Ninth-annual Labor Camp a Success
“Who says kids get to have all the fun?” So goes the slogan of Florida College’s summer Labor Camp, which convened June 16-21 for its ninth-consecutive year. The camp is comprised of alumni and friends of Florida College who come together every summer to volunteer sweat and toil in exchange for home-cooked food provided by staff, on-campus lodging and evening Bible studies led by the camp’s leader and founder, alumnus Craig Bean.
Craig, who preaches at the Spring Street church in Racine, Wisc., was inspired to start the camp in 2003 when he and his wife, Tami, dropped off their daughter for her first year at Florida College.
“We were remembering our own experiences while looking around at the things Lauren would soon experience,” he recalled. “We looked at the river walk, which was nearing completion, and when we heard that several people had been pitching in to help, including administrators, we thought, ‘Well, we could have helped out.’”
So, the following year Craig delivered a proposal to then-president Colly Caldwell, and Florida College Labor Camp was born. The camp combines his love for his alma mater with his experience in landscape architecture, and serves to work alongside administration and maintenance for the benefit of the College.
Every year, the camp’s volunteer laborers tackle several minor endeavors—from pressure-washing to mulching to painting—but also aim to complete one major project, this year’s being the renovation of the riverside amphitheater that inspired Craig nine years ago.
The weathered amphitheater benches and stage were replaced and the railing around the stage area received ambient lighting. Foliage was cleared out to allow better views of the beautiful Hillsborough River, and most of the retaining walls in that area were cleaned and sealed.
In addition to the riverwalk objective, campers also gave the front of the student center a makeover and thoroughly cleaned Hinely Hall.
At the end of the week, the 58 campers’ contribution totaled to an estimated 1,200 man-hours. Since the camp’s inception, the overall estimated dollar-value of contributed man-hours comes to $250,000.
Many thanks these dedicated alumni and friends of the College for their outstanding volunteer work.