Sunday, September 28, 2014

Gifts to Loll 2014

Camp Loll could not operate without the gifts from a host of generous friends who have caught the vision of Joy through Service that is Loll's purpose. 

One of the summer's first great gifts came for Loll's great friends Scott Poulsen and Jeff Stork.  Understand that Camp Loll is cut off from the wonders of cell coverage, electrical power grids, and civilization in general.  This is actually a good thing - most of the time - but in the face of an emergency and the necessity of doing business, we, like anyone else, need to be able to make a phone call and have contact with staff and scouts in the depths of the Wilderness.  This would be impossible were it not for the generosity and genius of these two heroes.   Scott has set up our satellite phone and internet connection.  He arrived in camp the second day and had our phone up and running in hours.  He then lent his experience to supporting Jeff, our radio master, in setting up our new antenna and servicing our radio net which allows our hiking groups to be in constant contact with Camp Loll and also insures that program areas such as the rifle range, the waterfront, and the climbing rocks are in instant contact with "base" if they ever need help.  All the equipment has either been provided directly through Scott and Jeff's generosity or through donations to the Camp Loll Alumni fund.  Thank you, all of you!!!!!

Here, Jeff - on the left and Scott, set up Jeff's new wonder antenna.  I've no idea how or why is works so well.  All I know is that now I can speak to any hike from Union Falls to Survey Peak to Beulah Lake at any time. 

Here is a close up of Jeff's Magic Antenna.

Jeff Stork in the Camp office with Loll's resident computer - electronic device genius, Brad Lundell.

Our great friend and wonderworker - Scott Poulsen, makes the first phone call of the summer.  The phone and the computer worked all day every day for the rest of the season. 
Thanks to Scott and Jeff for their wonderful gifts.
The next great miracle gift for Loll had its beginning at the 2013 Alumni Reunion.  In our Camp Committee meeting, our Chairman, Lynn Hinrichs asked who would take responsibility for replacing the docks.  The docks had been in use for twenty years, they were in need of constant repair and the decaying Styrofoam floats were giving us a lot of trouble.  David Kirkham took on the job. 

The double miracle that would come from Dave's promise to act had its beginning months before our summer adventure.  At Kirkham Motors - home of the "coolest" cars in the world - where the docks would be crafted out of aluminum. 

The raw materials - lots and lots of aluminum.

The wonder machines of Kirkham Motors.

Every piece is wonderfully hand crafted by craftsmen - true artists.

The old docks have spent their winter on the beach at Loll.  The rotting foam blocks stored on the docks under tarps made from old billboard covers.  The steel frames make these monsters so hard to move that it typically takes the entire staff an afternoon to get them into the lake. 

The foam crumbles off the docks and the beach has to be constantly policed to gather in the mess.

Over the years the foam blocks have broken into smaller and smaller pieces.  Once the docks and foam had been hauled to the parking lot it was time to bring the new docks in.  They had been trucked  to Loll by Dave and his right hand man, Eric. 


A few staff members can carry one of the strong but light segments to the landing.  Once they were to the lake, it was only a matter of paddling them across to the waterfront.

Next - under the direction of Dave and his sons Chris and Nick, the segments are fitted together.

The new docks are incredibly buoyant and strong.  They are filled with foam, but it is sealed in the aluminum shell.  The docks are painted gray to help keep them cool and protected. 

When in place there will be an L dock for swimming, a swim dock, a little farther out, and a separate dock for the sailboats and catamarans.

Nick leads the crew in the assembly of the docks.  He and Chris spent a good deal of the winter building these wonderful gifts to Loll.

Here are Eric, Dave, Chris, and Nick.  Thousands of campers will enjoy their generosity and service for a long time to come. 

This is the beautifully engraved ladder up out of the swimming area onto the docks.  Once more the thousands who use Loll are made safe and happy by the service and generosity of Camp Loll Staff and Alumni. 
Even as Dave was fulfilling his pledge to "fix the docks" others were getting ready to make use of them.  Last year one of Camp Loll's catamarans was falling apart and leaking.  My impulse was to throw it away and either do without or come up with the money to replace it.  But some of our Staff had different ideas.  Our 2013 Waterfront Director, Ian Crookston and our ACE Director Joey Langford told me if I'd send it home, they would fix it.  Spring found it in better than new condition.  The hulls completely sealed and re-painted and all the hardware replaced and installed. Once again the hours and hours of work were donated by Loll's great staff and any materials that had to be purchased provided by the Alumni Funds. 

Our "better than new" Cat ready for action.

There has been an interesting shift in use pattern at the Camp Loll Waterfront over the past few years.  Kayaking is now a new Merit Badge offered by the BSA.  2012 found Loll with only three very old kayaks, left overs from the old days when we ran a float trip between Shoshone and Lewis Lakes.  They were in bad shape and the old design required float bladders and canvas "skirts" to keep them afloat.  Now we have 18 brand new "ocean kayaks" and at any given time there are more kayaks on the lake than there are canoes, and rowboats combined.  This is another miracle made possible by a Camp Loll alumni and dear friend.  Dr. Steven Johnson worked at Loll the first year it was a camp, 1959.  He is still a regular at our camp.  Coming up early in the season to help us get set up and spending the week with his troop during the season as well.  There are many gifts from Dr. Johnson throughout the camp - but the last two summers he has brought us all of our new kayaks. 

Here are some Loll campers out in the kayaks gifted to Loll by Dr. Steve Johnson.  They come in various sizes and with either two seats or one.

In a kayak you feel like a loon.

Some of our alumni take advantage of Dr. Johnson's gifts.  They are the most popular waterfront activity during Alumni Weekend.

The Kirkham's gift of the dock just kept on giving.  For several years we have been contemplating replacing the benches at Camp Loll's Campfire Bowl.  Every plan seemed very difficult and very expensive.  Surely we would have to get some new benches as many at the fire bowl were broken, rotting, or in the case of many of them which were logs - uncomfortable. 

Now that the new docks were in place we had to deal with the lumber and steel framings.  The crumbling foam had all been hauled away either by Dave and Eric or by Dr. Johnson.  Steve had loaded the trailer he had brought loaded with our beautiful new kayaks with the old floats and taken them to the St. Anthony dump.  Jody Orme and Jake Dansie came up with another miracle.  Why not cut the steel frame of the docks up and put the boards on the sections to form benches.  Some new base logs and we would have a new Campfire Bowl.  I was having trouble figuring out how to take the steel to the salvage yard - the two by sixes would make good firewood, I thought.  The idea of making benches seemed way to difficult to me.  But, Jody, Jake, and the Camp Loll crew are not to be put off by a challenge.

Grinder in hand Jake and his helpers went to work cutting up the thick steel framing.

This was a very difficult task.  We wore through many grinder pads but not Jake's determination.

No free time for Camp Loll's hard working crew.

Just one lesson on persistence and ingenuity after another.

It was soon discovered that the edges of the cut steel were dangerously sharp; so Jake and crew took them into the garage - out of the snow storms - and rounded them off.

Holes were drilled in the planks and frames - and many drill bits and one drill later we had enough benches to fill the entire fire bowl.

The old benches were taken to the fire wood pile, new support logs cut and hauled into place.

Once the old were gone, Jody donned his brand new chain saw outfit and, brand new chain saw in hand, began to prepare the benches.  If you look behind Jody you will see that the east section still needs to be replaced - it will be.

The front benches were already planks - heavy floor boards salvaged from the old rifle range some years ago. 

The rest would be the carefully cut, drilled and lag bolted reincarnations of the docks.
They are very heavy and very strong.

The crew found more to do with their time.  The project would actually be underway throughout the summer.  It would be the second to last week of the season before the last bench was in place.

 The fire bowl, when completed had more seats in it than ever - it will once more allow our staff to sit among the scouts rather than crowd together over on the rock to the east of the benches.  This has not been possible for many years - since Loll's attendance has grown.   
But now, once more the Staff can sit along the ends of each bench - ready to dash down to perform and then return to support the scouts and the presenters in the program.  It makes a wonderful difference, a magical improvement of our already great shows.

So, there you go - the brand new docks became a wonderful improvement to the Campfire Bowl; at the cost of a few hundred carriage bolts.

There were many more gifts to Loll in the summer of 2014.  I am remiss that we do not have pictures of them all.  Joe Hawkes brought us enough food to keep us happy for weeks - everything from fresh frozen chicken to boxes of chocolate covered almonds and a "zebra" hide.  The Alumni fund also bought Loll a beautiful new wall tent and frame for our adult staff to live in at the Waterfront estates, and a replacement washing machine when one of ours gave out after ten summers of almost constant service.  And that new chain saw - that was also paid for by the Alumni's money.  Without it so many things that needed doing would not have been done - and the new Campfire Bowl remained a dream. 

Jody with the new chain say - a perfect example of how the gifts of Loll's friends and the hard work of Loll's staff make Camp Loll a success.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Camp Loll's After Season Adventures 2014

Camp didn't really end when the staff pulled out on August 18.  The weeks which followed were full of adventure and service to Camp Loll.

An important step in preparing for the summer of 2015 is to train High Adventure Trek Guides.  As the majority of the staff headed "back to school", a crew of intrepid explorers began a three night-four day hike through the Tetons.  Not only did Chris, Nick, and Dan - who plan to join several other trained Loll Staffers as Rangers next summer take the challenge but so did Wes and Quinn, their leaders, and several of the ladies of Loll.  Too busy to do much hiking in the core season, Maryanna, Morgan, Paola, Victoria, joined the crew, as did Nate - who is off to the Marine Corps next summer, and special guests Jan and Matt. 

On Thursday Dave and I headed north - arriving at Jenny Lake a few hours early - planning to hike up canyon and meet the crew.  Instead we were just in time to meet them coming out three hours early.  They were wet from three nights in the rain - but spirits were high. 

Nick and Chris were glad to see dad!

 Lunch in Jackson Hole was followed by a drink at Hopper Springs.  There was more fun to be had there at the park in Soda Springs.

The Crew was home and my worries greatly reduced by late Thursday night.

A week later brought the Labor Day week end of Alumni Service to Loll. 

The list of projects for Labor Day weekend included:
1. Painting the shutters on the Barlow-Wadman Lodge
2. Installing a permanent shutter securing system for the shutters
3. Putting vents on the Cheyenne and Ute KYBO's
4. Replacing a rotting base log on the "girls cabin" the old dining hall
5. Moving all the logs along the pumper trail
6. Making a plan for renovation of the upper parking lot
7. Delivering a flag and work in lieu report to the Forest Service
8. Preparing the vent covers for the "old KYBO's
9. Turning off the water and draining all water lines and tanks
10. Putting distilled water in the batteries and preparing them for winter
11. Placing water bars around the KYBO's at Ute and The High Seat
12. Fixing the water bar above the road to the landing
13. Putting up the support cable on the east end of the lodge
14. Putting out plywood for keeping the pumper from getting stuck in Navajo
15. Painting the stage at the campfire bowl with water seal
16. Cleaning out the excess ashes from the Camp Fire Bowl fire pits
17. Reordering and moving tent poles from under the deck
18. Fix the leaky shower in Jody and Julie's room and get it ready for a new shower stall floor
19. A final picking of the KYBO's in preparation for next week's pumping

By Monday, Labor Day, all the projects above, except the parking lot plan, and many more acts of service were completed.

Camp Loll Committee Chariman, Lynn Hinrichs and raido-communications expert Jeff Stork, team up to put a vent in the Cheyenne KYBO.

Lynn cuts a hole for the vent.  He also put one in the side of the toilet box so the air can flow.  By the way - Lynn managed to fall off the roof - Jeff "caught" him.

Not the best picture - but the best solution.

By the way - in order to power the tools, Lynn brought Karlo Mustonen's generator back to life.  Once more Karlo to the rescue.

Scott and Lynn Hinrichs remove a rotten log from the base of the old dining hall cabin, find a new log in the woods, trim it and with the help of some "big strong Hansen boys" and our floor jack, put it in place.

Ben and Dallas are on hand to lend a hand.

Geoffery Anderson and Steve are also working hard to make things work.

Everyone in place.

And, the wall is in place as well.


Meanwhile Bryce Jones and Jon Hollingshead set to work fixing the shower in the Orme's room.  In 2013 they prepared to fix the north room shower and then put in a beautiful and perfectly water tight new tile floor.

A little exploration reveals the problem; the membrane to hold in the water had been improperly installed. 


The front lip on the bladder should have been turned up to keep the water in - also the membrane was only installed to meet the corners, not coving up the walls at all.  This allowed leaking to happen around the edges of the shower floor. The new membrane is one piece, with built-in sides.

The rotting flooring had to be removed and fresh materials put in place.

Everything is ready, and after a season of drying out the new shower will go in next spring.  All the materials are ready and waiting.
Meanwhile Reagan Orme organizes the next generation of Loll Staffers in a host of important projects.  The jumble of poles and logs under the steps is sorted - tent poles stored in the garage the rest set right.
Just in case the pooper pumper decides to try and get to the 3 KYBO's at the back of the camp, the crew carried ten sheets of plywood out to camp Navajo to get Clynn across Navajo Creek.  They receive a good deal of support from Janice, Christine, Lauren, Tyler Shaw and Doug Coburn. 
Once the plywood was in place, the crew headed for the Campfire Bowl to seal the deck.  A battle that had to be fought between rain storms.  They got the entire deck and three rows of benches done before rain and lightening drove them to another task. 
While the young'uns painted, Jeff, Ben, and Dallas cleared the ashes out of the fire pits. 
Meanwhile - back in camp, 
Lynn starts work on the Ute KYBO vent.
He has plenty of help - right to left - Ben Kraus, Dallas, Scott, and Geoffery.  He also has strict instructions not to fall off the roof.
Every thing in place. 
Not the most fun of jobs - but one that, like picking out the wipes - must be done.  The "bactee" must be allowed to breath.  By the way - don't be too concerned about the mess on the toilet seat.  It is the result of Jody and my activities.  We spent six hours picking out the wipes and other forbidden things in the tanks.  Once the heads are pumped they will be ready for cleaning and made "presentable" for the campers.
Now for the window project:
While all these projects are underway - the major project of the weekend is underway.  The shutters need to be painted.  Jody already, with the help of the Anderson "girls", had prepared the primer coat.  Here Kevin and Justin Hansen prepare the 2/4 base bracket for the window frames. 
 Russell Stevens makes the measurements of the up coming framing.  He has carefully removed the moldings - will insert 2/4 "padding plates" and then reinstall the original trim.  Then the entire window will be covered with a shutter bolted in place from inside. 
As always, Jody is our master painter.  However this year he gets a lot of help from Tyler and Doug, who put the final coat of red-brown paint on the shutter boards. 

However, like most of the rest of us, Tyler finds time to enjoy the huckleberries. 
Everything must be fabricated on site - by our master craftsmen.
Everyone lends a hand.
The final product, painted, stained, sealed and in place. 
Kevin moves from one master piece to the next.  At last the entire lodge is encased and closed up for the winter.

Jeff Stork finds plenty to do.  When not rescuing Lynn from falls - he helps pull thistles, and winterizes the batteries.  

None of this would be possible without the meals necessary to keep our crew running.
Between service out in the camp, Savanna and Kara help (left to right) Kara Jones - the main planner and driving force of the whole weekend, Janice Conner, Julie Orme, Lauren Hansen, and Christine Anderson to make sure no one goes hungry. 
Day after day, meal after meal, everything is perfect, and sooooooo tasty!
We are a family!!
Monday saw camp locked up and in much better shape for winter - but one other big job remained.  The KYBO's need pumping.
On Thursday, Sept. 4, Leonard Hawkes and I head back to camp.  We arrived just after dark.  The camp was empty, peaceful and so beautiful.  We did not turn on the power or water.  Everything was by flashlight and Leonard's lamp.  In the morning we drained the final water from the water tank lines - running a new hose down the hill and opening the main line which had been separated from the pump.  We unloaded the repaired dryer, gathered several "forgotten" items, got dressed for the pumping and waited for Clynn to arrive.  We called several times from the "Verizon Bench" - but as we had heard nothing by eleven thirty we headed down the road to Ashton, expecting to find his broken down pumper truck at every turn.  We stopped in Ashton for some business and the Forest Service and then headed down the highway.  We saw nothing of Clynn.  We now know he had had trouble getting across the Idaho line and had had to go back to Tremonton to get some paperwork.  But I spent most of the day worrying that he was in a hospital somewhere.  I got back to Layton about 7:00 PM.  I finally got a call from Clynn's wife.  She told me Clynn had headed for Camp but was several hours late.  More worrying.  Finally around 8:00 PM he called.  He had been in, pumped the lodge septic and the Crow and Nez Pierce KYBO's.  I arranged to meet him in Ashton at the sewage lagoon Saturday morning.  I started looking for a helper.  I did not want to go alone.  Wes Mathis came to my rescue - calling to tell me he was on his way over at about 3:14 in the morning.  We were on our way by 4:00.  We were in Ashton by 7:30.  I drove the speed limit the entire way!  We met Clynn for breakfast - he headed off to the Lagoon and Wes and I headed back to camp. 
Clynn and Wes at the Cheyenne KYBO.
Wes and I moved logs and picked any offending rubbish out of the tank, Clynn and his truck did the heavy lifting.  Clynn assures me that Loll's KYBO's are the best taken care of in the council.  Way to go Jody. 
Clynn by the Whorlaway truck.  There would be no Camp Loll without him!
Unfortunately we found a hole in Clynn's oil pan.  That meant a three hour trip to Ashton and back between pumpings of the Staff KYBO and the High Seat.  It was after 7:00 PM before we were on our way.  Wes and I put the bear boxes and fire barrels back in place and capped the KYBO's.  We also did some measuring of the broken east-end railing for a further winter's project. A long two days.  But not without satisfaction and some rewards. 
There was a magical mist on Gibson Meadows -
and the sunset on Indian Lake was wonderful to see.
Thanks to everyone who made Loll a success this summer, and to all who worked so hard to make Loll safe and ready for the winter and for our next summer of Scouting.  Because you see, Camp Loll doesn't really ever end.