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 2

Eight o’clock feels like bedtime…


No, this isn’t a riddle. This is the answer that anyone of the students volunteering here at PSP would give if asked how they’re feeling at this very moment (myself included).


I’m so happy with the group that ended up coming to Virginia: that they have all proven themselves to be hard workers, excellent ambassadors of The Colleges, and just thoughtful individuals in general.


So… recapping a bit from yesterday…


We did end up meeting Dan Q. (the head honcho around these parts). He talked us through the history of PSP, the vision of those working on this Spring’s restoration project, and a few odds and ends that were entertaining, if nothing else. For instance, did you know that in order to test the local tick population, park officials gather roughly 300 of the little guys into a blender and give it a light frappe in order to create tick-testing goop? Seriously… the most efficient way park staff has found to determine the “cleanliness” of the local tick population has been to turn them into tick-shakes, hundreds and even thousands at a time (P.S. The tick population here is, allegedly, squeaky clean). I also bet you didn’t know that the rabies virus, deadly in nearly 99.5% of untreated cases, requires a booster series of 8 shots directly to the abdomen to treat? Do you know how to tell a copperhead snake from a water moccasin? What happens if you see a bear? Should you try to pet a skunk if the opportunity presents itself? Can you tell that our time with Dan was really well spent? He took our interrogation like a pro, obviously, and having finished facilitating a conversation that was hilarious, informative, and inspirational, he left us to the rest of our night…


$536 shopping trip for groceries at Food Lion…


Figuring out the shortest distance, through the woods, off the path, point “A” to point “B”, without getting muddy, or cold, or dirty, to the showers…


Watching Jungwan DESTROY his HWS counterparts (3 games in a row) in Uno…  (A game they had taught him how to play only 5 minutes beforehand)


Roaring fire… crackling embers… orange glow… and silence.


End scene, 3/16/14.


Wake to a variation of country music, hip-hop, and laughing baby ringtones/alarms at 7AM on 3/17/14. Today was our first scheduled day of service down in the actual cabin! Enter David. David has been with PSP for a couple of years, though he isn’t new to the area. David served as a police office in the city of Chesterfield, VA for 32 years and had come to PSP as a part-time/volunteer worker who just loved the outdoors. He met us at Powhatan Dining Hall (where we’re staying) at 8AM sharp, and had us follow him to the work site roughly 2 miles down the road. I think that most of the group was pretty surprised to be introduced to the dilapidated cabin that we would spend our entire day in; surprised that there was so much work to be done, and surprised at how much history was evident in the original boarded walls, built in bookshelves, and names scraped into ceiling joists (“Bob, 1963” and “Joe & Terri, 1941”).


Our to-do list for today included:


1)    Stripping the bookshelves down to the original wood

2)    Laying insulation

3)    Painting the ceiling

4)    Cleaning out the attic (Amanda found a mummified squirrel foot… And played with it… Gross)

5)    Acid-washing the brick fireplace to uncover the original red brick face


It seems pretty evident that we’ll be working in the cabin until Wednesday at the very least (finishing up tasks listed above, hanging paneling, and refinishing the hardwood floors). More updates to come tomorrow!


P.S. I made baked ziti tonight. Yes, be jealous… 


Currently 10:04PM… past bedtime…



(The cabin we’re rehabbing) 




(Dollian and Shantel stripping the bookshelves)





(Amanda hard at work)



(Katherine and Jungwan hanging out in the attic with David)