Nature Camp Foundation NewsService Weekend Updates

Service Weekend Summary – Fall 2017

Service weekend is an opportunity for those who believe in Camp’s mission to gather, enjoy the company of others who share those feelings, and contribute through a unique donation of time and effort to the place we all love. The Fall Service Weekend 2017 took place the third weekend of September and was slightly abbreviated so that we could come together as a Camp family to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Nature Camp. The fall Service Weekend provides an opportunity to complete maintenance and repairs needed after a long summer, as well as the opportunity to start larger projects that typically take longer than one weekend to complete.

When I reviewed the list of projects completed, it was hard to tell we spent half a day relaxing and celebrating! Many projects that had been on “the list” for a year or more were successfully completed and other tasks that had just been added were taken care of as well. Our new caretaker, Ventry Smith, recently moved into the caretaker’s house and we were tasked with the addition of a landing/deck on the side entrance of that structure to make entry and egress safer and more manageable. An early crew showed up and worked diligently to make sure this project would be completed on time. Many of those who have visited Camp as a camper, staffer, or otherwise, may have never noticed the letters on each building, just above the entrance way, but they are there and were painted so that they could be visible from the road. The benches around camp are made primarily of white oak logs that have been split in half and repair and replacement of these was started. Every window in camp has a corresponding, hand-built screen that is custom made for each opening and maintenance of these screens is a constant task in order to provide an open yet protected environment for the summer inhabitants. The drawers in the bunkhouses that are available for use by campers to store items during their stay are also custom made and fitted to each opening and maintenance of these was carried out making them function smoothly. The kitchen is consistently the hub of activity during the summer and during other events at Camp, and Service Weekend is no exception.

As always, special thanks is due to our head cook during these weekends, Nell Fredericksen, and her team of volunteers for consistently providing a variety of remarkable meals. The use the kitchen sees makes for plenty of cleaning and repair jobs and occasional upgrades make the space much more efficient and enjoyable. Last fall we were able to add LED lightbulbs to this area, providing more light for those using the space and saving energy. The Staff House and Educational Building received new handrails, making them safer and easier to access for those needing support when entering or exiting those buildings. Each year the Nature Camp Trail (the gravel road leading in to camp) is worn down by occasional heavy traffic and normal weathering which makes repairs necessary. A major repair was begun and is continuing and those arriving this summer will notice a dramatic improvement to the road condition. All of these projects, and more, were completed in less time than usual due entirely to the dedication of those that showed up and selflessly gave their weekend to serve Camp and make it a better place to learn and grow.

Thank you to Nina, Porter, Matthew, Penny, Barak, Caroline, Cori, Elaine, William, Connie, Cate, Reid, Stephen, Nell, Wynne, Ryan, Claire, Paul, Sarah, Amy, Kenzie, Noah, Katie, Emma, Vicki, Kim, Art, Louise, Mary Frances, Theta, Shirley, William, Dave, Stephanie, Sarah, David, Adam, Bob, Ben, David, Krista, Troy, Emily, George, Danny, Mike, Martha, Ryan, Brett, Gerry, Larry, Carolyn, Edward, Jerry, Lyt, Andrew, Caragh, Maria, Auggie, Carter, Hanly, Langston, Joel, Evan, Leah, Naomi, Lily, Nate, Nora, Haley, Faith, Kamiya, Willow, Kaylani, and Rayne. Your donation to Camp through your attendance and effort to improve the facilities for the future is appreciated!

Everyone is welcome at Service Weekend regardless of prior experience as a camper or staffer and all skill levels can be put to use. We welcome families and the rec field or the surrounding National Forest provides an excellent opportunity for those who desire to camp as a group. The traditional, separate male and female bunkhouses and bathhouses are fully available for use during the weekend while very limited alternate accommodations are available on-site. Those requiring or desiring other accommodation are encouraged to check out the various lodging options available in nearby Lexington. Please contact Theta Miller, our new Service Weekend Chair for NCF –, with any requests or concerns regarding sleeping accommodations or dietary restrictions including allergies (we make sure everyone, no matter what dietary restrictions you may have, is fed well). Please go to and click the “Stay Connected” link in the upper right corner to update your information in our system in order to receive communications regarding upcoming NCF events.