The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. Psalm 24:1
Since the original 40 acres were purchased in 1950, Camp Friedenswald has grown to include 365 acres of wooded forests, rare wetlands, and over 30 different facility structures. As we have grown, so has our responsibility to care for and protect all that we have been entrusted. Over the past 65 years, Camp has placed a value on stewardship and staff have intentionally worked hard to this end; we recognize that our understanding of how to best care for these resources has changed over time and will continue to evolve. Sometimes we have left a larger footprint than we recognize or desire. We continue to seek to care for the resources and relationships entrusted to Camp Friedenswald with a mind for the future, recognizing the earth and all that is in it the Lord’s.
Here are some of the small ways that we are currently seeking to be good stewards. We invite you to join us in these efforts and in our on-going desire to tend to the gifts of the peaceful woods.
For the first time this summer, we directed all organic waste from mealtime into raccoon-proof compost bins. Bones, food scraps, paper napkins and any non-plastic items were composted. Thanks to the reduced trash at meals and to the elimination of paper towels in the dining hall restrooms, we cut our waste in half! While we used to fill two dumpsters each week, this summer we used only one. We know we still have work to do reduce our waste!
In the spring, two small piglets joined the Camp family and made their home behind the maintenance building. It didn’t take long for them to acquire the monikers Salt and Pepper and to endear themselves to the summer staff and campers alike. By late fall, having been fed food scraps from the kitchen, the little piglets are now full grown hogs. Raising the pigs has redirected food waste away from the dumpster, as well as provided a teaching opportunity for our summer campers.
Summer staff assisted in removing invasive bushes on most of Main Camp. This included areas like the Prairie Fen Bridge, Mosquito Hollow, Boys and Girls Cabin areas and behind the Nature Center. This amounted to a bit over 20 acres.
Volunteer groups and summer staff assembled a new boardwalk through the East Fen. The lumber was milled by George Steiner out of Black Locust grown here at camp. Weeks after a portion of it was installed, a beaver flooded the fen, so we are in the process of adjusting the boardwalk to nature.
Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly
We found a Friedenswald record 19 during the survey this year, up from 2 the previous year. We are 1 of 6 places left in the world that have a viable population. DNR is looking at releasing more on our property in suitable locations.
We have worked on installing motion sensors in common areas to make sure the lights are off when no one is around. As light bulbs are burning out we are replacing them with LEDs that in the long run save energy, time and money.