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Salkehatchie Summer Service
Huntersville Camp 2004
Home Owners

The Baxter Home Story

Monday July 19, 2004

The adult leaders on the Baxter team are Laura Pascal (site leader) and Mona Douglass-Kita. The youth on the site are Erin Mode, Michael Wright, Kyle Shores, Melissa Cannan, Tyler Piehl, Kelsey Blackburn and Will Hollis. A few days prior to camp we learned that John Ballentine would not be able to attend the camp due to a baseball injury. John has been a supporter of Salkehatchie camps for many years. We'll miss him this week and look forward to seeing him again next year.

He set some type of record for getting dirty the fastest

Ms Baxter lives alone in a small home right across the street from one of the home owners from last year's camp. Her house is badly in need of repairs. Ms Baxter is an absolutely joy to be around. She's constantly laughing and joking around. She makes the team feel very comfortable doing the things that they need to do.

The first task during the day was to pickup all the junk that was lying around the house. The team attacked that with a lot of enthusiasm. Michael Wright, in particular, must have set a record for getting dirty the fastest. He also "took care of" a few snakes that were found on the property.

The team accomplished a lot the first day .... cleared out everything in the kitchen, primed and painted the kitchen, cleared the yard of garbage including multiple layers of yard carpet and rotten crates, removed the awning at the back door, trimmed trees around the house, killed a few snakes and hung a new back door.

The Baxter kitchen on Monday morning. A lot of work to do.

The list of accomplishments were especially impressive since this youth team is the youngest of any of the site teams. In addition to being young they are all first-time Salkehatchie participants. They are off to a great start

Tuesday July 20, 2004 by Mona Kita

Here are the things that I wish that the parents of the teenagers on the Baxter site could see:

  • I wish that Erin's parents could have seen her, covered in paint and grinning from ear to ear as she watched Ms. Baxter dance for joy when she saw her new washing machine.
  • I wish that Kyle's parents could have seen his determination as he was working on finishing the shingles.
  • I wish Michael's family knew that when he saw that the paint in the kitchen was not perfect, he decided to paint a third coat by himself to make it nice for Ms. Baxter.
  • I wish Melissa and Kelsey's families could have seen them, drenched in sweat, shingling the roof.
  • I wish that Tyler's family could have seen him carrying shingles up the ladder on his shoulder.
  • I wish that Will's parents could have seen the pride on his face when he completed putting a new lock on Ms. Baxter's back door.

On the roof of the Baxter home

The Salkehatchie experience is about stepping out of our comfort zone, reaching out to people that are not within the society that we are familiar with and doing work that is not a part of our usual lives. When your kids come home, they will be changed by what they have seen and done. I hope that you are as proud of your kids and the mission that they have done as I am.

Thank you for sharing them with me for this week.

Wednesday July 21, 2004

Making ridge caps out of shingles.

The Baxter team got off to an early start on Wednesday. The early part of the morning was spent completing the roof. The roof looks good. Kyle Shores finished up installing the ridge caps which Kelsey Blackburn made for him. Tyler Piehl took on the tedious but necessary task of cutting the overhanging shingles. From beginning to end everyone had participated in doing the roof.

The kitchen really came together. The old tile was scraped down to the concrete pad and a new large light fixture was put up in the kitchen. The room suddenly looked spacious and bright. The old sink cabinet was removed to make room for the new cabinets. By the end of the day the team had hung all the kitchen cabinets. Credit to the Michael Wright, Kyle Shores, Tyler Piehl and Will Hollis for putting up the kitchen cabinets. All that was left to do by end of day Wednesday was the new flooring and the final plumbing hookups.

The team then began work on the deck. The deck would wrap around the north and south side of the house. Wednesday afternoon was spent digging post holes and setting the posts. Michael Wright and Melissa Cannan created the post holes. The whole team participated in setting the posts in concrete.

Diging posts for the deck at the Baxter home

The Baxter team is hoping to complete the deck by end of day Thursday. It's a big job but with enough prayers they'll get it done.

Thursday July 22, 2004 by Mona Kita

At Salkehatchie, Thursday is the day when the enormity of the tasks ahead make us all a little tired and worried about how we can complete our site's work. After another rousing rendition of the "Birdie" song from Robert Cox at breakfast, we got to Mrs. Baxter's house ready to frame up the deck. Kyle Shores and Michael Wright begin painting the exterior of the home (not just women's work!) as Melissa Cannan and Kelsey Blackburn help Laura Pascal frame in the deck.

Cutting a piece for the deck

Will Hollis installed a new fan light in the bathroom. Although it was not a simple job, he persisted until it was complete. Erin Mode, Laura Brittian and Suzhannah Bales took on the dirty and time consuming job of cleaning the old glue off the floors to get them ready for the new flooring. They also painted and cleaned the bathroom.

Erin Mode and Kelsey Blackburn learn to patch drywall and Tyler Piehl again shows his character by helping in painting, decking and flooring.

By the end of the day, the countertop is in the kitchen, sink is installed, exterior is painted and the deck is getting close to completion.

We would like to thank the people of HUMC who showed up to help us to get everything done. Thanks to Laura Brittian and Suzannah Bales who came to help with the flooring. We were thrilled to have Russ Daniel come by and take the lead on the framing of the deck. He did a wonderful job in showing the kids how to make a great deck.

Baxter Kitchen

Here's the progress on the Baxter home during the week. Picture will change.

Friday July 23, 2004 by Mona Kita

Friday morning. Russ Daniel comes back and helps to frame up the shed roof and gets the kids started on putting down the decking. Thanks Russ! You rock!

We were finishing up lots of jobs today. The parquet floor went into the kitchen and the vinyl floor went into the bathroom. The lockset on the backdoor was adjusted, and the new stove was installed. The last of the exterior was painted and the last of the decking was nailed into place. Both Kelsey and Melissa learned to swing a mean hammer by the end of the day.

All of the living room furniture had to be removed and put into the front yard so we could put in new carpet. Of course, three layers of carpets had to be removed before the new carpet could go in.

Thanks to Pam Elsass, who stopped by to deliver popsicles and ended up helping us with the kitchen floor.

The end of the day brings us the most exciting part of the week. We are all excited to show the other campers the Baxter home now that we have completed our week. What a great experience! These are the best kids I have ever worked with. I am so proud of what they have been able to complete this week with the help of God.