This weekend about 300 volunteers will perform work worth almost $1 million at Camp Alexo, near Nordegg, improving programs and offerings for Central Alberta youth.
The camp, owned and operated by the Red Deer and district Boys and Girls Club, offers camping programs throughout the summer for children and youth.
But right now they only have two cabins. David Murphy, Red Deer Youth and Volunteer Centre executive director, said on the weekend they will build two new cabins, doubling their bed space.
“It’s a massive home makeover, but it’s a camp makeover,” said Murphy, saying they are paying for the materials.
“It’s probably close to $1 million with all the donated labour, materials for free or at cost. It really is a community event.”
Terry Loewen and Bill Olafson have spearheaded the three-day effort.
The volunteers will descend on the camp, about 70 kms west of Rocky Mountain House, to do major renovations.
“The buildings were in need of renovation and we wanted to take a look at what we have take place at Camp Alexo for the next 30 years,” said Murphy.
“We were able to talk to a couple of community people who said why don’t we do a ‘weekend warrior,’ where we do a number of projects, about 10 or 12 over three or four days.”
The youth and volunteer centre put together a master plan on the future of Camp Alexo a couple of years ago.
The residential camp serves 300 to 400 youths every year through its various programs.
Olafson has helped raise money while Loewen supplied the construction materials and ground work.
“I think about 75 per cent of the volunteers are from trades,” said Loewen.
“Friday will be a drastic change around here, a lot will change in just that one day.”
Loewen has been on site already this week pouring foundations, getting wood packages together, routing water, excavating and getting everything ready for the massive influx of workers.
“It’s going to make it so much better for our programming point of view and the kids are going to have a direct benefit from the improvement we put in place,” said Murphy.
“It’s a community endeavour to make the lives of children in our community better.”