"We volunteer because we love it!" Working with Wood at Pendle Hill
When a wooden chair is nicked and scratched, or when a campus tree loses a large branch, many Pendle Hillers see an opportunity for new life. Thanks to the work of several dedicated volunteers, Pendle Hill turns damaged furniture into beautiful, useful pieces; converts small fallen branches into new covering for our woodchip trail; and offers lovingly tended garden spaces for all to enjoy.
"Volunteers bring energy, color, and expertise" says Grounds Manager Lloyd Guindon, shown here with volunteer and former Board member David Camp and an international crew of resident students.
Hans Francke has been bringing his woodworking skills to Pendle Hill for more than ten years. The motivation? "We volunteer because we love it!"
Hans continues, "When I retired, John [Page] and I were going to do more woodworking." They visited Pendle Hill after learning that Tom Jenik worked with wood as part of the Wednesday work morning for students and staff. Hans says, "We never looked back," and after awhile he moved his woodworking operation from his home in Ardentown, Delaware to Pendle Hill. Later Henry Boerstling of Springfield, Pennsylvania joined them. Below John Page works with former resident student Linda Jenkins on a piece of furniture.
A goal of their work is to improve upon every Pendle Hill room and each piece of furniture. They work with existing furnishings and with found items. Asked why he volunteers at Pendle Hill, former staff member Tom Jenik replies, "because we're very discerning about what we throw out." Tom picked up a walnut chair that had been left on the street and fixed it up. A maple table stashed away in a garage, broken, was repaired and will be stained and refinished. This skilled and caring effort to take a rejected, unusable piece and restore it into something beautiful and functional caused one Pendle Hiller to declare, "Now this is truly resurrection!"
As mentioned in the February eNewsletter, a branch from Pendle Hill's huge state champion American beech was removed this past summer before Hurricane Irene could do greater damage to the tree. Grounds Manager Lloyd Guindon decided to have the logs painted white. Some readers may have guessed that the reason for this was to help preserve the logs until they age sufficiently so they can be used to create furniture and other items. There are plans to make at least one table from the beech branch.
Recently completed projects include the creation of new computer tables for the Library by last summer's Young Adult Leadership Development Program participants with expertise and support from Hans and John. There are plans to craft new tables for eating outside, new benches, and a counter for coffee service.
Some volunteers prefer to work outdoors. Former resident student June Lunney of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania returns frequently during the growing seasons to help maintain Owen's Garden and the Chace courtyard. David Camp comes over from nearby Media, Pennsylvania to help with a variety of grounds cleanup projects.