Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Food Handling Course

Yesterday I had the privilege, along with some friends, to take a brief food handling course. Although this was not a certification program - it did offer some great insight into some of the safety regulations for our commercial kitchen. The NB government offered this introductory program for any charitable organizations (ex: churches, care homes, camps etc.), this was in response to a serious food borne illness that resulted in the death of an elderly woman - due to improper food handling, in NB recently. I am very pleased with how we run our kitchen at Arrowhead and we strive every year to improve wherever we can. The safety and health of our volunteers and guests is very important to us; so operating at the highest possible level of food safety is our goal. This motivation is driving a number of the improvements that we plan for our Spring Work Week in April.

I spoke with the instructor, and although the NB Gov't does not inspect summer camp facilities and their kitchens, he is happy to visit and give us pointers and advice for how we can be most food safe. I plan to invite him to come in May after we have completed our work week.

 Myself, Lisa Weaver, Joel, Tara & Zoe Hoyt

Roger proudly displaying his ABC's of food safety manual!

ANBC Spring Work Week 2015

This year we are putting a huge focus on maintenance, repair and the completion of our main lodge at ANBC! We have a volunteer crew that is planning to join us from Peterborough, Ontario for the week of April 29th to May 2nd of this year! There is lots to do, so if you would like to join us and lend a hand we'd love to have you, just drop us a line. There are tasks for every skill set, everything from spring cleaning, painting, roofing, carpentry, flooring and construction.

Thanks to the kind gifts of those who contribute to the NCEM Minute Man program, Arrowhead has funds available to see this project through. However, the project is extensive, so we are always eager to find out about ways in which we can economize. If you have contacts for suppliers for any of these materials that might allow us to have wholesale pricing or donated materials, we would love to hear from you. If you feel led to contribute to the costs for this project you can do so by clicking HERE.

The exterior of the main lodge will require some TLC. A new roof is absolutely top priority for this year. I am currently speaking with a steel supplier to find out about the feasibility of having steel put on as opposed to replacing the asphalt shingles. With thanks to very generous pricing and some valuable advice; it looks as though we will be able to see this project through for less than it would cost to install the traditional asphalt shingles. We will need to make some adjustments and allowances for chimneys and snow run off, but I am excited about this opportunity for a long term roofing solution.

These are some of the major projects taking place in the lodge this April:
• new 1/2hp water pump for the water system to pump water to out buildings
• oil fired hot water tank installed / dedicated to keep the dish washer super heated
• service propane fixtures and install exterior propane outlets for BBQ & cookers
• service commercial kitchen equipment; coffee maker & dishwasher
• installation of a new commercial solid glass door in South end of the building
• installation of steel roof on entire lodge
• reinforcement of lakeside deck; we would like to replace the 4x4 posts with 6x6 and improve both the bracing and the fasteners to the lodge
• two large louvered commercial fans have been donated, and we would like to have one installed in each end of the upper dorm hallway to help improve airflow for our summer guests
• all of the dark black stained areas of the exterior of the lodge need to be re-stained as well as the "soffit" areas
• there is some minor exterior repair that needs to be done to the siding and around some doors. There needs to be a screen installed along the soffit to cover all of the vent holes... we've had issues with squirrels in the past. Also there needs to be work done on both gable ends to finish off the soffit and make it sealed up.
Throughout the inside of the lodge there are areas that require trim work, paint or repairs. A lot of unfinished jobs and upkeep to be done.

• we would like to have a flat screen tv installed above the fireplace with hidden wires - this is going to serve as a slideshow of camp pictures whenever we have events. We used to have pictures of camps gone by hung, and everyone enjoyed them, but we only have limited wall space. We hope this will be a good solution.
• trim in chapel, diningroom, kitchen, washrooms and upstairs to be completed
• paint touch-ups and diningroom paint work
• window installed in main entrance door at the South end of the diningroom
• we have new locks and doors to be installed in various locations
• all handrails need to be serviced and repaired

 • The lower stairwells and kitchen bathroom need to have VC tile flooring put down

• this is the serving counter in the kitchen - we would like to have sliding cupboard doors installed here.

 • the Arrowhead pantry will be needing a major overhaul; it is our hope to purchase steel shelving from Target as they hold their clearance sale; the steel shelving will be wipeable and adjustable. This means the room will need to be gutted
• we will be installing a VC Tile floor as a part of this project.
• the roof has leaked into the east wall of the pantry and there has been some evidence of mold - so during the process of gutting this room we will need to investigate and possibly make repair to the East wall
• we want to make this room as mouse proof as possible; so with that in mind we will be purchasing a roll up commercial door for the entrance to the pantry and I would like to flash the walls against the floor and in the corners with metal

• this picture shows the bulkhead in the kitchen; directly behind it are the four upper dorm rooms - we would like to run a conduit along the back of this bulkhead and wire up 4 baseboard heaters for upstairs; there is currently no heat source for upstairs.

• the two staff bathrooms need to be completed. This will mean drop ceilings, trim work and paint
• we would consider installing tile on the walls if we had a tile pro who could volunteer with us for a couple of days
• a bulkhead will need to be constructed around the sewer drain; as you can see in the image

​• the two main load carrying posts in the dining-room are needing to be reinforced; our plan is to install a jack-post on either side of each one and then build an attractive facade around each one

That is the bulk of the work to be done to bring our main building up to a level of completion that will have us in regular maintenance mode for the foreseeable future. It looks like a lot, but many hands make light work. See you in April.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ANBC Summer Camp Out Program

In 2013 we did a trial of a off-site camping program, last year we tweaked that program and developed a philosophy that we believe will be very effective for engaging with the teens in Atlantic Canada. We saw a wonderfully successful program last summer and are excited to expand that program by a week and offer two different trips in 2015 for teens. The First Trip will take us back to Cape Breton again this year, the second will hopefully take us to Kejimkujik National Park in lower Nova Scotia.

The philosophy for these camp out trips is one of family camping; those things we would do were we to go camping with our own family, we do as a group during the camp outs! We found this to be such a wonderful way to not only build trust, but to allow our relationships with the teens to grow authentically. We have devotions in the morning after breakfast, around the bonfire, and then once again we have devotions and singing around the fire in the evening. We find moments throughout the day as we enjoy our activities to reflect on both the devotions and questions the teens have. Time spent in the vehicles is invaluable in this way!

It is our hope to have 8 campers for each of these camps in 2015. However, the biggest hurdle for this is financial. We offer a week of on site teen camp here at ANBC, and it is campers from this camp that we hope to have join us on the camp outs. Unfortunately once the on site camps are concluded there are no more funds available to the campers for another camp with us at ANBC. For this reason, we are hoping to raise enough in sponsorship funds to invite 16 teens to join us on the camp without the burden of the cost. Because this is a discipleship opportunity, it is a little different than our normal camps - and it is an extremely valuable ministry. 

The cost per camper for the camp out program is $400 each the week, this includes travel, meals, accommodations and activities. If you would like to sponsor one or more campers, or even partially sponsor a camper, for these camps; you can find information about how to do that by clicking HERE. Please indicate specifically that your gift is to sponsor a camper for the Arrowhead camp out program!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Have we lost everyone?

Greetings everyone (if in fact there is still anyone reading our blog); I know it has been far too long since we last posted an update. And believe me, MUCH has happened. It is my hope to be able to be more regular with updates now in the new year that we are having a bit more of a regular routine again in our lives.

Last fall, in October, we visited Lisbon Falls Baptist Church for a part of their missions conference. It was a wonderful refreshing time and we enjoyed the time with our Maine "family", as we always do.

We returned from the conference in Maine, and were immediately thrust into a major renovation project at the mission house we live in. With our ever expanding family we found it necessary to have more room in which to live here at the Center. So, by the grace of NCEM and the kindness of numerous donors, we have seen a 16' x 22' addition to the ANBC mission house. The process was far more challenging and fraught with unexpected (and expected) pitfalls. I won't belabor the details, but suffice it to say that challenges encountered with the foundation dramatically impacted the entire project. We are so very thankful for all of the many volunteers who came out, sometimes at the last minute, to help us see the project through - if it were not for them we would most certainly have been left with a serious mess. I would like very much to thank everyone by name, but I'm afraid that would be impossible at this point, so many folk gave of their time and energy to serve and see this project complete before winter!

The addition is 3 rooms, the biggest of which will serve as a "den", office and spare bedroom. We have very much been blessed by the woodstove this winter; and by the gift of firewood that we received from a neighbour.

Thanks to the resourcefulness of one of our volunteers, a very gifted carpenter, we have a lovely murphy bed that will allow us to have overnight guests.

The other large room in the addition is a utility room for us to store our cleaning supplies and deep freeze; it also gives a space for Liz to have for doing crafts and making soap.

Although I wasn't able to completely finish the addition before Willow arrived, I had much of the noisy work done and finished everything up the week prior to Christmas. 

On December 1st we were blessed to welcome Willow Grace Fawcett into the world. She was a most precious Christmas gift for our little family. 

It is amazing to see her grow and to see Ivy's love for her little sister. We feel so blessed.

We are now into a new year, and we have some exciting plans for ministry in the coming months.  Stay tuned in the coming week for our 2015 schedule and programs as well as applications and opportunities to serve. We will be holding our first advisory team meeting of 2015 this coming Saturday; I am very excited to touch base with the team and discuss some of our plans for the coming year!

Thanks so much for your continued support in prayer and finances - we are so blessed to be able to serve at Arrowhead, and we are further blessed by those of you who come along side of us every day in ministry!