It was standing, neglected and unused, full of old farm equipment and rodent nests. But we felt the Old Sugar House was also full of potential to be a classroom in the woods and a home base for field studies. Our goal was to have it ready for the May field studies program, when Dorset 7th graders would come for two weeks of ecological work. When we discovered that the shed roof had to come down, we geared up to salvage and clean. Once the roof was on the ground, YouthWork&Learn students took over the project. Here is what they wrote:
Lucas: We’re taking the roof of the old sugar house apart. It was a major relief when we got all of the tin off the top of the roof because that was the hardest part. We set up the buckets so we could slide the nails into a bucket so a nail doesn’t go straight through our foot. We only brought what tools we could carry.
Scott: Working on the Sugar house was a good experience. It was fun, and I now know I need to work on working with other people. The old roof came down, so we are cleaning up and getting rid of the old roof. So now we can make it part of the school because we are going to have a bunch of kids coming to our school from Dorset.
Dillon: I worked on the Sugar House roof after Jesse, Smokey House Director, took it down for us to use the pieces as salvage. Projects include but are not limited to us making benches, an outhouse and chairs. I had a hammer and hammered out nails, so that they’d be easier to pull out. After other students got out wooden boards from the structure of the Sugar House roof, I hammered nails out and then pulled them out using some tools. Overall, it has been great working on this project, especially since it is outside.