East Surry Little League season begins
It takes a village to raise a child – but it takes Mississippi nail masters to build a local youth camp.
The name of this group suggests that they are “challenged” when it comes to securing objects to each other using thin metal rods with pointed ends (nails).
It’s actually a missionary organization of skilled volunteers who go from place to place to tackle new building projects for congregations of churches and allied groups – and probably don’t often break up. inches.
Mississippi nail masters have more than 600 members, of which about 40 – representing nine states – traveled to Surry County last week to lend their talents to the launch of a project known as Camp Andrew.
Its organizers seek to provide summer camps and Christian retreats for boys and girls using cabins and other facilities being developed in the community of Woodville between Mount Airy and Westfield.
“There are just no words to express enough gratitude to these people for working to help us build our Andrew camp,” said Roy Nunn, 68, who is leading the effort to make it a reality. on a site of approximately 200 acres.
“It will take at least five years to build the things that we plan to build,” Nunn added Wednesday.
“Ultimately, we would like to have close to 400 campers at a time.”
The job of the Mississippi nail masters last week was to prepare the site for further steps later.
“They were making carpets for the cabins,” Nunn explained.
Temporary tent camping is possible this summer. “And next year we should have some cabins built,” Nunn said.
Mississippi Nailbenders volunteers plan to return for two weeks in October to build these units.
In memory of his son
While Camp Andrew is currently a work in progress assisted by the Mississippi nail masters, the story actually begins in 1998, when Andrew Joel Nunn – one of Roy and Sharon Nunn’s three children – died of a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
He was only 10 years old, but already had his sights set on the future.
“We called him Andy,” his father said. “Andy always said he wanted to be a missionary, even as a young boy.
His inspiration to serve others would come years later, when Camp Andrew was first considered.
“That was in 2015,” recalled Roy Nunn, a member of a family that produced bluegrass group The Nunn Brothers led by siblings Arnold and Alden. “It was essentially a call that the Lord gave us to build a youth camp.”
Nunn realized that it would take a lot of goods to accomplish what was desired. It started with the acquisition of approximately 47.5 acres that his great-grandfather bought in 1920 and remained in the family for over 90 years before changing hands.
Other plots were later acquired “to get the land mass we need,” a spokesperson for Camp Andrew revealed, with five family farms dedicated to the effort. The camp will consist of a series of buildings encompassing several cabins.
The entire land contains wooded areas for hiking and other activities, allowing campers to enjoy nature while experiencing the love of God, according to Nunn. The property also includes two lakes and a section of Big Creek totaling approximately 3,500 feet.
It borders Woodville, Slate Mountain, Westfield and Brown roads. The main entrance to the property is off Brown Road, but will be off NC 89 in the future, Nunn said.
Roy Nunn acknowledges that much of the work done so far on the camp has not been visible within his reach, such as meeting with architects and engineers.
That all changed last week with the arrival of the nail masters from Mississippi to Surry County.
“I had a friend in Mississippi and he knew we were doing Camp Andrew,” Nunn said of how the group came to be involved in the local project.
This individual seemed very excited about it and then contacted Jack Honea, one of the leaders of the Mississippi nail masters.
“And he (Honea) said, ‘We think we can help you,’ and it’s gone from there,” recalls Nunn, her visit here taking several months to organize.
It was sponsored by an organization known as Church Building Ministries Inc. (CBMI) that sometimes works with the nail masters of Mississippi, which this trip did.
Among those who helped were mechanics who commissioned camp equipment, such as a sawmill.
“The Lord blessed the camp with several pieces of equipment,” Nunn reported. “They needed a lot of repairs and these men worked miracles with God’s help on this equipment.”
Nunn says it would have cost the camp several thousand dollars to accomplish these tasks. “And God sent these humble servants to do such great things.”
Representatives from Laurel Lakes Baptist Camp in Corbin, Ky., Also called in a sawmill.
And Nunn says the wood that was processed during the work week came from a donation of pine trees that Don Badgett had harvested from seedlings 65 years ago.
Badgett, now 80, and his wife Jean donated trees that had grown to over 80 feet tall to the camp project.
Half-timbering and floor joists were provided for approximately six cabins, with approximately 50 additional logs to be milled.
Other work at the site last week included picking up the bush, leveling and hauling loads of rocks and dirt.
At least five cooks were also on hand to prepare meals for the crew members, who were housed in the field.
“They’ve done too much work to be mentioned,” Nunn sums up of the volunteer contributions to Camp Andrew, which reflects the traditional barn-raising philosophy that really takes the proverbial village.
Although the project is named after his late son, he says the main goal of the camp is to be able to share the gospel with young people in a non-denominational way.
“But building it in Andy’s name means a lot to us,” Nunn nodded.