Highline Kiwanis Re-Building Camp Schoenwald Caretaker’s Cabin, Which Burned Down Last Year

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Work is progressing on construction of a new north caretaker’s cabin at Camp Schoenwald – a secluded 10-acre wooded facility in Burien, owned by the Highline Kiwanis, just east of Sylvester Junior High School.

The caretaker’s home previously on this site was destroyed by fire in March 2008 (when the Buckleys, the family living there, lost everything they owned – see our previous coverage here and here), and now local Kiwanis members are building the new structure with volunteer labor. Their initial goal was to have the cabin’s walls and roof built before a new rainy season this fall, and on this sunny Thursday (Aug. 20the) they were close to getting that done.

The interior structure of the cabin is nearly complete.

Completion of the cabin – including all interior work on its spacious living room and two bedrooms along with a small deck and carport – will occur as fundraising by the Highline Kiwanis permits, in addition to regular maintenance of the camp.

The Kiwanis hopes to have the home ready to be occupied by spring 2010, but it all depends on how many volunteers they can get (they need drywallers, sheet rock, carpeting, flooring, vinyl, cabinet makers, etc. – contact Frank Weise if you can lend a hand or building materials via email at [email protected]) as well as cash donations, which can be made by emailing John Gaston at [email protected].

Jan Noorda, architect of the new caretaker’s cabin, points out “what’s going where” in the cabin’s Great Room.

Since 1952, the Highline Kiwanis have welcomed thousands of young people to Camp Schoenwald every year. Kiwanis members are proud of the fact that they help young people – especially those who are disadvantaged – experience the outdoors without charging a penny. For many boys and girls who come here, this is their first experience in the outdoor world.

The grounds include trails, a lodge for indoor activities and sleeping quarters, a big tepee with a huge fireplace, and an amphitheater that serve Boy and Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls and many other youth organizations. It is open for both day camps and overnight camping to these groups under adult supervision on a first-come, first-served basis – always free for all.

The Kiwanis want to offer a shout out and big thanks to Powell Homes of Des Moines, who recently sent a crew of four workers for a full day at no charge. The Powell crew helped with one of the project’s more difficult tasks: lifting and nailing in place the prefabricated roof trusses.

For more information, visit the Highline Kiwanis website here.

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