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Posted by Rick Civelli | 12.11.2009 | WB Surf Camp News

Surf Camp Providing Warmth: The Woodlot Project

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to volunteer through Surf Camp at the Woodlot Project in Wilmington, which is located near the Wilmington International Airport. For those of you who don’t know about the Woodlot, it is a service of the Salvation Army, with the goal of providing wood to needy individuals in the Wilmington community who rely on wood for heating and cooking. Each Saturday morning from the first week of December to the first week of March, volunteers provide this necessary service to our community. Can you imagine trying to stay warm in an unheated house when it is 25 degrees outside? Not only is it extremely uncomfortable to be cold, but it is extremely dangerous, especially for young children and the elderly.

Ironically, the morning I worked at the Woodlot was cold and rainy, a far cry from the warmth we feel at our Summer Camps … so I layered up with multiple pairs of pants, shirts, jackets, a hat and gloves and headed out bright and early. The Woodlot Project starts at 7:30 am, and I quickly discovered that arriving early secures you a “good” job assignment. Dick, the head volunteer, quickly delegated assignments to everyone, telling some of us to move wood from one pile to another, others to use mechanical splitters to make wood more manageable in size, and assigned others to go on deliveries ( he would have made a great director at our Teen Surf Camp). There were some veteran volunteers that used chainsaws and even a man that was amazing with an axe. (It always impresses me to see people do things that they are truly skilled at!) My reward for arriving promptly at 7:25 am was running the mechanical wood splitter, which was efficient, powerful, and required careful attention to not chop people’s fingers off. J

As time went by and more volunteers arrived, wood was cut, chopped, split, moved and loaded faster than I ever would have imagined. This particular Saturday morning ended early due to the rain, but the Woodlot’s regular hours are 7:30 am – 11:00am.

All in all, the morning confirmed something that my grandmother has always preached… Many hands make light work. Almost 60 volunteers were able to provide wood to 19 families in a two hour time frame on a Saturday morning. Not only were hearts warmed by this loving act of kindness, but hands, feet, and bodies were warmed as well.