Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It Takes a Lot of People...

A GREAT BIG Thank You to ALL of the many people who made House In the Wood work in 2013. 
Our Donors...
The North Shore Board, other NUSH boards, the Elliotts for the new dining hall addition, the Shannons for building funds, and our many other donors.
Our Campers, Students and their Families...
trust us to provide a GREAT experience and to care for their children.
Our Staff...
HITW full time staff, the summer staff, the outdoor ed staff, the NUSH staff. 
Our Volunteers...
The AmeriCorps volunteers, the Ice Fisherman Volunteers, Chicago Board, Master Gardeners.
Our Community Partners...
American Camp Association-Illinois Section, Urban Initiatives, Cluster Tutoring, and Experimental Station.
Our Neighbors...
who let us use their land for Outdoor Education lessons.
Our Vendors...
who often give us a break on price and provide EXTREME service.

AGAIN...we appreciate your part in making us a success this year!

Our Master Gardener Volunteers Tend the Rain Gardens

Our Rowe Scholars Plant a Garden as Part of the Compost Lesson
The Gardens in August after a Summer of Campers Watering Them
Our Sponsor Banners posted on the Pump House as you enter HITW

House In the Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement, Chicago, IL

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Construction News...Walls and Back Fill

The walls for the new addition. The area that is not filled in is the new shower house. The addition onto the dining hall has no lower floor. They won't be pouring the floor slab until they have it under roof and can heat the area so that the concrete process can be controlled easier. They will start putting in "under roof" this week.

Here you can see the "backfill" which just means filling in the holes
Two doors into the boys and girls shower house.
House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Construction News...Inside Drawings of Elliott Lodge

Here are the inside drawings of Elliott Lodge...

The entire building is climate controlled so it is heated and air conditioned. When done, we can easily seat 120 INSIDE. We could always seat 120 but some had to sit on the porch which was chilly in the early and late season. The pink area on the following drawings is the addition.

Watch for more construction photos--things should start happening fast now that the concrete footing and walls have been poured.

 We now have TWO shower sides--boys and girls that can be converted to ONE large shower area. Each shower stall has its own dressing area. The showers are now year around and don't shut down in the winter as they had been doing.
Bottom Floor with the Showers
Here we have knocked down the existing toilets so that we have one big room for the dining area. We have added new bathrooms with extra stalls. The kitchen has extra storage and an office area to store the paperwork that is required for the kitchen.
Top Floor with the expanded dining space and the extra kitchen area.

House In the Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Construction News...Poured Concrete Walls

Pouring the concrete walls. They were going to take down the forms on Monday until they found out that there was going to be 4-7 inches of snow over the weekend. So they took the forms down before the snow.

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hickory has NEW Shower

Our new shower in Hickory House (the meeting center across the road) is just beautiful. We got rid of the shower stall and just tiled the whole thing with this natural looking tile.

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement
copyright by Val Wright House In The Wood

Friday, December 13, 2013

Construction News...Poured Concrete Today!

Here are the pictures from them pouring concrete for the addition onto Elliott Lodge...I found the whole thing very interesting. No more work done over the weekend.

The guy standing there with the box has a remote control for the concrete.

The concrete was steaming it was so warm.

ALL DONE! They put "blankets" on it to keep it warm.
House In the Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Construction News...There's a HOLE!

Yeah! It is so VERY exciting--we can actually SEE something happening now. We finally have a hole for the foundation!
LOOK! No Shower House!

This hole is where they will put the full basement that will become the NEW shower house. They have boarded up the dining hall windows on the addition side and sawed off the logs at that end too. The concrete foundation will be poured shortly. The concrete contractors were in the dining hall today muttering over the blueprints. Watch for pictures!

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement
copyright by Val Wright at House In the Wood

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sad News...Sparky, the camp cat has died.

Sad news...Sparky, Ms Val and Mr. Terry's camp cat died today from heart failure. Sparky was known as the "doggy kitty" as she would follow Ms. Val around camp when she locked up at the end of a weekend group. One time, Ms. Val was playing hide and seek with the campers and Sparky gave her hiding place away. The campers said, "LOOK, there's Sparky. I bet Ms. Val is hiding near here." Sure enough, there I was, trying to convince Sparky to leave or come hide with me. I was found!

Sparky in her favorite spot next to the bear rug in front of the fireplace.
Tomasina and Chester are still keeping Ms. Val and Mr. Terry company at Elliott House.

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.
copyrighted by Val Wright

Monday, December 2, 2013

Construction News...We HAVE phone service again!

We lost phone service as our phone line was cut when they dug the trenches to put in the new gas.

LIT January Winter Weekend

Summer LIT's are invited to join us at House In The Wood for a Winter Weekend.

When: Friday, January 24 to Sunday, January 26
Depart: From Northwestern Settlement at 6:30pm
Return: To Northwestern Settlement at noon

What's Happening?
Winter Fun! Information Sessions! Summer Planning! Cabin Time! Community Service!

Watch for more information in the mail or call Nathan at 773-969-5579 to register.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Visit us Illinois Network of Charter School (INCS) Conference

We are exhibiting for our Outdoor Education Center at the statewide INCS conference in downtown Chicago on Monday, December 2 and Tuesday, December 3.

Val in her Chipmunk costume

Friday, November 29, 2013

Construction News...Elliott Lodge

They dug a hole to put in the new gas line. And of course, they hit something! Next week we hope to start digging the BIG hole. This is the foundation hole for the new basement that will become the new shower house and the hole for the footings for the dining hall extension.

Repaired sewer line.

New gas meter and big pile of dirt. Just the beginning!
House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement, Chicago, Illinois.

content copyrighted 2013 by Val Wright, House In The Wood

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Mountain of Backpacks! Thank You, Soshee Boutique and Uncle Dan's!

House In The Wood joins Northwestern Settlement in saying a HUGE "THANK YOU" to Soshee Boutique and Uncle Dan's, The Great Outdoor Store! Together they donated over FIFTY backpacks that will go to House In The Wood, among other donations to the Settlement community.

We've been in need of more backpacks  for our growing Outdoor Education programming, and this donation couldn't have come at a better time! Thanks again!

Learn more about/show some love to Uncle Dan's or Soshee Boutique.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Construction News...Elliott Lodge

We have the site fences up and we have marked the area for digging! Now we are waiting for the gas company to move the meter and then we will have a GREAT BIG HOLE! Stay tuned as it will be happening soon!
Two orange storm fences on either side of the construction area.

Silt Fence along the bottom edge so it doesn't flow into the lake.

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.

Copyright by Valerie Wright at House In The Wood

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Construction News--White Pines

White Pines is finished! Remember that over Labor Day Weekend a tree fell on it crushing the last two rooms. We have finished the reconstruction with some improvements.

Notice the new light fixtures and the new flooring. We decided to go with laminate rather than carpet because the high humidity was causing mold and mildew in the carpet during the summer--not enough air circulation. We also decided to go with one built in closet rather than two to create a sense of MORE space. We just need to put up the curtains and purchase a few throw rugs to make the rooms cozy and complete.

One of two repaired rooms on the east end of White Pines
When we replaced the paneling, we choose a lighter color for the two damaged rooms and the hallway.
Hallway to Individual Rooms
 We painted the outside and replaced the gutters.

Outside view of White Pines

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement.

Copyright by Valerie Wright at House In The Wood

House In The Wood at Settlement Thanksgiving

Every year Northwestern Settlement hosts a Thanksgiving potluck dinner for families in our community. This year's dinner will be next Tuesday, November 26th in the Settlement's Burnside Hall from 5:30-7:00pm. Over 500 people are expected to attend, and our very own Mr. Nathan will be there to meet and greet all of them!

Camp families are invited to join in the festivities and can contact Nathan in order to receive a flyer (which will be your admission ticket). Nathan also wants you to know that registration for Summer 2014 begins on January 6th. Contact him today to set up an appointment!

email:       npuckett@nush.org
phone:     773-969-5579
text:         262-408-0808

Monday, November 11, 2013

Construction News...Moving Brown Bats Mini Cabin

Brown Bats BEFORE anything is done. See the new frame to the left. 
Brown Bats was moved about 20 feet to make room for the new Elliott Lodge dining hall/kitchen addition. We also "flipped" it around 90 degrees so the people occupying Brown Bats will have a better view out of their front door. Rather than the wall of Elliott Lodge there will be the woods and lake. The crew moving Brown Bats are the same people who will eventually be moving the Office/Val's Old House down the driveway to attach it onto White Pines to make room for the new lodging building.

BEFORE anything was moved, we took off the front ramp. See the piles of wood for leveling.

FIRST THINGS FIRST...we need to raise the building up to the new frame height.

The building is put on "rollers"--see that orange piece of equipment.

Next...the bulldozer "pushes" it along on the rollers.

A jack is used to life the building and position the rollers.

AND THEN...I had to attend a meeting so I missed the rest of the excitement until this picture after everything was completed.

We still need to put the ramp back on and connect the power. This probably won't happen until we finish digging the new foundation and laying the new power line. This means that Brown Bats is out of commission until sometime in Spring.

House In The Wood is operated by Northwestern Settlement, Chicago, Illinois.