CHS construction class project blesses local Bible camp

Posted: August 24, 2000

Caronport High School’s Grade 10 Construction class recently provided Glad Tidings Bible Camp with some good news of its own.

For this year’s community service project the class chose to build a new tack shed for the camp’s horse program.

Construction teacher Dale Fehr got the idea for the project from one of his students, Sarah Buck.

“She worked at the camp the previous summer,” Fehr explained. “I must have been talking to her about how I was trying to build some community projects and she said ‘Hey, I think here’s one that would probably fit.’ So she said she would ask to see if that would suit (the camp) and I knew it would suit us.”

Officials at the 59-year-old CSSM (Canadian Sunday School Mission) camp were enthusiastic about the idea. They would provide the materials that the class needed to build the structure. At the time the camp only had a makeshift structure for its tack shed.

“It was definitely a huge need,” said Cecile Corbiere, director of the Glad Tidings horse program. “All we had was a granary that was a sieve. It didn’t even keep the water off.”

“Our camp is not a big camp,” Buck said. “Both me and my wrangler team for years had been praying and hoping for an opportunity to get rid of our old shed that we weren’t even able to fit our saddles through . . . The door was a 2 ½ foot by 5 foot doorway,so it was almost impossible to get the horse tack in and out of the shed without hitting your head, or hitting your hands on the side of the doorway.”

The project ended up having an added benefit for the construction class members – an overnighter at the camp.

“The initial plan was for the camp to just come and pick up the wall and the trusses and bring it down,” Fehr said. “Then one of the students actually came up with the idea, ‘Well, why don’t we just go down and build it there?’ So I looked into it and got all that prepared and ready and away we went.”

“We left early Thursday morning and then came back Friday,” said Grade 12 student Josh Spence. “For a lot of people it was their first time working on a job site, so it was a little intimidating at first.”

“I really enjoyed getting to build something for a camp and feeling like you did something for someone else,” said Grade 10 student Victoria Howe. “It was really fun to be there with our class. We played games at night . . . I just really enjoyed being together working as a team.”

The project provided some special challenges for Fehr.

“This is the first project that we actually built outside on a timeline,” he said. “We had to face the elements because it was cold. We had to level the ground. We had to work on uneven ground – all that kind of stuff. That’s just the real life part.”

The class got everything up except for part of the roof. CHS teaching aide Cheryl Kozun, along with her husband and son, went back later and helped to mostly finish up the project.

Glad Tidings staff member Carl Klassen praised Fehr and Kozun for their “excellent leadership” in the project.

“Dale and Cheryl were very patient,” he said. (The students) really buckled in. They didn’t get distracted.”

Fehr says an enjoyable part of his job is getting to witness the excitement of first-time builders as they see their creation take shape.

“I’m really starting from ground level,” he said, explaining the process of working with novices. “But that’s the fun of it because when they start to put things together after all the blue prints are made then their eyes open up. ‘Oh, we did that!’”

Even though the outdoor building took some additional planning, Fehr says the overall experience was a good one.  

“I’d definitely do it again – but probably not for another year,” he said with a chuckle.