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Salkehatchie Summer Service
Huntersville Camp 2003

The Little Home Story

The Little House team was lead by Mona Kita. The other adults on the site included Vance Lowe, Baker and Jennifer Ratliff. (For more information about the Ratliff's and their unique Salkehatchie experience see the sidebar on the Camp Director Notes page.) The youth working on the Little site included Heather Speer, Carly Woods, Joanna Bell, Jared Osterhus and Joey Pietrantoni.

Little Backyard on Monday

The Little backyard on Monday morning before the team begins work on the backporch

The Little house was the most deceptive of the houses we worked on during the week. While the well maintained siding made the home look like it was in good shape, the interior and the issues which arose, made this a very challenging home to work on. Ms. Little had a number of needs for her house. The bathroom was in significant disrepair and the kitchen lacked space. The kitchen cabinets needed to be replaced, a new floor was required and the team decided that a pantry would help her with her storage problems. In order to create more room in the kitchen the team decided to build a back porch that would house a brand new water heater (the old one did not work well and took up valuable kitchen space) the freezer which had been in the living room, and the washer & dryer.

Carly and Baker

Carly Woods and Baker Ratliff size up what work needs to done in the kitchen

The challenges at the Little house began prior to the Salkehatchie Camp. The house had been re-sided several years before. At the time of the installation the main electrical cable from the street to the house had been detached from the house and left hanging loosely at the back of the house. This presented a safety issue that needed to be addressed before campers arrived. With the co-operation of the local electrical company and HUMC congregation members, Bob Sims and Ben Griffith the cable was drawn through a PVC pipe and secured to the house.

As often happens, the house had many challenges and problems that revealed themselves only when work began. The floors in the kitchen and bathroom were in worse shape than anticipated. The biggest problem was with the building of the back porch. Adhering to the requirements of the local building codes made the job bigger than imagined. By Wednesday evening the team was faced with the prospect of scaling the back porch down to just a deck. The Little adult team met with the Camp staff and other adults on Wednesday night to decide the best way to proceed. Shannon Stewart and Michael Stewart offered to lend their construction skills to the project. Their experience and knowledge helped the team build the back porch by Friday. Their willingness to step in needed was a typical example of how the Salkehatchie spirit catches hold of everyone in the community.

It was a long but satisfying week for the youth. Over the course of the week they were exposed to carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, roofing and insulation. Emotionally, it was a roller coaster given the various challenges presented. At the end of the week, with some outside help, the team was able to complete the majority of the work.

Some work was left to be completed after the camp. Mona Kita, with the help of Bob Sims and Ben Griffith lead the effort to get the work completed.