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August 28, 2006
Vol. 2 No. 2

We Need More Volunteer Labor

How Did the Work Bee Go?


We had a great turnout of volunteers, 42 different individuals during the 10 days, who worked hard and accomplished more than we dreamed possible!

The concrete pads to all six of the cabins were formed, the steel and plumbing put in and the concrete poured by Wednesday, August 16, two days earlier than we had planned. This gave us Thursday and Friday to strip off the forms and clean up the camp from all the construction materials.

This is not all, the ladies took the kitchen apart, washed and painted the walls, cleaned the floor on their hands and knees and continued to prepare three GOOD meals a day for all of us!

Near the end of our session, Burt Pontynen installed new toilet partitions in the current restrooms -- what an improvement!

There were several factors that made the ten days a success: (1) we had great leadership in the persons of Jim Grossman and Bob Clough who constructed a template for the forming and plumbing; (2) Conrad and Erik vonBlankenburg who took charge of the forming and steel; (3) lots of volunteers who were willing to follow the directions of these four men; (4) Betty Muth and her staff of ladies who took charge of the meals and the dining room; (5) Dave Wiebe doing the gofer work for supplies and building materials; (6) Ruth Wiebe who shot 10,000 pictures (just a little hyperbole), made sure all had a place to stay and helped plumb in her spare time; and (7) the passion all had for getting the job done!

How We Did the Construction

Jim Grossman and Bob Clough, from their experience, assembled a metal template for the four dorm cabins. This template, built to the exact size of the concrete pad, had all of the plumbing points (toilet, shower, etc.) marked in and all the spots where the j-bolts should go. This template accelerated our work dramatically.

After the footings were dug with the backhoe, Conrad would set the forms to grade and square them up. Then we would put the template in place, clamp the template to the forms, recheck everything to set it to grade and make it was square. While Conrad finished bracing the forms, Jim and his plumbing crew put in all the black plumbing pipe. Next, some of the plumbing needed wrapping and following that another crew put down four inches of gravel. The vapor barrier came next, then the wire mesh and finally two inches of sand. Following all of this, Conrad and Erik rechecked the forms for grade and further braced them where necessary. Now, we were ready to pour the concrete.

While we were doing all this Phil Saulsbury, Sean Westenrider and Dave Lowenstein from Plant Services came over from the college and made some important modifications to the electrical service to the cabins.

After all the forms were stripped off, we added some french drains to the fronts of all the uphill-facing cabins to catch the water and drain it off during the winter rains.


Lonicera was put on hold during these ten days except for the completion of the plumbing. Bob Clough was able to finish all the rough plumbing that was necessary in the walls before he left. Since then, Dave Wiebe has been putting on the plywood shearwall siding, insulating and installing drywall.

What is Next?


We need help with drywall installation, taping and texturing. Following that we need help with the painting, setting the doors and wood trim, and finally the finished plumbing. Because we need to use these cabins as soon as possible for our groups in the fall we are especially anxious to get these units completed.

Lower Camp

The next step here is to install the 5,000 gallon sewer tank and then to put about 350 feet of 6 inch sewer line in the road as well as electrical conduits, communication conduits and propane lines. This we hope to accomplish in the first two weeks of September. Following this, on September 10-15, the plan is to form all the curbing along the main street of camp and all the sidwalks and get them poured.

It is imperative that we get these projects completed for three reasons, (1) safety of guests, (2) dirt and sand getting into the cabins and dining room, and (3) mud when the rains come.

We Need YOU!

The pressure now is for volunteer help. We need to get Lonicera completed as soon as possible and we need to get the lower camp safe and clean before many groups begin using the camp in the fall and the rains come. The PUC Administrative team will be volunteering Thursday afternoon, September 7, during their annual business retreat at the field station.

These are the skills we need:

  • drywall finishers
  • finish carpenters
  • individuals who can glue ABS pipe together
  • backfill ditches
  • form and pour sidewalks
  • concrete finishers
  • help of any kind, skilled or not, because we will have individuals who can direct you

In addition to the September 10-15 Work Bee, we can use your help anytime you have a day or two to give to the project.

Plan to be involved by contacting Dave Wiebe at 707-937-5440 or Gibby at 707-965-2607 and we will put you on the schedule. You can also email us using the contact information below.

David Wiebe, 707-937-5440,

Gibby Muth, 707-965-2607,

Larry Provonsha, 916-638-0842,

Hard-working Volunteers

Template for Forming and Plumbing

Putting in the Plumbing

Pad all Formed, Plumbed and Ready for Pouring Concrete

Pouring the Concrete using a Concrete Pumper

Pouring the Concrete using a Concrete Pumper

Pad Completely Poured with Safty Tape Installed

Electrical Crew Pulling Wires

Susie Fox Cleaning the Floor of the Kitchen

Lois Sherman Washing the Ceiling of the Kitchen

Estelle Patton Washing Dishes

A Big Thank You to all these Volunteers

Conrad vonBlankenburg - Erik vonBlankenburg - Jim Grossman - Martha Grossman

David Wiebe - Susie Fox - Bob Clough

Jack Sherman - Lois Sherman - Gibby Muth - Betty Muth

Richard Dederer - Ron Whitney - Larry Provonsha - Terry Trivett

Tiny Cornish - Don Halenz - Elaine Halenz - Janine Haylock

Art Westphall - Betty Westphall - Bill Hemmerlin - Art Goulard

Dan Wyrick - Estelle Patton - Roland Haylock - Ron Downey

Julie and David Finley - Elaine Weston - David Weston - Jeff Weston

Burt Pontynen - Carol Pontynen - Bruce Ivey - Janet Ivey

Eric Marxmiller - Hardy Delifield - Phil Saulsbury - Sean Westenrider

Not Pictured : Ruth Wiebe, Rachelle Dederer, John Hewitt, Jim Pasch, Dave Lowenstein

Newsletter Written and Edited by Gilbert Muth, 305 Sky Oaks Drive, Angwin, CA 94508 (707) 965-2607

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