Serving in the outdoors for VEISHEA Service Day

Daniel Bush

Veishea Service Day filled up with volunteers to serve in a multitude of areas around Ames. A major project was the renovation of the former Y-Camp property.

Volunteers shoveled dirt to level bridges, loaded chopped wood onto trucks and helped clean up the area.

The Y-Camp project involved a lot of cleaning, building and renovating because of lodge’s poor condition.

“Since this was a recent acquisition and needed a lot of help, it seemed like a great project to start on,” said ISU President Steven Leath. “I like construction too, so this was a perfect project for me.”

President Leath joined volunteers in constructing new bridges along the trails in the woodlands to replace the old bridges.

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community joined together in many different projects ranging from cleaning the town to landscaping during the service day.

Leila Ammar, alumni of ISU and former intern for the department of residence, explained the hopes and purpose for the lodge.

“We’re trying to figure out what different student groups could use this place [for],” Ammar said. “Hopefully in the future we can get more involvement.”

The Y-Camp lodge was bought by the Division of Student Affairs to use it as a retreat area for students. A major renovation has to be done to reach the goal.

“The lodge was in really bad condition and had been vandalized multiple times,” Ammar said.

Tom Hill, senior vice president for student affairs, joined in on the renovation and clean-up. Hill explained how the Y-Camp use will remain free to students.

“To keep it free, the thing we have to do is when students use it, they’ll have to leave it in the same condition they found [it],” Hill said. “And hopefully with over 800 student organizations, the thing will be used constantly.”

Hill said that any recognized student organization can reserve and use it.

The lodge area, which is around 17 acres, is located near Ontario Street and is next to the Veenker Memorial Golf Course.

“It was such an unique and unusual property in the sense that it was close to campus, but provided that atmosphere of really being away,” Leath said.

Both President Leath and his wife, Janet Leath, contributed to Veishea Service Day and help out at the renovation of the lodge.

“We love to pitch in and help; be part of the campus, part of the community,” Janet Leath said.

Alicia Blair, sophomore in accounting, was one of the participants that helped clean up the area around the lodge.

“I think everybody should have the opportunity to help out in their community in any way. Even if it’s only one day a year,” Blair said.