Monday, July 21, 2014

Day after Camp

We, at Camp Daniel, have recently finished our first two weeks of summer camp.  Our year long interns, Steve and Nick, were joined by 5 summer interns, for 6 weeks this summer.  As a group, the interns ran group rec time at camp, including messy games.  They each also had campers both weeks.  The 7 interns were  cabin leaders, helping out other campers and counselors.  They also organized and ran evening meetings specifically for the teens at camp.  The group did a great job in all these things, and were tired after camp ended.  They enjoyed a nap on Saturday, but Sunday afternoon they were back at work, getting ready for a group of 30 people that were on their way for a work week at Camp Daniel.  The group is re-installing a retaining wall by the garage.  The old way had to be dismantled.  In the photo below, the interns were joined by Anthony, Richard and Nick to move hundreds on concrete retaining block.  The foreground captures many of the blocks already done.
 The guys showing off a bit.
 The girls couldn’t be outshined by a  bunch of guys!  
They worked with Tony on final preparations in the barn, like putting away tools.  They also helped Tony build a new ramp for the chapel at Lake Helen.
Since camp ended, the interns have had multiple meetings with Karol and Tony evaluating the first two weeks of camp, planning for the next two, and going over lots of leadership skills.  Today, they also helped Trish by weeding most of the property.  And some time yesterday was spent mowing grass, sweeping sidewalks by the lake, and cleaning the snack stand for the arriving work group.

So proud of this crew!  
Camp Daniel is so blessed!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

St. Paul’s of Sheboygan Falls Work Week

 Last week, Camp Daniel was very blessed to have a great work week with a great group of people.  St Paul’s Lutheran, in Sheboygan Falls, is the home church of the Weidner family.  It was through their connection that we connected with the pastor in charge of the missions trip for this year.  There were 17 people here from the Sunday afternoon of Father’s Day until Friday afternoon.  Kids and adults alike fused to make one team.   They were put to work on multiple jobs on the Camp Daniel campus.  The most important job needing done was putting on the metal roofing on the new building. Our guys worked alongside the volunteers to get a large job done.  In the photo above, you see them putting a panel on the roof.  It was a 6 man job just to do that as the long roofing panels were over 20’ long.

 On Thursday, we rented a high lift to finish the lower barn panels.  They were too steep to allow someone to be on the roof.  They finished just before dinner on Thursday.  One of the other large jobs was pulling nails from all the beams and wood that we salvaged from the two barn “unraisings”.  Now all that wood is ready to be used in the new barn.  It was a huge job that would have taken our guys months to accomplish.  We tried to express our gratitude, but I don’t think that words could adequately express it.
 The Weidner kids worked too.  They helped Karol with crafts, and they also worked outside on some small landscaping jobs.  Goes to show that you’re never too young to serve others!  What a great example they are to all of us.
 Jen and Amanda spent the week sewing curtains.  They had been started during a prior work day, and between the two of them, they were able to get all the curtains done in the Trapline Lodge.
 Karol and Molly helped with a group that alternated between exterior staining, and craft jobs in the Factory.  They finished the stain on the dorms and railings.  Then they stained the exterior stairs and the bleacher area around the fire pit.  Finally, they stained the railings and cedar shakes on the factory.  In all, they used 10 gallons of stain!!
 When it was raining, or the stain fumes were too much to bear, that group worked with Karol in the Factory.  There were many small jobs that needed to be completed for the summer craft projects.  Well, what is a small job isn’t so small when you have to do it 200 times! They also helped Karol with all the clothing in the photo below.  These are all items that we purchased on clearance at retailers; we used some awesome modern technology to put Camp Daniel logos on each item.  It’s a time consuming project, but we produced a lot of great items for Papa to sell in the shop!

 After the roofers completed their task, they set to working on electric in the barn.  They got a good start on pulling wires for outlets and light fixtures.  In the photo below, Steve and Nick are installing a catwalk that will be used for sound and video wiring.
 We hope that they come back again next year!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Centerpieces, Awards and Dancing!

 Karol has been working on centerpieces for our new theme meal - Pep Rally.  This theme will kick off camp each week with a red versus blue themed meal.  A new theme means all new decorations for the dining hall.  When deciding on new decorations, we have been looking to the future needs of when we are on our own grounds.  Our new dining room will have round tables, which will be very conducive to centerpieces, so that’s been the focus.    So, on the cheap and from scratch.....I present Pep Rally centerpieces!

 The Italian theme is being brought back by popular demand.  So some pasta inspired centerpieces will now grace our tables.

 We are so proud to announce that Ruth Hucek was awarded a Young Philantropist award for 2014, by the Marinette and Menominee Area Community Foundation.  Camp Daniel nominated Ruth, who we recognize as a young volunteer who transforms her community for the better.  Her hours of volunteering at Camp Daniel made her a great recipient for this award.    At the same award ceremony, Camp Daniel received a grant for $1,035 for dorm bunk bed mattresses.

 The annual Dance for Disability, commonly known as D4D was held Saturday, June 7th, at the Bay Beach Pavilion.  We were pleased that we had approximately 250 people in attendance.  Invites and announcements went out to area group homes, and workshops for people with disabilities.  People came from all over the area for a free meal and lots of great dancing.  The dance is for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and friends.  It’s a great way for everyone to get together and have some fun.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Salvage of Barn #2

 After tearing down the smaller barn in Antigo, Tony continued to check Craigslist for another.  He found this barn that was free, we just needed to take it all away.  It was located in Pembine, which is a reasonable distance to haul.  We were excited because the entire structure was covered in mildly rusted corrugated galvanized steel panels, which would be perfect for the ceiling of our barn.  When Tony contacted the gentleman, we were told that someone else had already inquired, but he took our number in case that opportunity fell through.  About 4 days later we received the call and the barn was ours if we were willing to 1) not sue him for an injury and 2) take it ALL away.   After evaluating the structure in person, we decided that there was lots of good material there, and not anything that we wouldn’t use.  We don’t want to dismantle and haul garbage!  So the guys spent the better part of a week dismantling the 60’ x 60’ barn.
 I don’t have any pics, but the first day they were in the snow/rain, but after that the weather was better.  They brought the skidsteer, which they used to make things easier and faster.  But everything was still systematically dismantled.  They tried not to break any boards, or bend any of the metal panels.
 The photos basically speak for themselves!!


 Everything was bundled and hauled away, three trailers full at a time.  Took 5 trips to get it all.
 Tony used the skidsteer to break up the concrete that was on the floor, dig a hole, bury the concrete, and cover and smooth topsoil.  If not for the lack of grass, you would never even know we were there!  Aside from the metal, we salvaged miles of aged dimensional lumber.  There were even a bunch of Straight 16’ 2x6’s!  Now the large and daunting task of pulling nails out of all that lumber!  Between the two barns, we now have enough aged material to do some pretty cool detail work inside the new barn at Camp Daniel!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Custom Made Cupola for the Barn

 What is a barn without a cupola?  Boring, and that won’t do at Camp Daniel, so after checking out pricing for pre-made cupolas, Little Tony set out to build his own.  He found out the basic sizing information online, and decided on 42” square for the base.  They don’t look that big once on the building!  By the time he had bracing inside, siding on top of the chip board, and the hip roof, it was very heavy.  Tony and the guys used the extending boom forklift that we had for the weekend to get it up there.  It still took a group to get it into place.
 Jen got them to stop for a minute to pose for a photo.  Nick is probably inside it to attach it.  I’m not sure why the tallest guy there got that job....
 Tony knew that the cupola needed to be complete before the roofing went on, because after that, the roof will be very slippery, and difficult to paint.  For months, Karol and Tony had been studied each barn they passed on the road, in hopes of replicating the distressed barn board look. Karol worked on a sample board to come up with a 4 step paint process to achieve a worn and weathered barn look.  The black squares are the background for fake vents.
   Above you can see the paint steps involved in the trim.  We started with plain 1x4 dimensional lumber.  It was then painted a solid background color.  Then two coats of dry brushing, in two shades of brown was added.  Finally a dry brush technique gave us the white paint that is more solid in some areas, and almost all the way faded and chipped off in others.
 Even the vents were expensive to buy, at $100 a piece, so Little Tony, and the Mandich brothers made these from scratch.  After the paint job, they look like they’ve been around a while.
 Finally, the “rusted” (really just spray paint) metal top and weathervane were added as the finishing touch.  Now we are ready for the roof!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finishing the Dorm Floors

 We are working hard to finish the Trapline Lodge.  Karol had been waiting for warm enough weather to dye the last two floors, which seemed to take forever.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we had warm enough weather so that the windows could be opened and the furnaces turned off.  The processes are so caustic, that these precautions are a must.  Karol trained Nick throughout the process.  The first step, taping up the plastic, took Steve and Nick more than a day.  All of the walls, doors and plumbing, must be completely covered.  Then, the concrete is etched so that the dye and clear finish will adhere.  That process is done with muriatic acid, and a vinegar neutralizer.  That was another full day with a respirator.  We then get to the photos.  It’s too hard to take photos while doing these jobs, so there’s not many action shots.    The blue floor in the photo above and below is the White Tail Deer Cabin.  The dye is acetone based, which is a nasty chemical that eats through plastics and such pretty easily.  Each floor has two different colors to achieve the final look.  The dye is applied with a garden sprayer.  It must be applied quickly before the hoses and parts of the sprayer become too corroded.

 The bathrooms were a real job as the countertops had to be acid etched and dyed too.
 The Black Bear Cabin has a black floor.  Naturally!
 After the floors were dyed, Karol and Nick applied three coats of a concrete finish, which is applied with a paint roller.  One day per coat.  Then after that was cured, Karol and Tony applied two coats of wax with the buffer machine, as seen below.


 Done.....Finally!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Work Day with Variety

 We had a great work day at Camp Daniel last Saturday.  But first, some of the stuff that’s happened since our last post.  Jerry R., a retired plumber from Crivitz, is graciously helping us with all the finish plumbing in the Trapline Lodge.  He had the interns and the guys all helping him plumb.  Above, Steve and Nick are installing a toilet.  This one gave them some troubles.  Jerry is doing a great job of teaching them all, and helping out when they get hung up on something.
 Tony and the guys finished installing the porch railings during the week.  It’s amazing what they add to the building.  They really give a feeling of coziness and character.
 For the work day, we had a variety of workers and a variety of jobs.  The Able Church brings a group each spring and fall for a work day.  This year, 13 were driven up in our large van, and a few others drove separately. It was a blessing to have so many hands at work!  In the photo above, I captured them tackling the less than glamorous job of raking the road back into place.  During snow removal, some gravel and sand ends up in the grass, so it must be raked back into place.  They did this all around the gravel roads on the campus.
 The forklift was used to load some huge logs onto our flatbed trailer, which were then brought to the local sawmill to be milled into 5x5", 10x10s, 5x10’s and 1” boards.
 We were excited to have the help of two couples  from New Life Church in Menominee.  One of the gentlemen brought his chainsaw, and cut up more shrubby growth and trees in the area of the future  septic system.  A group of guys from The Able Church cleared the brush and heaped it onto the ever-growing burn pile.
 A camper, Drew, and his parents also helped out at the work day.  They live in Suamico, and this was their first time here.  Tony gave a few tours during the day, so that they, and the other new people got to hear some of the stories and philosophies of Camp Daniel.  Intern Steve oversaw the staining crew with, Drew, his parents, Donna and Howard from New Life, and a small crew from the Able Church. They worked until we ran out of stain!  They stained all of the new railings on Trapline.  Also on trapline were some hard to reach places that still needed stain.  In the pic below, they are staining the porch floor of the Factory.  There was also fencing painted, and one railing on Lumberjack.  What a relief to get so much done in a day!

 After the brush crew finished with that, they moved on to leaves.  We have oaks that don’t lose their leaves until spring.  So more fuel for the burn pile!
 Here’s a photo of part of the tired crew just before they left.  There was a bunch of other stuff done that I just didn’t get pictures of.  For example, some of the ladies helped Trish with drinks and lunch. After lunch, they all headed outside, where Trish led many of the helpers in getting out the 40+wood benches, 100 chairs, and 15+ tables onto the property.  The benches are spread out over the entire property, so I know that she was very glad to have help with that.  The Mandich crew worked on hooks in the dorms.  The new bunk beds needed hooks installed, and the hooks for the bathrooms were mounted onto boards.  The tile on the walls has proved difficult to mount the hooks directly.
Lots of sunburn was seen at the end of the day, as we all enjoyed the thing that we forgot was called the “sun”!