turn lead to Tony bulldozing to get to a finished grade. Once he started he realized that the second (men's or Trapline Lodge) was a good 2-3' lower than the other dorm. This required a way to grade change without all of the water running in towards the building. So he cut away a bunch of the fill and he and I spend the better part of the day trying to decide how to grade the property. Of course, one thing always leads to another, and what started out with sidewalks turned into where every upcoming building would be. And after all of that, we didn't really make firm decisions on much of what was being contemplated. Kinda overwhelming, really. So in the end, he dozed away a lot of dirt. I wish I could guess at how much, but I cannot. I can tell you that Friday, while Tony was dozing, Tim would get in the excavator, load the dump truck with fill that Tony had piled up, then get out of the excavator, and into the dump truck, which he would drive to the round about and dump. Over and over and over. Saturday, Mike Waldrop came for the work day and ran the dump truck while Tim ran the excavator, so they probably got twice as much moved as Friday. Still, over and over and over. And after all that..... It just looks "right". I know that this pic is boring, but here's a shot of a couple of the truck loads of fill that were moved.
On Saturday, we had a work day for the people of Able Church. About 6 of the girls came to Camp Daniel after Able on Friday and spent the weekend. About a 6 more people came for the day on Saturday. They really got alot done. One of the main jobs (which they finished by noon!) was to dig the trenches for the propane lines. They also started spreading top soil by the dorms, which is a huge job that will probably take the rest of the year.

They also finished staining all of the cedar shakes that we have!! If you've ever helped with this job ( I know that many of you have) you can understand the elation that tore thru this group upon completion of the last shake. This was a seemingly never ending job, that's been in progress for about 3 years. (I didn't have the heart to tell them that we'll probably have to buy more to finish the building exteriors)

Molly and Jen got started staining the Hartley House deck railing. The rest will be power washed this week and hopefully stained this weekend.A week or two ago, when Tony was working on the rock and mortar, I showed pictures of the new Camp Daniel sign. Well he worked on it on Saturday, and a few hours on Sunday. He had help from Anthony, Karol and Richard. Below you can see Anthony using the XL belt sander on the 6x6 posts that were used for this project. That sander is a beast, but Anthony had it well under control!The sign is almost done. A roof will go on still and the mortar between the stones needs to be done.
Sunday, we stopped and looked at a used Bobcat on the way home from church. It has the rubber tracks that we need (which are hard to find). Tony googled reviews of the machine and it seems to be a good choice for us, as it doesn't do damage to finished areas (grass, black top, etc). Tony inquired about the machine, and the guy called me today, so I asked a few questions, but I think that they're asking more than we can afford right now. Bummer.
I spent some time last night researching grass seed for the dorm areas. We're looking into planting a fine fescue blend, which is considered a "no mow" grass. It's natural looking without being tall and "weedy". And this type of grass likes sandy soil. Hip Hip Horray, cause we are all about the sand around here. Tony will go to Stein today to see if they carry a fescue blend. If not, we'll probably order it online from a place in Wisconsin. There really are not many "no brainer" decisions. Everything seems to involve either a lot of contemplation or a lot of research.
Today Jen is finshing the staining of the Hartley House deck railing, Molly is working on Able stuff, Tony is at meetings at church, Tim is drywalling the mechanical room of dorm 2 so that the plumbers coming this weekend have plumbing work to do, and well, you know what I've been doing. So I think I'll stop and get some other stuff done while we have nice weather!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, September 14

Since blogging last, we've been doing a lot of little stuff. Ya know, cleaning this, mowing that, finishing the details on the other. There was a fun push to get stuff done before the picnic last Saturday, so here's some of that. Tony and Richard did a lot of rock and mortar. This pic shows the bocce ball court with the cultured stone all on, and the cap stones on as well. The caps and the rocks both still need finishing mortar in the joints, but it already looks awesome! Tim put additional coats of poly on the floors of the two finished dorm rooms. Then he put two coats of wax on them. The wax will protect the finish from scratches. We got bunk beds out of storage, cleaned up and put together in the two finished rooms. Now you get a much better view of how the room will be used. Although these are not the bed we will be using when we have camp here, they will work for now for work days and any other times that people want to stay on the grounds. We bought these beds a couple of years ago from Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Appleton. We got a great deal on them, and we're appreciative to have them to use for now.
We are in the middle of a sale of the excavator, trailer and dump truck. Which is great news as that gets us quite a bit closer to getting a Bobcat (plus Senior is happy to have less mess to look at around here!!) So before the excavator is gone, Tim is getting everything done with it that we need to do. We have a huge pile of top soil, that's been where the new garage will be going, for a number of years. We've used only a portion of it so far. Tim used the excavator to break it up and move it closer to the road so that it can be spread out by the dorms. Tony was using the bulldozer today to sculpt the land around the dorms so that it's ready for the dirt.
Marceaux has been fixing lots of different things. What a blessing to have a mechanic here. He works on everything, from the golf carts, to mini vans, to heavy equipment. He's also taken on mowing the majority of grass on the property.
Karol worked on a garden adding dirt and transplanting some things. She's also working on polyurethaning in the dorm baths. Jen's been working on Special Olympics stuff. There's really quite a bit involved in running a team. Lots of paper work, etc. Molly's been working on post cards and other correspondence for Able. Chrissy has been working on the email list for work days. We have many addresses wrong. So if you haven't received an email for work days, and would like to, please email Chrissy at She's also working on the next Camp Daniel newsletter, and organizing meals for upcoming work days.
Tim and the guys have also been working on the second dorm. They drywalled the ceiling in the bathroom that will be used to store tools. Today Tim got shelving up so that we can stay better organized. The plan is to get all of the work stuff moved over so that the first dorm can be finished by the end of winter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday, September 1

The time has just flown by since camp ended. Jim and Rhonette Hukill stayed at Camp Daniel for 4 days after camp, then we all helped out with the Extreme Home Makeover Concert in Green Bay on Friday. The Saturday after camp all of the staff went to the Renaissance Faire in Bristol. We went for fun and Tony wanted everyone to experience the thoroughly immersive themed environment that you experience there. It's what we want our theme days/meals at camp to be like. As staff, we should be committed to our characters and themes. Like we'd be a cowboy weather everyone else were there or not. We got back to normal work after that. Tim and the guys started preparing the dorms for the work to be done this fall and winter. Jen, Marceaux, Karol and Tony went up north to Tony's family cabin for three days as a time to get to know one another better. This week Tony started mortar work. In the pic below, he's working on the new sign at the entrance to Camp Daniel (the old wood one rotted and fell down last fall. The sign has been on a temporary holder, as you can see in the picture) All of the block will be covered with cultured stone. We ran out of corners, so it'll get done in the coming days.
The guys have been working in the men's dorm (Trapline Lodge) getting ready for winter. They've been insulating one bathroom and one dorm room. When the insulation is done, Tim will help them drywall the ceiling (or lid, as Tim refers to them). Then these two rooms will be the new work room. We are currently using a room in the other dorm (Lakeside Lodge) for this purpose, but we want to finish all of the room in that dorm, so all the stuff has to be moved. Both dorms will be heated this winter, which will enable work all year! Just think, warm and toasty work days! How can you pass that up! We'll be looking to see you all in January.

This is the dorm room. It just has plastic because after the "lids" are on, Tim will blow in the insulation instead of using blanket insulation. Tony also did mortar work on the bocce court. He had to add concrete block on the ends to match the heights. Then he put cultured stone on all of the block work, which covers three sides of the court.

Monday and Tuesday Tim used the excavator to dig large holes for the propane tanks that will service the two dorms. We're happy to have these out of sight as they are an eyesore that's hard to hide.