Elim Heights Youth Camp – 2-7 November 2014
The time was set again to come back and finish the project started at Fly and Build Stage One. Although we didn’t have as many volunteers on the ground as during stage one, one faithful group of people came together and straight away started working.
There were a few missing posts that needed concreting and some sleepers cut into right length and installed. Madalin Duna and Gabi Mandic started welding all the brackets that now hold the seating; and as soon as the first row was done, the timber seating was installed. We were all amazed how good it looked. Three rows of seating were installed, and we ran out of daylight.
The work of welding and installing more seating continued all day. Domenic Polistina came early in the morning to help. He adjusted all the sleepers to the right height so there is no gap between the top of the sleepers and the bottom of the seats.
Jared Chapman arrived also to give us an extra hand, and as soon as he got out of the car he started levelling the soil behind each retaining wall. He has also taken photos of the progress each day. More seats were installed; and as each row was finished, we could not stop admiring how nature and man-made structure blend so well in this beautiful spot.
Early in the morning Robin Gordon went in to pick up a little dingo to help us quickly backfill all the retaining walls and fill each row with crusher dust. Paul Cunningham came also, and he helped us with welding and bringing soil and crushed rock in between each row. Br Craig Cunningham helped compacting soil and cutting materials and many other things that a job like this involves.
In the afternoon the weather was not so good to us in a way but perfect in another way. A storm came in with wind and lots of rain and even hail. We were drenched within 3 minutes trying to collect tools and put them under shelter. So we hopped onto the back of a trailer to hitch a ride back to the kitchen while trying to dodge huge hail stones, which gave us an unwanted, uncomfortable back massage. But thank the Lord, He protected us all, and we got to shelter safely.
While this weather stopped us finishing the work, it also gave us time to go down to Windsor and get some more materials for this stage. While we were out shopping, the freshly backfilled soil got well compacted by the rain and hail.
Again the work started early, and we managed to install all the seats. It was now time to create the foundation for the stage. Br Robin brought huge bucket loads of rocks which form the foundation for the stage. When that was finished the stage was measured out, and the process of building began. Within an hour the bearers and joists that hold the decking that forms the stage were built. Half of the decking was screwed down as well.
Some of us had to leave in the evening, so we didn’t get to see the finished stage. We left behind three faithful volunteers to finish the job: Robin, Gabi and Madalin. They worked till late in the evening.
The next morning they finished backfilling the rows with crusher dust and compacted it. They have even drilled some holes for one of the recreational facilities so that work can be done some time before the end of the year.
There were volunteers that worked from behind the scene who cooked and sent or brought very tasty food for us. These are Sisters Lidia Voncina, Lizy Thiel, Nadine Polistina and Amy Gules. Without them this project would have not been successful.
There are others who will finish varnishing the seats and the stage at a later date. Also there were others who supported the project financially and by other means.
We would like to give a special thanks to Sr Elaine Weymark who encourages and supports these projects. Br Robin Gordon also deserves a special mention as he is always there, quietly transforming the entire campground.
May the good Lord bless all who in any way helped or are still helping not only with this project but in the work for our youth in general.
~ The Youth Challenger Team