Electrical wiring cabins at Wisconsin Lions Camp

Prior to 1997, cabins at Lions Camp were primitive, had no sanitary facilities, and no utilities except electricity. The inspecting authorities deemed it necessary for the camp to update these cabins or the camp would not be licensed. So the Wisconsin Lions started an ambitious project to update the cabins. All State Lions Clubs were called on to support “The Cabin Project”

 Each cabin was a duplex unit with dormitory on each end and a commons in the center. There was a half basement for utilities. Each dormitory had a handicapped and wheelchair accessible bathroom. The buildings had a central heating system with air condition.    

In 1997 the Grand Chute Lions sponsored the District 27-B2 Convention. At that time a donor had contributed the funding to update the first 2 duplex cabins and the updates were completed. At the convention, Lion Tom  held a discussion with District Governor about ways that Lions Clubs could update the remaining buildings.

Lion Tom brought up the possibility of wiring some of these cabins to Lion John. They made a trip to Lions Camp to investigate whether wiring two cabins could be a Grand Chute Lions project.

Lions Tom and John determined that the Club could do the project on weekends with help from Club volunteers. They acquired a big boost when Lion Tom’s electrician son, Jeff, volunteered his assistance. The idea was presented to the Club with a request for $5,000 to pay for materials and that Club members would commit to help when needed. The request was approved and the project was scheduled for cabins 5 and 6 to begin around January 2, 1999.

On the first weekend of work on Cabin 5 a snowstorm struck and most volunteers just made it out in time. But Tom, John and Jeff were snowed in until noon the next day and slept on mattresses in Pinewood Lodge. The third weekend the temperature was brutally cold at minus 12 degrees and the walls had not fully been closed in.

The first cabin was completed by March 20th and the second cabin was done by May 6th. Just in time for cleaning and placement of the necessary furniture for the summer campers.

"Learn Not To Burn" trailer

The Grand Chute Lions were asked by the Grand Chute Fire Department to construct a “Learn Not To Burn” training trailer for the department. Lions Vince  and Ron  investigated buying one. The price tag was very high. Then they researched plans and cost to construct a trailer. With help from members of the Club, donations came in from individuals, businesses and the Grand Chute Lions  and the trailer was completed.

The trailer was used frequently during fire prevention week to train students from the Fox Valley area about fire safety. As the students entered the trailer fireman taught them how to put out a grease fire in a frying pan on a kitchen stove, how to deal with an over heated oven and how to position handles on cooking pots so small kids could not reach them. Floor lamps were plugged into extension cords to educate students about tripping hazards. A fireplace in the trailer was hooked up to a smoke gun to simulate how to control an overheated fireplace. A set of stairs in the trailer was used to show students how to crawl backwards through smoke down the stairs. One of the stair treads was burned off and could not be seen through the smoke. Then students would go into a bedroom and lay on the bed until the smoke alarm would sound. They were instructed how to crawl out of the bed, stay low and head for the door. If the door was hot, they were taught to leave it closed and crawl to a window to escape. Once outside they were instructed to go to the neighbors (a phone mounted on the trailer) and call 911 to report the fire. As they reported the fire, they would actually be talking to a fireman in the control room. This fireman controlled the smoke making device, alarm systems and heated door. He could also see the student through one way mirrors and grade them on their performance

At the end of the training each student received a certificate to show that they were alive and not burned. The trailer was completed in the fall of 1998 and turned over to the Grand Chute Fire Department. In 2006 the trailer was given to another area Fire Department to use.


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