Monday, July 18, 2011

Antietam National Battlefield - Week 7

After a week at Leadership Camp, Jim and I returned to Antietam. We missed working here and were eager to get back into it! This week we were working with the Maintenance division of the park. On Tuesday, we got to experience the annual park picnic. Almost the entire park staff gets together and goes to a picnic area, eats and catches up with one another. There were various sports played. It was really nice to see all of the people who we have gotten to work with in each division. People came together to organize a softball game, although it was 90 degrees out. It was a lot of fun and really demonstrated how the park functions as a whole. While there was still some separation of divisions, for the most part everyone was intermingling and catching up with one another. It was a really nice event to have the chance to participate in.

Wednesday and Thursday, Jim and I spent our days working with one of the masons on the Cunningham Barn. They are restoring the foundation. Neither of us knew how much work masonry was. There is so much patience and skill involved. Over those two days, I continued to get more and more frustrated with the work. It was hard to put so much work into a joint and know that you can’t get it perfect and will have to take it out! Working on the barn really demonstrated how the individuals who work in each one of these divisions are irreplaceable. It is absolutely necessary to have each and every one. Within the park we each play our role and without one the park would not run the same way.

On Friday, Jim and I were given the opportunity to work with the other two masons on creating the floor in the Newcomer Barn. We had to spread a clay-dirt mixture and then flatten it out. At first it seemed like it would be no big deal to lay a floor down. But, the floor had to be level which created a significant amount of work. With the help of a laser level machine, we were able to level out what we laid. We really got to experience two very different parts of maintenance that most people do not know exist! There is so much more to each division than we initially knew. Unfortunately, that was our last division to be with! We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks being spent at Manassas and with Law Enforcement.

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