Another busy week has passed, preparing the camps for the spring. This week I managed to find red, white, grey, forest green and khaki polo shirts which are currently being embroidered with the camp logo. We are also doing a small number of embroidered fleeces and windbreakers for the camp guests that may either want one or forget to bring one while they are up there. Traditionally, the shirts have been screen printed. We are fortunate enough to know a local woman who just started her own embroidery business this past year. We really liked the idea of having locally done non mass produced embroidered shirts to sell to guests. A traditionalist by nature, and slightly resistant to change, I felt I was going wild and crazy when I bought some shirts that were not the typical maroon and white or red and white colors which my grandparents used for several years.
Also this week I found the perfect three ring binders to replace the camp journals that Bob and Jill took with them. They are made by the “Naked Binder” company and are 100% recycled board. I have begun work on putting a little history/information in the front of each cabin journal that I hope guests will find entertaining and useful during their stay. The cabin journals will also include some walks and useful information regarding the area. You may ask me why I didn’t drive to Wal-Mart or Staples for some binders, although that would have been easy, these little things are what I get hung up on at times. Some things just require great attention to detail, and commitment to preserving a special piece of the camps history.
My father has been busy doing web page re-writes. Meanwhile my mother has been busily framing pictures. She is currently in the process of framing loon pictures. I hope to have several historical pictures of all of the former owners & their stories hanging in the camps before we open in May. That is a project for another day though!
Also this week my research on alternative showers paid off and I think we will be investing in some Zodi shower units, which will allow guests to take hot showers in the cabins without standing scrunched down under a solar bag (again one of the benefits of being a guest for the past 15 years, is that I can at least use my experience to recommend slight improvements to myself.) The minimalist in me and the “wildlifer” as I joke with my husband says “who needs showers” when you are camping. No showers builds character! However, the reality is they are nice, and it’s a simple fix that will benefit many guests.
Now we are seriously plotting out our plans to upgrade the solar electric system. My uncle, who is an incredibly talented electrical engineer with more patents to his name than I can remember, has been sending me information about the current system and suggested enhancements. Considering myself fairly intelligent I manage to understand about every third word he writes and hope that seeing it will make it all click for me. Until then I trust his words and hope he continues to offer his sage advice along with his mechanical know-how when we arrive in the spring.
I am beginning to look around my current house and wonder what we will bring with us…I swore when I bought this house I would never move again. At least the embroidered shirts have made “clothes” packing easy…blue jeans and polo shirt will be my uniform for the summer. Just like my closet full of suits made dressing for work easy, I will be trading the Chaus and Jones New York for a more comfortable wear but equally simplistic.
Also this week I found a drip coffee maker made by Coleman that works on a gas cook top sans electricity! This new fangled “off the grid” technology is simply amazing. Times have certainly changed. I keep telling Dana we need to go visit an Amish village to see all the things that they do without being tied to the electrical grid, I am sure we will learn a lot. There is quite a bit of information on off-the-grid living, and some even consider it hip now to be “off-grid.” I know it allows for enhanced creativity, a closer connection to sustainable land use, and a solid appreciation of your consumption levels.
Finally our spring ad, capitalizing on Brook Trout and Fiddleheads has been published in several new England sporting journals and I have been very pleased with the placement and the results!
We also have been looking for new and creative ways to attract more birders to the camps as the warbler migration is simply amazing for those that appreciate those things. Plus I always love the camaraderie of connecting with fellow “bird geeks” like myself and learning from them. I simply can’t wait to be up there and going for morning walks looking for twinflower, lady slippers, trillium, starflower and bunchberry…all the delicate woodland flowers. It will be nice when my blogs will be able to focus on what’s actually happening at the camps and in the woods around them. I cannot wait to fill this blog with reports on the birds as they arrive in the spring!
We are currently in the process of working with a local Boy Scout pack for a complimentary trip up to the cabins. This will be an opportunity for us to share the camp history and for the boys to learn a few outdoor skills in a very unique setting that many of them may not experience otherwise. I hope to be finalizing the details soon.
So needless to say it’s been busy here this last week, but rewarding, and each hectic day brings us closer to the Spring.