Pocahontas State Park 2014: Days 5 & 6

My apologies being so late. Final entries to be completed at some point this weekend! Enjoy the pictures below in the meantime…




(The lot of us with park staff at PSP… From left to right, top to bottom… Older man with mustache (unknown), Charlie, Matt, Dollian, Eden, Junghwan, Shantel, Daniel, Ed, Amanda, Maggie, Kat, David, Pete)



(Right before I pushed them all in… mwahahah)


(Play like no one’s watching, right?)


(Our team at Jamestown)



(Rev. Shantel in the pulpit)




Pocahontas State Park 2014: Day 4

I realized after rereading what I had posted last night, that I’ve been doing a pretty awful job of updating on the actual progress of our project(s). With that said, let’s jump right in…


Eden & Maggie (Bookshelf #1) AND Kat & Shantel (Bookshelf #2) – These two sets of friends have been working their fingers off (literally) in an attempt to restore the bookshelves inside the cabin to new. Among other wildly inexplicable fads of our parents’ generation (yes, I’m talking to you 1970’s) a group in the cabin 30-40 years ago had decided to paint over the natural wood with a salmon-peach paint (obviously to match the beaded chandeliers and shag carpet, jk… jk…). The before and after pictures are stunning and will be uploaded tomorrow. Not to mention that we all kind of think that the park staff had given the job of restoring the bookshelves away as an “impossible task”. The collective look on their faces when they saw a freshly mineral-spirited and sanded bookshelf evidenced their complete joy that the shelves had been brought back to life! 


Junghwan (Jason) and Dollian – These guys (neither of whom has ever used a power tool) have been tasked with the precise task of measuring, cutting and hanging pine paneling to cover up the original wooden boards that make up the cabin walls and ceiling. It’s been reinforced over and over again, “Measure twice. Cut once.” Now on day four, and a couple pieces of “oops” wood later, I think they finally get it!


Amanda – This girl has had laser-like focus when it comes to cleaning the fireplace. Again with the 1970’s paint, a group-of-old had decided to paint over all the natural brick in the ugliest salmon you could imagine. Amanda has spent the last 2 days with a bottle of acid within her reaches at all times. She has done everything in her power to clean off the fireplace and has received rave reviews from park staff. We think it was another “impossible task”… we showed them!!!


More to come tomorrow (our last day of service)!!!



(Gotta make our mark for when people rehab again 75 years from now)



(Dollian uses the saw a lot…)






(Getting the job done)



(Union break!)



Pocahontas State Park 2014: Day 3

“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.”

– William Clement Stone

I’ve always appreciated Stone’s choice of words here. He could’ve very easily cautioned the reader in regards to, specifically, a dangerous environment and/or negative group of people. Though instead, in what reminds me of what I’ve read about ancient soothsayers in Caesar’s time, he seemed to be whispering an unadulterated message to anyone willing to listen. It’s a simple message and one that clearly begs the question: What, and whom, do we allow into our lives that will change us regardless of our intentions?

I’m here at PSP witnessing some pretty incredible things day-after-day from a group of talented, dynamic, and reflective students. Their willingness to give thanks, share, cross personal boundaries, and practice humility (quite possibly in ways that are unfamiliar and even uncomfortable for some) has been eye opening and refreshing. Part of me… most of me was worried that I would have to play Dr. Phil this week; asking difficult questions, fielding thoughtless answers, and making seemingly impossible connections, though that hasn’t been the case up to this point. Citing scenarios that have been completely unprompted by myself, we’ve had conversations regarding…

…being recognized for hard work

…the importance of humility

…family and origins

…assessing needs and wants

…decision-making processes and regrets

…personal motivations and intentions

…so many more thoughtful topics that I can’t even think of them all!

What I actually seem to have on my hands, besides a small acid burn, some white paint that didn’t come off in the shower, and countless splinters from hanging paneling earlier today is simply a group of kids that, regardless of if they had heard Stone’s whisper, have made two choices: first, to immerse themselves in an environment focused on service and humility and second, to surround themselves with like-minded individuals.

Change is happening down here at latitude, 37.373973, longitude, -77.571782… and it’s not just the change that’s taking place inside the cabin we’re rehabbing.

Every nail we drive and every board we hang comes with a price. It is in those very finite moments that we dare ourselves to change


(Dollian following the line)


(Junghwan showing us how to properly hold power tools)


(Katherine strunking… stretching and dunking… it’s a thing)


(Shantel being Shantel… and scraping like a boss)


(Our resident maniac…who gave Amanda the bottle of acid and grinding wheel?!?!)