As a follow-up to last month’s post about Camp Loll, I report that this year’s bridge building project went very well. Delose Conner has a detailed post about it complete with photos.
A second project at Camp Loll this weekend replaced the roof of the “old office.” Delose has a detailed post about that project as well.
When my brother announced last month that we would be doing both projects this weekend, I thought the goal was rather ambitious. We had our hands full last year when we built a bridge. How would we ever complete two major projects in a single weekend?
For one thing, we had far more helpers than we did last year. Delose once told me that with 15 good teenagers he could accomplish almost anything. A number of Camp Loll staffers and Camp Cherry Valley staffers showed up late Friday night. A handful of us had spent most of the day Friday getting the bridge supports constructed. We were proud of our work, but we knew from experience that getting the bridge’s six 1,200-lb support beams moved into place was going to be a major task.
Fortunately, one of the volunteers had brought a dump-bed trailer. He used the same trail that the KYBO pumper truck uses and was able to get the huge beams to a location mere yards from the bridge construction site.
Then after breakfast on Saturday morning, about 20 staffers came down to put the beams into place. Although many of us had to wear rubber boots to wade through the swamp, the task of moving the large lumber support beams into place was a walk in the park compared to the same task last year. Before long, we had the beams in place and no one felt like they had seriously exerted themselves.
We used our experience from last year to establish a production method for cutting deck boards, staining them, and screwing them in place. It helped that volunteers provided contractor grade cordless drills for the day. We hoped to get the project finished by lunch, but we ended up putting in another hour of work after lunch. The finished product is beautiful. It will last many years and will be far safer than the bridges that have preceded it.
In the meantime, I was amazed every time I got to the parking lot to see the progress made by the crew that was replacing the roof of the old office cabin, which is a 73-year-old building. The finished project is fantastic.
The years I spent working at Camp Loll were a foundational experience for me that has colored the whole rest of my life in a positive way. I enjoy being able to give something back to the camp. Hopefully the service I render up there will help boys that are going through the Scouting program in the future.
It’s not important that I may never know those benefited by the service. Nor that most will likely have little appreciation for the work done. Giving the service is the right thing to do, and it feels good to do it.