To start off, I would just like to wish everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day. It is definitely one of my favorite holidays of the year and I wish I was back in Chicago to celebrate. I just arrived in Little Rock for my shuffle round project. I am sad to leave Water 4 for the next two months, but I am not alone because Jo, Christina, and Derek are also on the project with me. The four of us along with Ellen, Sam, Alex, Keith, Cat, Ben, and Savanna make up our new team known as Water 7. Our Team Leader for the round is Jess and she has been amazing so far. It is a cool experience for her because she has been working in the office for the first two rounds as a Support Team Leader and now she has an opportunity to get out and lead a team in the field. It is going to be a very fun round with her at the helm and we will be getting a lot of things done.
AmeriCorps NCCC teams have been coming to Ferncliff Camp for a few years now. The camp is one of the fastest growing Presbyterian camp and retreat facilities in the country. It offers summer camps and a year-round conference center for adults and retreat facilities for youth. It also hosts many non-Presbyterian groups and provides outreach services such as special camps for low-income children, homeless children, and disabled adults, and it has an on-site disaster relief assistance facility. Currently, they have been preparing thousands of packages for Haiti relief. So, they do a lot of great things at the camp. For the next two months we will be completing numerous jobs around the camp that will allow it to remain in tip-top shape. Our sponsor is David and he is very enthusiastic about us being here. It’s nice to know that the work of AmeriCorps NCCC is so greatly appreciated. He has made us feel very welcome and I can’t wait to talk to him more. Steve is our On Site Supervisor and he knows his stuff. He will be a great asset to our team. It seems that we will be doing a lot of construction work around the camp, including building a new “green building.” The good thing is that the majority of our team has had experience in that field during the first two rounds of projects. The first jobs that we started were painting the pool area and beginning prep work for reinforcing a wall with layers of rock, which will help prevent flooding of one of the buildings on the camp. A lot goes into a project like this and it will take us a while to complete, but the finished product is going to look great. Steve has come up with a schedule for us and we have many different projects to complete during these two months, so it will be nice to have a variety of work.
Ferncliff Camp is a beautiful place. Right now we are staying at a retreat house that has five bedrooms and a huge field. This weekend we will be moving into two cabins on the camp’s lake so we are all very excited about that. We have free use of the camp and it will be nice to be outdoors this round as the weather warms up. We will be able to do things like biking, hiking, canoeing, sand volleyball, and other sports. I am also looking forward to getting around Arkansas which is known as the Natural State.
The four of us do miss our team greatly, but, we are excited to see what Water 7 will accomplish this round. I will be keeping in touch with everyone from Water 4 and I know everyone is looking forward to meeting up again for the final round. I hope they all enjoy their current projects as much as I think we will here at Ferncliff Camp in Little Rock.