I knew I was going to be in for it on Saturday. A volunteer day from 10-2 and then a robust camping trip planned with my kids.. Knowing this, I took the whole family (5 of us) to volunteer day to get to work so we could knock out as much as possible and get on our way to kayaking and s’mores.

However, Mother Nature was not on our side. Looked like severe rain – so our camping trip was canceled. More importantly, the volunteers still had a lot of work to do and were racing against the clock. We had some hill-like structures to complete, from the creative minds at Henry McGalliard and their newest addition Lauren Meena. Wood had to be cut, dirt had to be moved, and all before the storm.

My wife and two youngest made it until 12:30. That left me with Lucy, my 9-year old and oldest child, along with about 20 other amazing volunteers. We had to move a few tons of dirt and dense grade to make our vision a reality.

Patrick Piuma, captain of our volunteer ship, along with Patrick Henry, realigned our focus. Painting trees and such was part of our day, but we quickly moved to moving mountains. Literally.

Thanks to the cancellation of my camping trip, I was able to stick around. The mini-mountains got completed - that's what you see in the pictures above – by four o’clock. By 4:15, a torrential downpour. Our timing was impeccable. However, clean up had to ensue despite the downpour. Rightfully so, our volunteer team depleted, but some of us weathered the storm

In the end, camping was not 100% cancelled. We improvised, setting up a mock-camping event in my living room, and I think the kids were quite happy. Especially Lucy, who was happy to have a fully functional (clean) bathroom just a few feet from our camping site.

We were able to get trees painted, tons of beautiful bamboo added for fencing, and so much more, in just a few hours. Although cleanup took a bit, I still arrived home by 7. I felt a true sense of accomplishment by day’s end, even though my back was a bit tweaked by my activity. It is such an honor to be part of such an amazing project with so many good people helping.

We can’t wait for next Saturday to see everyone again, and hope to see some new faces. This couldn’t happen without the help of our community. Thank you all so much.