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Initial Project Report from Lake Swan Camp


After our morning devotions on Monday, October 30 all eight of us drove over to the Lake Swan Camp (LSC) Anniversary Lodge to get started. All the ladies in our group, Rhonda, Marlis,Joyce and Karen were painting the "accent" wall in the eight rooms of the lodge. Some of them were cutting in paint on the T-111 interior siding panels with others rolling the paint on. Karen worked with Marlis painting the bathroom ceilings with a special mold inhibiting formula later in the first week


Robert and I were paired up to install the condensation drain hose plumbing for the new air conditioners in all eight rooms . We had to add a dishwasher drain fitting between the room sink and the P-trap. We then installed a flexible hose through the back of the sink counter and wall partition in a storage closet up to the previously installed A/C unit drain. We worked well together and got all of the installs completed before lunch. Dan and Steve were busy removing the old A/C units under the windows next to each doorway and framing in the opening.


After lunch Robert and I moved over to the Block House complex to fill the old A/C unit holes with cinder blocks. We removed the wooden covers over the holes then measured, cut and mortared the blocks into the opening. I had never done this kind of work before so I was very interested in how it would work. Robert had a portable electric disk saw he used to score the block to the right shape before using a hammer and chisel to break the blocks on the scored line. It only took one block to get the technique down but worked every time after the first attempt. One of the openings needed to have an electrical box installed in the block wall, rewiring and a new exterior switch plate. I took this on because I knew how to rewire and proceeded to install the metal box with the connections. Again, we worked together with one guy on the inside wall and the other on the outside wall positioning the blocks in place with mortar to hold the assembly together. By quitting time at 3:45 PM we had three old A/C openings completed.


The next day, Robert and I returned to the Anniversary Lodge to finish the old A/C openings with insulation, replacement T-111 panel on the interior and Hardie board shiplap planks on the exterior.

By Thursday, all the men moved over to the next project site on the property which is a two-story dormitory building near Lake Rosa. We began .removing old A/C wall units then patched the old holes with block & mortar on the first floor and T-111 on the second floor


Week two we started replacing 32 double hung windows in the same two-story building. It is an ambitious assignment that took us a few windows to get up to speed. We started on the bottom floor to see how complicated removing the old windows would be before starting the installation of the new windows. We eventually developed an efficient process and rhythm we can use as we continue into next week. We successfully complete all 32 windows by Thursday, November 9.

I'm really glad to be doing some building construction and not painting for three weeks. I have learned how to cut, fit and mortar concrete cement blocks along with the process of removing old aluminum windows, installing new PVC windows and finishing them in the original openings. These are all new skills and increase my comfort level addressing these kind of challenges.

These first two work weeks at the camp have been very efficient and have gone by quickly. After working all day Monday through Thursday we're all pretty much wiped out. However, we did find enough energy for Wednesday night socials at 6:30 PM. We got together and played a few rounds of various card games: 4 up/4 down, Pyramid and Seven but we ended the evenings early by 8:00PM. On Friday, November 3 our team met up with our old RVICS team leaders, Frank and Melissa and a couple from their team for a brunch at the Orange Blossom restaurant. The restaurant is part of a RV park which includes a mini golf course attraction. After brunch we all played a round and followed up with ice cream, of course, at a locally owned shop. It was great seeing Frank and Melissa and catching up. Their team is working another RVICS camp project in Keystone Heights, FL a few miles up the road from where we are working.



Front row (L to R): Joyce Parlette, Marlis Williams, Rhonda Mazzanti, Karen Teague, with other team members, Mary and Melissa. Back row (L to R) Steve Parlette, Dan Williams, Robert Mazzanti, John Teague, with other team members Mike and Frank.

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