This summer, we were lucky enough to have father-son duo Justin and Matt Dreier create a new outdoor wall for Wildwood. Justin serves on the Wildwood Board of Directors, and Robyn, Wildwood’s executive director, approached him about the project.
Another volunteer–Kyle–had created an indoor wall for Wildwood, complete with led lights, and a fabric-covered logo. (Pictured below)
We loved the piece so much that Robyn asked Justin if he would be willing to take a shot at creating a weather durable version for the main campfire.
Justin and son, Matt took on the project, undeterred by the challenge.
The Game Plan
After taking measurements and photos of the original wall and the campfire circle, Justin and Matt began planning.
“We decided to use White Oak [for the project] because it’s one of the most weather-resistant woods,” Justin explained. They also opted for an oil finish instead of a synthetic. “The finish is actually oil, and after six or more coats, the oil has a nice shine. The best part is that after four years, you can simply hand apply additional coats of oil to keep the finish shining.”
(pictured left to right: Matt and Justin with the newly-constructed base of the wall)
Finally, they decided to add a special element to the logo–adding topographic detail of the Wildwood property, making the logo 3D. Matt used a CNC machine to create this element. “This was particularly challenging due to [the logo’s] size,” explains Matt. “It was the largest ‘tool path,’ in terms of surface area, I have attempted to cut with my CNC machine.
At first, my computer calculated the run time to be 12+ hours and this inspired me to go back to the drawing board. After further research and testing, I was able to bring the run time down to a more manageable 7 hours. In the end though, what I’ve learned about my machine and toolpath design over the course of this project has opened a whole new world of opportunity in regards to the type and scope of CNC projects over the horizon!”
After planning, creating, and assembling the elements of the new wall, Justin and Matt spent a couple days at camp (under the hot sun!) installing the new piece.
“My favorite part was creating a wall that can add to campers’ memory [of Wildwood summer camp]. I enjoy seeing the kids at the camp fire, sitting on the benches, talking and singing,” explains Justin.
“Spending two beautiful days outside with my dad, getting our hands dirty, and observing the campers having the time of their life was my favorite part,” says Matt.
The wall is incredibly beautiful, and we cannot wait until campers can enjoy it next summer. Thank you, Matt and Justin!
The final part of the wall is still to come–it needs a name! We want campers to be able to tell their friends to meet them at the _______ wall, but we’re not sure what to call it.
If you have an idea, let us know! You can leave your idea in the comments for this post, DM us on social media, or text your idea to (913)-738-9067.