NEFC – Week 4 & 5

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I never got around to posting an update after week 4, so here is an update for both weeks 4 and 5.

Week 4 was almost as big as week 3. There were a total of 76 people in camp. There were 13 Stockaders, 19 Battalion campers, 8 Frontiersmen, and 5 campers on the Water Adventure trip. The remaining 31 people were counseling staff and other support personnel.

We were fortunate this week to have Shelley Zoebisch helping in the kitchen. Her being here meant that Kathy did not need to do as much in the kitchen, and could focus on laundry, food ordering, and menu planning. Shelley was actually able to stay into week 5 for the first half of the week, which was wonderful.

Kathy and I took a day trip home during this week. While coming back, in the midst of a heavy downpour in Farmington, we drove through a large puddle, and for the remainder of the drive back to camp the car ran rough and sputtered whenever we headed up a hill or accelerated. The next day it was still running rough, and while Kathy and I were out picking up a trip, Ryan Hartwell, the camp director, pulled the spark plug wires and found that one plug was sitting in standing water. He blew it out and that seemed to solve the problem.

We also have been having problems with the Suburban. Twice now we have headed out of camp and the brakes have locked up, and we had to return to camp. One of the men who was here for the adventure trip – Pete Burgher – was more than willing to pull the tire off and replace the caliper, pads, and rotor. It was greatly appreciated, because although the parts are not horribly expensive, the labor charge at a garage would have been significant.

The weekend before Week 4 began was a huge challenge. We had discovered during week 3 that our well pump was only operating at 50% of its capacity, and we were having time*s when we had very low water pressure. Hiring someone to come in to replace the pump, plus buying a new pump would have been several thousand dollars. However, Pete and Dan Burgher, who ran the Water Adventure trip, had a contact where they could get a new pump at close to cost, and they brought up Dan’s tractor and we spent the day Saturday digging up the well, pulling the pump out, and getting it replaced. We pulled about 500 feet of black pipe out of the well to get to the pump. Of course, during this time we had no water on camp, but we had arranged to send all the weekend campers out of camp for the weekend, and managed to get through with minimal difficulty. By the time parents started arriving on Sunday we were back up to full capacity.

Week 5, which is ending as I write this, saw a total of 62 people on camp. There were 9 Stockaders, 15 Battalion campers, and 6 frontiersmen. Because of the smaller numbers, we actually had a few staff that did not get assigned to cabins, although they were actively involved in crafts and other parts of program. It also allowed some of our staff to be able to swap off some tasks and give people a little extra down time.

In some ways the coming week will be one of the more challenging ones. Several staff are leaving this weekend, and although we only have 20 campers next week, none of them are in the frontiersmen program. This means that staff will have to pick up the slack in things such as kitchen cleanup and bathroom cleaning. With a smaller staff already, it may be a particularly busy week for everyone.

Currently our plan is to move home at the end of week 6. Following week 6 is Day Camp for the kids in the local area, but we are expecting to be moving back home after the final food order is made Monday morning. This will give me about 2 weeks before school starts up again.

Please pray for the remaining staff as many of them are tired. We have an obligation to the week 6 campers to give them as good a program as those that came week 1 when everyone was fresh. Pray that the staff gets the rest they need this weekend, and that they have the energy they need for the week ahead..

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