Occasionally, we are asked about different projects that
friends can be involved with at camp. Of course, the big project is the
lodge but, for now, that seems to be some distance in the future. Until
the Lord provides the money for the lodge there are some other things that we
could really use around the camp.
Listed below are six projects that we would love to accomplish as finances become available. We have basically listed them in order of priority.
Tractor for mowing
The process to mow and trim everything around camp takes over 20 hours. We are looking for some ways to reduce the amount of time that we spend mowing so that we can use that time for other profitable projects around the camp.
We have a 10 +/- acre field that we keep mowed. With the exception of the playing field and a few strips along that lane, we mow the field with a brush hog. The playing field and strips along the lane are mowed with our riding mower (see above). The brush hog makes the field look like a field, but a finish mower could make it look more like huge lawn. In addition, an eight foot finish mower would be faster.
Chairs for cabin porches
We are very pleased with the functionality of the cabins, but an extra added feature would be chairs on the front porch. Often campers would love to sit on the front porch but there is nothing to sit on. Counselors also often look for places to sit with a Bible to counsel their campers. Many significant counseling sessions have happened on the front porch after lights out.
Although we currently do have a playing field, it is about 2,250 feet from the hub of our other buildings and activities. Each Monday, this past summer, we had three games on the playing field, so each camper walked over 2.5 miles to and from the playing field in one day. We would like to add a playing field that is much closer to the hub of activities. There would be numerous advantages to having a new playing field. Not only is our current playing field not close, but it is also not level. The new playing field would be close, and level and we also plan to add all the free-time events around the playing field. That would eliminate some of the security issues with campers walking to some of the free time events without the oversight of staff. The excavator would not give as an exact price on the project because there are too many unknowns. Basically, we have split the project into three phases of about $6,000. The first phase would be to remove the trees and stumps. One church is already raising money for that phase and they are scheduled to come and help cut trees. The second phase would be to level the field. This is one of the big unknowns. If they hit a lot of tight shale it could get fairly expensive to level the field. The third phase would be to go out to the ten-acre field at the entrance of our property and strip some topsoil to put on the new playing field. This phase would also include planting grass seed.
To get from the parking lot to the lake view area and lodge there is a steep bank to navigate. Unless you are young and agile, it can be a challenge to climb. We have had more than one of our Young at Heart guests fall trying to go up or down this hill. This is certainly a safety concern.
We are thankful for the ten cabins, pantry, Bear Den, and meeting room (shed) that the Lord has provided. Unfortunately, we currently do not have a way to communicate to everyone on the camp property, play music, or even contact an individual cabin. Also, counselors do not have a way to contact any staff member in case of emergency. We would like to install an all campus PA/Intercom system that would easily expand when we build the lodge. This would certainly be significant help for security concerns.