Intermediate boys. They are brash, they are bold, and they are oftentimes filthy.
They live without fear and they ensure that every ounce of energy is laid upon the mantle of the day, especially when they’re at camp! Of all the adjectives that one could attach to this excitable group of human beings, “pristine” and “nostalgic” are most likely not near the top of the list. And yet, here at Interlochen Center for the Arts, those two words have been attached to this year’s group of intermediate boy summer campers, thanks to the hard work of head of maintenance Bill Singer and his crew, and their work on the beautification projects that are still ongoing “across the road.”
It certainly is no secret that the Duck Lake side of campus, where intermediate boys reside during summer camp, has not been up to par with the more picturesque Green Lake side. The reasons for this are many. Included in those reasons: the main campus is located on the Green Lake side; the Duck Lake side is closed during fall, winter and spring; the wide open spaces make for difficult greens keeping; intermediate boys don’t care all that much for landscaping, or buildings in general. The list can literally go on and on, but the problem remained the same – Duck Lake campus needed to be brought up to par with the rest of Interlochen.
And so it was.
“We started at Lochaven cafeteria with the improvements,” explains project manager Daniel Hahn. “David Russell, Interlochen's irrigation expert, along with Tim and Kirk, his helpers, have been plugging away daily to get water to the projected landscaped areas as well. To date, they have installed five zones of irrigation to meet the needs of the turf and plant material installed. The painters have been busy, too. They painted the Lochaven cafeteria and several buildings in the area, since finishing the cafeteria. They are really dedicated and talented painters. The cafeteria looks great!”
Hahn was put in charge of this project by Singer and Interlochen Center for the Arts president Jeffrey Kimpton. This initiative stole him away from the Green Lake side of campus, but he’s since come to terms with that.
“All in all, this has been a unique summer for me. Sure, I miss the other side of the property, but the longer I'm on this side, the less I miss the other side,” Hahn said with a laugh.
More painting, better electrical systems and ample landscaping have run rampant around this part of campus. One of the many highlights is the addition of some exquisite champion trees.
“They were donated by an area entrepreneur and are being used to add greenery to the area,” explains Singer. “These trees are clones of the Cottonwoods encountered by Lewis and Clark on their historical journey and are part of the Interlochen champion tree library.”
While the work is hard, the reward for both camper and staff is worth the effort. And, as with any project or undertaking here at Interlochen, there is a huge element of fun involved in the work.
“I have found a half dozen Petoskey stones and am waiting for that elusive arrowhead that we are bound to find eventually digging in the soil of the former grounds of the Odawa Indian Tribe,” says Hahn as he strode back out onto the yard.