Fraternity group helping spruce up Camp ASCCAPublished 2:14pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014
By Cliff Williams / Outlook Staff Writer
Since 2003, Push America’s Build America has been stopping at Camp ASSCA to help with projects at the camp.
According to Camp Director Matt Rickman, “I can blindfold someone, take them anywhere here, spin them around five times, remove the blindfold and have them point. Chances are they will be pointing at a project impacted by Push America.”
In fact Pi Kappa Phi, operates Push America, has been coming to the camp since 1991 to help out even before the national honor fraternity created Push America through the Give-A-Push Weekends fulfilling Build America’s mission, “Building leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today.
From the camp’s signs to the gazebos to the decks at the Nature Center, they have been coming back year after year to build, repair and help maintain the camp.
The Build America group has been traveling the country for six weeks this this summer stopping at camps for people with disabilities giving their time and money.
This week, 17 college students and graduates are stopping by Camp ASSCA to refurbish signs and work on an accessible disc golf course. In the past they have built projects around the camp’s fishing pond, so long ago that they are now performing maintenance on the projects to keep them going for another 10 or so years.
They come from 10 different states and 14 different schools with hometowns from Washington to Florida.
Unlike many volunteer groups who only can provide labor or materials, they come with not only manpower, but tools and materials. This year’s team saves the six camps they out over $50,000 in labor costs and over $30,000 in material costs. This year the Build America crew started in Boston with stops in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and finally Camp ASSCA.
For those on the crew who are carpentry challenged, a two-day workshop was given on using tools and building in Boston before beginning the journey.
So what is the most memorable part about the journey, is it the sweat, no. Ohio State student and Munster, Indiana native David Straka put it best. “We might do this project that you can see visually, but that is small compared to the love and experience we get from and share with the campers and staff along the way.”