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The Bittersweet Conclusion

The past twenty weeks have been quite a journey for the 26 intrepid students who showed up one fine late spring day all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not to mention for the two instructors who led them through this process. Looking at the picture above, taken the first week of construction, it’s pretty amazing what we have been able to accomplish in a rather short time period. This really hit home for most of us on Thursday when many of our suppliers, partners, family members and friends took the time to come help us celebrate the completion of the course. There are a few odds and ends that were unable to be completed before this occasion, but for the most part we were standing around in our Sunday best both admiring and receiving praise for the finished product that will hopefully serve to inspire many young minds for years to come.

To say that it was a mad dash to the finish would be an understatement. There was so much to do on not just the building but the site in general to ready it for Thursday’s festivities. Painting and trim work were huge priorities and many long hours were spent getting them right. The painters did an amazing job getting as much covered as they did, and the trim team was diligent in bridging the gaps between the many different looks we had going on thanks to the prefab walls, site baled walls, brick wall, drywall, concrete floor, cedar ceiling and on and on. There were also fixtures to be installed all over the place, including the beautiful light boxes you can see in the picture above, designed and built by our lighting and fixture team. Another huge job was finishing off the can and bottle wall, also seen above, which ended up exceeding all expectations. It really is a work of art and those that had a hand in it should be very proud. Below you can see the finishing touch placed on the entry shelter, a ridge cap constructed from left over cedar shingles which was even painted with a miniature replication of the sun motif that adorns the north gable of the building. Obviously attention to detail was not sacrificed even given the time constraints we were facing.

Besides just putting the finishing touches on the building, there was an immense amount of cleaning, scraping, dusting, sorting waste and countless other thankless tasks to take care of. Many of us put in very late hours and put other things on hold in order to get the site spic and span for our impending visitors. In the end it was well worth it. The reaction that the building received from the Camp, the College, and all our other invitees swelled our collective chests with pride. The speeches were heartfelt and the congratulations overwhelming. We have certainly come a long way from the group you see below, the picture having been taken the first week of class. Much knowledge and experience was gained, lasting friendships were forged, and moustaches of varying success were grown.

In closing, I would like to apologize for any omissions or errors that may have been made in this journal. I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to visit and read about our experiences. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the project as much as I have been honoured to try and share a glimpse of it with you. A big thank you to all who were involved in the project from top to bottom, start to finish, and hopefully this was just step one on the road towards long and fruitful careers in this emerging field that has so much to offer, and so much of a potential impact to be delivered.