Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Break Activity

This has been one of the wettest springs I can remember in quite some time.  Someone said the other day that corn planting may be at an all time low as farmers have not had enough dry weather to get in the fields.  We certainly have had our share of the rain up here at the camp.  Two or three times now I have had folks lined up for work on a project only to have to cancel.  Now last week we did manage to squeeze in a few visitors as Chris Wilson brought his kids up during spring break and Sam Kelly's son came along as well.  Sam and his friend James, who seems to be a jack-of-all-trades, came up and worked most of the day on the new bathroom in the main campground.  Chris cooked lunch for everyone on the grill and the kids seemed to have a good time.  The girls spent much of their outing down at Crawdad Creek.  

Here I got a picture of Reid, (Chris's oldest boy) in a rather odd position for taking a nap.

Taking Care of Business
Yesterday before the rain came I spent about three hours on the mower.  There is this one section of grass right where the pavement starts that seems to grow faster than the rest for some reason.  With all the extra rain this year it almost got too far ahead of me.....but it didn't!  The storms did come through but we did not seem to get all that much rain and missed the severe weather.  There was something that happened last night off of Ollie Howard Road around 8:00 or 9:00 that caused the power to go out for 3 or 4 hours.  The Utilities said the crew was having to cut up a huge tree that had fell across a power line.  One of our neighbors said she had heard something about a fire in that area.  Not exactly sure what happened but we did not get very much sleep.  Funny thing I just purchased a generator for situations like this but have not had time to get it ready and try it out. 

Storm Patrol
As is my habit I always go through all the trails and roads as soon as I can after a storm....this morning was no exception.  Not too many big limbs down this time so I decided to take some pictures while tooling around. 

I know they have been here all along but the dogwoods are really noticeable up here this year.  As a matter of fact I did not realize just how many there were growing wild throughout the camp.

On the lower field these tiny little orchid colored flowers are all over the place and remind me of stars from a distance.

Noticed these yellow ones for the first time today...not sure what they are.

This is the entrance to "The Hidden Pathway".  It winds around and eventually ends up in Beech Bottom Trail which in turn leads to the Secret Creek.

Pictured here is The Secret Creek.  I could tell we did not get very much rain as the creek is pretty much at the same level as yesterday.

The Wood Azaleas are very distinct and scattered all over the woods up here.

Now as you can see in this picture the Hidden Pathway can be treacherous and has caused Easy and I some trouble in days gone by.  I cut a new trail around this part but it is pretty wet right now as well.

The Dragon Flies were all over the place today.  Not sure if they eat mosquitoes or not but if they do they are my new favorite insect!

I ran across this picture from when the workday crew was up here a little while back.  Here we see some kind of salamander.  I think this was the third or fourth different kind Eddie's son caught that day.

I look forward to another great year up here at the camp.  There is a report to be given at the Executive Board meeting on Monday and a Golf Tournament to benefit the camp May 20th.  Last year was a good start but this just might turn out to be the best year yet!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

SS Class Fellowship - Repeat Visit

Today Camp MACOBA had the pleasure of being the host site for a returning group -- Ms. Sara's SS class of New Market Baptist Church. Their last visit had been late in the fall of 2010, and Todd and I were able to join in their fellowship fun. (See HERE for that entry.)

This year, unfortunately, Todd was on shift for the occasion, so I had the group to myself!

They had a pretty decent turnout of about 14, which makes for a good variety of covered dishes and quick conversation! They also had a lovely afternoon -- warm and sunny -- and an evening that cooled off nicely (but didn't get COLD). They didn't need a fire in the fire place this time around!

Ms. Sara is no ordinary SS teacher -- she gives her students homework. HARD homework, and expects them to deliver, too! Her homework assignment was for each of the students to pick a book from the minor prophets, read it five times, and then answer some questions she'd given them.

Two of her students had agreed to give their answers at the picnic! Both of them did a great job; in fact, some of her students felt like the first two had set the bar so high, there was no point in continuing!

Of course, one of the two volunteers was Bill, Ms. Sara's husband. I wonder if that makes him the teacher's pet?!

They talked, laughed, walked, ate, studied God's Word, and just had an all-around good time.

It's always a pleasure to have this group up here -- we look forward to seeing them again soon. Ms. Sara even mentioned that she & Bill might be up here soon to do a little tent camping!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Work Went On

Everyone’s lives are so busy these days you can be sure when you plan something there are many other things planned on that day as well. The first workday was planned about a month ago and it looked like we had around 40 or so folks coming out and then the weather decided not to cooperate so it had to be canceled. I will say the weatherman hit it right on the money as the day was a total washout. Between us going to Tampa for a week to be commissioned by the NAMB and work schedules, the next available time was this past Saturday. We were so thankful for those who were able to make it and did manage to get a few things on the list accomplished. One big thing is the progress we managed to make on the fishing pier. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the crew working on that project we kept shifting crew members from the brush patrol around to the pier project. As a matter of fact at one point we all were down there. We kept them stocked up with the necessary materials they needed so they never had to stop work. Andy Dobbs brought his RV up on Friday and decided to spend a peaceful night at the camp before the work began on Saturday. I actually met Andy last year through association with the camp. Now I will say he is a busy man and a world traveler !…..well maybe just a US traveler. He told me about a trip they made to see the shuttle lift off and had the best seats in the house! He is one of those good guys you run into occasionally during life’s journey and are glad you met.

I was up early on Saturday making coffee for the crew and opening the gate. I started a small fire in the fireplace at the pavilion and was enjoying my coffee watching and listening as the camp began to wake up. Andy and his boy were the first to arrive. I had never met Jonathan before but was really impressed with him by days’ end. He is 24 attending UAH and gives me plenty of hope for the generation coming up. The first part of the day he was on a brush crew where he did plenty of work without complaining and then ended up down on the pier. Now he was not just a gopher but they handed him a power tool and put him to work. He did a mighty fine job too.

Jonathan Dobbs has been drafted!

Joining us on the brush crew and general clean-up were Pastor Charles Miller, Pastor Wayne Kimbrough, his son Eddie and two of Eddie’s sons Joshua and Jacob. Now I was glad to see them and they are pretty regulars at the camp. Brother Charles is a busy man but he did make time to come out and help us for awhile in the morning.I wish he could have stayed for lunch. Now this was a working crew and quite a bit was accomplished when we got started. Brother Wayne worked as hard as anyone but then again he has been serving people all his life….the next generation could learn quite a bit from him. I learned a little bit about Eddie’s middle son Jacob on this trip as it seems he is a regular Jack Hannah. He must have found two or three types of lizards, salamanders and who knows what else. He also pitched in to help with the pier.

Eddie Kimbrough Is Right In The Thick Of Things

Jack Hannah.... I Mean Jacob Kimbrough Is No Stranger To Work

I had asked my son-in-law Jason to come up and take a few pictures and some video of the workday and he ended up actually working as much as anyone! I did not intend for this but he is the kind of man who will do whatever needs to be done and without batting an eye…so glad to have him in the family. After taking some video he actually laid the camera down and helped the put the dock together. I swapped him out with Eddie’s oldest boy Joshua at around 10:30 so Jason could get lunch started. Now Joshua did not seem to mind at all and the next time I saw him he had a screw gun in his hand and was hard at it.

Joshua Kimbrough Is A Natural Carpenter

Everyone came up around 11:30 to eat and take a little break. Oh I forgot to mention that the pier crew, Joe, John and Greg actually arrived and went to work before anyone else. As a matter of fact I didn’t even know they were down there working until they cranked up the generator. Joe could not stay for lunch but has already been up here three or four times working on the pier. He has been such a big help. I can’t say enough about Greg and John…especially on this project, they both really know what they are doing when it comes to building!

Joe And Greg Working Side By Side

John Cuts A Slot Around The Post

Right before lunch we set the big brush pile on fire which was sitting in the double fire ring. In almost no time at all the evidence of the mornings work was gone! Most of the focus in the afternoon was shifted to the pier project as we continued to replace folks who had to leave. By around 2:30 everyone who was left was working on the pier. At around 4:30 we called it a day as we had gone as far as we could. It was necessary to stop where we did so we can pour concrete around all the supporting posts, which will happen sometime during the coming week. Once that happens we will put down the rest of the deck boards, install the handrail and it will be finished. After everyone left and I made a round through the camp making sure all fires were safe, trash was up and the usual things. About an hour before dark Denise and I made a trip down to look at the dock as she had not seen it yet. Well three deck boards were up so we walked out and sat down on the edge by the water and just enjoyed the sun going down and the day coming to an end.