Rick's Journal

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Welcome to Hawk Circle 2.0!

If you are looking at the pictures over there to the right, you will see some of what I was working on during all of those months that I wasn't writing in my journal!

Yeah, that's right! Cabins! And not just any cabins, either, but beautiful, traditional timberframed cabins....

We cut this frame this summer, before and during the workshop with Craig Boynton, and raised the frame as part of the Sustainability Basecamp experience. (Thanks, guys!) We put the first cabin high in the meadow, because it is the first of four new cabins here at Hawk Circle. They will transform our programs, both in making them more sustainable, more protected and less seasonal. Currently, our tents are made overseas, last a couple of months and then are wrecked, leading to a continuation of the cycle. They don't hold up well in snow, or winds or heavy rains, and they make everyone damp and cramped. I'm not trying to badmouth tenting, because we have been able to have some great camps for 16 years using them and they have been ok.

But the time has come to change this. Time to upgrade. Okay isn't good enough, and we want to move towards something more, something deeper, something awesome....

I think when you see them, you are going to be surprised. Impressed, maybe, or even a little excited! They are so beautiful and strong and solid. They laugh at blizzards. Strong winds are like a backrub to these fellows! You will have to come and visit to find out more!

We are in the process of cutting two more cabins this winter, and fundraising for the last cabin as well. We will raise them this spring, when the snow melts, and get the roof shingles on, then the siding and windows and doors. Jerry and I will be working long hours, and it will be good. Honest work. Fun work. Rewarding work!

The staff are excited, but for different reasons. No more tarp repairs at midnight when the wind has ripped them down in a rainstorm. No more bug netting repairs of zippers by headlamp. No more taking them down, storinng them for next year, and trying to find the right stakes, poles or rainflies! No more leaks that lead to wet clothes, sleeping bags, washing machines, dryers, wasted time, wasted energy..... Can you imagine? They can!

Translation: Better sleep for all. Less time spent on logistics. More time for stories, mentoring, learning, growing. Safer, in the worst thunderstorm. Good Times!

For me, personally, I am living the dream. I see these cabins built and lasting for a hundred years or more. Your grandchildren could sleep in the cabins we have made, with our own hands, some chisels and handsaws, and experience Hawk Circle in ways that will be traditions for us all. We are building a legacy that will change the lives of many.

The pictures tell the story of the cutting, raising, and something about what the campfire circle looks like now.... A new camp firewood shed. A staff Cabin, with new First Aid deck and the Incredible Handwashing Station.....

Ok, I will take a break now, because I think you get it!

I will tell you more about the Fall Earth Skills Semester too, and also a bit about the Winter Intensive, going on now!