Volunteers renovate Alaska camp

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shieldTwenty-seven volunteers from the Western Territory recently completed a 12-day mission service team project to repair and renovate camp cabins and build a new bathhouse for the new King’s Lake Camp at Wasilla, Alaska.

The team was made up of soldiers, active and retired officers, advisory board members and employees and volunteers from 16 corps and two ARCs in the West. Six married couples were on the team.

The 236 acre King’s Lake Camp was built in the 1930s and recently was donated to the Alaska Division. Many of the buildings were in poor condition and in need of replacement or renovation.

The team was faced with the task of construction of a 1,408 square foot bathhouse and completely renovating 22 cabins. Cabins had no electricity or heat, which limited their use.

Two crews were formed, one to construct the bathhouse and the other to rip out interior beams, install reinforcing, insulate, install electricity and sheet rock and install new wall heaters. Most of the cabins had porches and stairs that were broken and full of dry rot and needed to be replaced.

The team had two retired contractors, Lloyd Mathison of the Puyallup, Wash., Corps and his twin brother Loren Mathison of Janesville, Wis., who acted as team leaders.

The team had to work with a limited time frame of 12 days because of the Alaska perma-frost condition and the date that a large group had been scheduled to use the facilities. The team worked feverishly to complete as much of the renovation as possible in that period of time. Everyone was astonished that each of the projects scheduled, and some additional ones not thought possible, were completed on time!

Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock (R), team leader, was quoted in a local newspaper: “The motivating factor for me, and for a lot of the volunteers, is that we see the camp as a way to work with the kids of the community. At our devotions the other day, one volunteer stood up and said, that ‘every time he cut a board, every time he hammered a nail, he was thinking that it was so kids will have a better place to learn about themselves and about God.’ I think that’s why we all do it.”

This is the third mission service team organized by the Western Territory in the last few years and led by Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock (R).

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