It has been awhile since I posted as my work life really has taken center stage here these past few months and I haven't had anything witty to say. However I was able to escape for a short period of time this past weekend and attend the AWP as we made the final push to get the new TP completed. It was a beautiful weekend with sun the entire time. A little chilly in the morning but by mid-day you were taking off your jacket, sweatshirt or what ever as it was getting warm. I arrived in time Friday to help Greg and Ken begin the task of relocating the electrical wire from the old program office to the new trading post. Either the earth has moved or moles are playing an evil trick on us but I found it fascinating that as we un-earthed the wire, it had a wandering path to include going under several large roots. I don't remember putting that wire down on a meandering path as well as underneath roots.....then again, those things do have a tendency to grow. What started as a project with the Kabota finished as a job for the excavator. Once we had that big bucket pulling up earth, the wire was relocated within the hour. Of course now, there is one section that was put underneath roots.....far better than removing that monstrosity of a stump that stood before us. By the end of Saturday, there was power in the trading post and everything save for a small part of the ridge cap is complete and ready for inspection followed by insulation, dry wall, shelves and then a bunch of eager scouts ready to spend money.
It seemed like it took forever to get this project complete. We started in spring in 2011 after a long wait for our permits and it took some time to get all the little things done. Then I started thinking of the time line. This structure was built completely by volunteers over the course of 10 weekends. Sure, there were some things sub-contracted, such as the concrete floor and the plumbing but these were one day jobs. The insulation and dry wall will also be sub-contracted but again, this will be a two day job. So, essentially this 1200 square foot year round facility with a heat pump, bathroom and rodent free storage was completed in 30 days for a round figure of $100,000. That roughly comes out to $83 a square foot. Now, I am no contractor but I know there are a few construction people who read this blog from time to time who probably think this is a good deal as it is my understanding that projects like this go for anything from $100-$200 a square foot. This is only one project out of many we have had over the past two decades that was built predominately by professional, volunteer labor......talk about being good stewards of our resources....talk about being thrifty.
I don't think the council, the executive board or the Boy Scouts of America know what a great deal they have going. Thanks to the good leadership and work of Walt Krack, Bob Enzler and Ken McEdward along with scores of loyal volunteers that keep showing up one weekend each month to make a dream a reality, we have provided outstanding facilities for scouts to come and enjoy and make lifelong memories.
I think projects like this go to show anyone who donates their time or money to Camp Parsons knows exactly where their donation goes and that it is being used to its maximal effect. The money doesn't go into a mysterious hole to be doled out amongst a number of projects, some of which may have nothing to do with the camp facility or the program but it goes directly to where the donor wants. I hope those individuals who are looking at the dining hall project understand that fact. Although that project will be predominantly (and appropriately) contracted, there will be a large part that will be undertaken by our AWP group. We will have that facility at the best possible price; after all, thrifty is not synonymous with cheap.