By: Blake Denman ’18, La Vida Intern
Quad break this year included a trip up to La Vida’s Base Camp in the Adirondacks. A group of students, staff and La Vida alumni headed to Lake Clear, NY to get the property ready for the coming winter. The first day, after (unintentionally) almost making a detour to Canada, the group arrived just in time for a yummy dinner prepared by Nate and Amber. The next morning, work began on the Algonquin building.
The cabin has been in disrepair for years and was used principally for storage. Gordon College and La Vida recently received a grant to fix up the building and use it to board students who are part of our new Summit program. As part of this work, the bowed foundation needed to be straightened, which meant new foundation footings needed to be dug below the structure. This is where the spry college students came in – several holes were dug below the building, with access gained through cuts in the floor. When the holes were deep enough, wooden forms were placed in and filled with concrete. At the same time, others were demolishing the outdoor staircase and digging postholes for a new handicap accessible entrance to the building.
On Saturday, work on these tasks continued along with splitting and stacking wood, Nate teaching some stumps a lesson with the stump grinder, and an outside group fixing the foundation on the Armstrong (Men’s) Cabin. Once the afternoon rolled around, students headed out for an excursion near Paul Smith’s College to climb St. Regis Mountain. Foliage and weather conditions were perfect and made for a great hike, with a beautiful view of the lakes region and the high peaks beyond, plus a 360-degree view from the fire tower on top!
Outside of working hours, the group ate rejuvenating meals together and hung out around the wood stove that heated Marcy (Main Cabin) at night. Mornings included a devo, worship, journaling and solo time. Evenings were for relaxing and games – if we didn’t choose to sleep instead! Students enjoyed unbelievably nice weather, had the opportunity to relax taxed minds, and learned to understand a little better the value of work and the identity of God as a worker. Everyone had a great time and appreciated the opportunity to spend a long weekend with godly friends, old and new, and to help give future students the ability to enjoy such a beautiful place.