Captains Blog 06052012

First Performances

I’m hoping it’s a camper group of mostly new kids performing a skit or song. It should be a chance for them to really work together for the first time with the added motivation to perform in front of the entire camp. I’ve coached my staff to view that first performance as a rite of passage. It’s a chance to truly welcome everyone and spread that feeling that we are all in this together and we support each other. It can reinforce the idea that it’s ok to be yourself, and more than ok to be a bit crazy in this camp community!

The first hint of the concept might have come during a rainy night when we couldn’t use the stage in front of Harrison Hall. Or it was on those occasions when there was “noise conflict” between the music program and Shappy’s team trying to prepare a meal or two. It might also have come from the friendly turf war over library/stage space and all those drums and other musical instruments.

It might have begun when the old Infirmary had to be “recycled” 6 years ago after a wet spring and big wind storm. It’s hard to pin it down exactly. The project I’m referring to is the new Drama/Music building. It will be a dedicated space about the size of a camper cabin for the Otterdale “Performing Arts”. It will be located in almost the exact location as the old Infirmary at the lower end of the Games Field. There will be a good sized open stage across the front of the building, a covered stage and an enclosed section to store instruments, costumes and act as a recording area. It’ll be awesome!

Almost two years ago the rough drawings were taken to the engineering firm to be formally drawn up and stamped, but in order to get the building permit a revised Site Plan needed to be approved. With great patience and perseverance and a constant pining for common sense…….the necessary approvals finally came through.

The forms to be used for the footings have been built. A lot of discussion and thought has been put into the best method to prepare the actual building site for the footings and sono tubes (pillars) for the building to be built on. The final decision was to excavate the entire footprint to a depth of almost 5 feet to the bed rock. It will be a big hole! The cement and rebar has been delivered for the concrete mix and the sand/gravel has been ordered and will be delivered soon.

With all these preparations completed or underway the actual construction can start soon. The construction will involve: the floors, walls, trusses, steel roofing, siding, staining, window and door installation, landscaping and more. Much of this work will be done by the eager and capable Work Crew staff. It has been a great deal of effort to date and I know there will be much more to follow.

The pathway along this project has had some delays but I always knew where it was going….to provide many opportunities to support those First Performances. Stephen Covey would be proud; the end was in sight long before the project started?