Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 17

Last Saturday, we had our last work day of the year. Ed Rogers, a camp counselor, brought 5 guys from the work share program he volunteers with. They worked in the Trapline lodge (men's) putting up drywall on the cathedral part of the ceiling in a dorm room. Also here for the work day, was a group from Shepard's College. It's a Christian non-profit that provides residency for people with disabilities, and more recently, they started a post secondary education system for people with disabilities. The students can choose from horticulture and culinary arts. Erin Reynolds, who has been a counselor at camp many times, works at the college organized their coming up for the work day. The college is in Union Grove, WI. They drove up Friday night and stayed in the dorms. The Shepard's group consisted of 9 students and 3 staff. They broke up into three groups and each group worked with a member of the Camp Daniel staff. Below is a picture of the group. They were a lot of fun and we're hoping that they come back again.....only in better weather. Saturday was all about cold, rainy and windy. A lovely combo. But they were troopers, and none complained as much as I! In the end, we got a lot done.I just mentioned the wet weather, which never touched any of this crew! (Yea, I'm a little resentful. And I think they were just showing off in those short sleeve shirts! ) These guys hung drywall with Dave Detloff.

These guys kicked butt. They moved 5 pallets of retaining block. Each block probably weighs 15 lbs.! Do the math. They loaded them onto the trailer, where they were then added to the retaining wall between the Founders House (Jo and Sr) and the Lumberjack Lodge (women's dorm). When they finished moving the block, this group back filled the retaining wall with sand.

This was the group that I worked with. (yes, we were outside the entire day. :( First we mulched the trees that hadn't been mulched during previous work days. Then we moved about two yards of pea gravel. In the pic below, they are unloading the gravel to a location where we can store it until we need it next spring. The pile was left over from the retaining wall that's between the Founders House and the Lumberjack Lodge.
This is where the first group I mentioned was moving sand to back fill the retaining wall.
The kids were having a grand time with "Ooblec", which is a science experiment that Annissa learned in science. It's two parts cornstarch and one part water. When mixed it has this strange ability to change back and forth between a solid and a liquid. If any pressure is applied it gets instantly solid, like a thick clay, but as soon as the pressure is released, it's instantly a drippy liquid. Very cool (and a bit messy, as I'm still finding it in nooks and cranny's. Although maybe I shouldn't blame it on the ooblec, rather the ones making it!)
This week, Tony and the guys have been working by the retaining wall that's between the Founders House and the Lumberjack lodge. Even after the work day, there was still much that needed to be filled. Then they started on the new path that will lead from the dorm down to the lake area. If you're familiar with camp, it's where the stairs are that now lead up to the Founder House. Tony is great at seeing how things could be with elevation changes. None of the rest of us would have been able to make this all make sense and work in a great way to control the flow of run off water, which is always a big concern. In the pic below, you can see where they made a path area that will lead to the stairs. It has retaining wall on the left. Eventually, the area on the right will be even (where there's a hump now) and that area will be blocked in as well, as the pitch there is pretty steep.
This is a closer shot.
This is from the bottom looking up the stairs. I just took this picture today, but it's already out of date as the retaining wall already goes across the stairs. This isn't all going to make sense, so you'll just have to figure it out with the future pictures.
Molly and I have both been in the Christmas mood. We both took advantage of the warm weather last week and hung up outside Christmas lights. Molly finished hers this week. Plus she's been working a bunch on the camper's Christmas cards. It takes time (and some racking of the memory) to figure out exactly which picture goes in each camper's card. Camp Daniel has been sending Christmas cards with a picture of each camper for years. Of course, every year the list gets longer and our memories are having a hard time keeping up!
I started putting up decorations in our house, which makes the kids very happy. I'm thinking that a fun December blog will have to be all pics of the staff houses Christmas decorations/trees.

The question was asked after the last blog about what the white rectangles are on the gable ends of the dorms. Good question, and maybe there's others wondering the same thing, so I thought I'd blog the answer. The white that you see is Tyvec house wrap. Those areas don't have any siding, but have a 2x4 frame around them. Each dorm has 4, one on each elevation. They will have a sign in them indicating which building each is. So the signs will say either "Lumberjack Lodge" or "Trapline Lodge". They each have lighting over them. I will be painting those this winter, and I'll be sure to blog them after they get hung. By each dorm room door is a place for a much smaller sign that will indicate the name of that room; Red Oak Cabin, White Birch Cabin, Bobcat Cabin, etc. Many of the Camp Daniel staff, after all these years, still don't know the names of the cabins at Lake Helen. So this will avoid that scenario when we have camp on our own grounds!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday November 13

We have continued to excavate and smooth out dirt, and plant trees too. The area in the pic below is between the two dorms but closer to the Lumberjack Lodge (women's dorm, or one that's further along). Last weekend this was not ready to go. Tony did a bunch of excavating with the bulldozer to get proper pitch and elevation all around this dorm. It was then covered in about 4 inches of top soil, then planted with trees. We've pretty much established where the paths will be, so those areas are just sand. The planted areas are roped off to keep cars, golf carts and people off.I didn't get many pics in the last blog, so some of these are from last Saturday's work day. The shot below is from the Trapline Lodge (men's dorm) looking at Lumberjack Lodge. This was taken on a new burmed area.

The pic below is looking the same direction. Every tree you see was just planted in the past two weeks.
This picture is looking at the south end of the Trapline Lodge (men's). The road that goes around the property is on your right. Most of this area was planted with grass, but there are also many small trees in there as well.
This is standing on that road and looking north. You can see both dorms. This is what we call instant woods. It makes Little Tony very happy.

This is another shot of the burm that's next to the road by the Trapline Lodge.
Moving to the other end of the property: This view is taken from Jo and Tony's driveway. It's looking down on Lumberjack lodge. This was the area that Tony excavated.
This is George after I woke him up. George, and the rest us, all knew that 3 days of sunny 60 degree weather in November in this neck of the woods is something that must be appreciated and taken full advantage of. We all did a lot of last-time-before-it-snows cleaning up. Karol cleaned up a few more gardens, laid some concrete garden edging and took the tags off of all of the trees. Jen did some raking, and Marceaux was working on the tractor while it was warm. Tony was on the bulldozer until it was borrowed by someone. Tim and the guys did more work on Molly's roof as well.
Molly's roof is now pretty much all green. Still lots of trim and edging to do though.

Below is the garden area that was planted last weekend, and the brick edging put in this week.

The guys also worked on insulation in the Trapline Lodge. It's amazing how much little stuff there is to do when preparing for winter! We've put away the picnic tables, benches and all tables and chairs. Grills were put away. Leaves raked, gardens cut back, trees mulched, and the list goes on.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sunday, November 7

shortly after the last blog, Tim and the guys installed the roof on the pump house portion of Molly's house. Then the rainy weather came, and they moved indoors, where they've done most of their work since. The men's dorm (Trapline Lodge) needs to be heated for winter. To get the heat going, it needed to be fully insulated. To insulate, all of the ceilings needed to be drywalled. Most rooms had been done, but the bathroom ceilings were done this past week. They finished insulating the walls as well. Then Tim rented a hopper machine that blows the insulation. It made quite a dusty mess. The guys had to take the plastic wrapping off of the bags then feed them into the machine, which blew it thru the hose, where Tim could direct the insulation.

The other big job done since the last blog, was planting of trees. Again this fall, we were blessed to get a huge donation of trees and shrubs from Green Bay Nursery. It has taken Tony and Tim many trips to Green Bay with the trailer to get the 140 plus trees and shrubs here. Also included in the donation, was 4 truck loads of mulch, and three loads of retaining wall block. Many of the trees were huge - not balled and burlapped, but with large metal cages around the root ball. Many of these trees weighed upwards of a couple hundred pounds! With each tree, we had to decide where to put it, dig a hole, remove sand from hole and replace with dirt, plant tree, water tree, and mulch. All of this 140 plus times! Tony and the guys got a lot done, then we had a work day on Saturday. Two college students from Concordia came and helped all of the Camp Daniel staff finish planting the trees. We got all of the trees in the ground, but some still need to be mulched. The job now will be getting them adequate water thru the fall. It's great to have instant forest with all of the large trees planted. We got a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. The mix will give us great diversity. Dave Detloff also came up for the work day. He put up trim in the women's dorm.

Karol and Tim have been organizing the last work day of the year, which will be next Saturday.
Karol has also spent time finding fabric for the curtains in the Lumberjack Lodge. She wants to find fabrics for each dorm room that represent each room's theme. Some were found at a Green Bay fabric store, others will be ordered online.

Jen and Marceaux made it back safely from their trip to Montana. They had a Special Olympics bowling tournament last Sunday. One of the Able teams is moving on to state!
Jen, Marceaux, Molly and the rest from Able in Action did a service project. They raked leaves for an elderly woman from Living Hope Church. They also helped someone who needed help moving last Friday.
In addition to these Able activities, Molly's been doing some weeding, planting and fall clean up. She sent thank you notes to her supporters, and sent another newsletter/support letter to those on her mailing list. Every week Molly lays out and prints the bulletin for Able. And she was in charge of the women's bible study on the Tuesdays that Jen and Marceaux were gone.