Merced, Fresno volunteers spruce up outdoor school

3 credit unions tackle cleanup

September 2, 2013 

Nearly 120 volunteers from Merced and Fresno spent a recent Saturday morning helping refurbish one of the Sierra Nevada's most treasured outdoor schools.

Volunteers from Educational Employees Credit Union, Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union and Merco Credit Union, three organizations that typically are in competition, came together to paint, stack, clean and rebuild at Camp Green Meadows.

"The almost 120 volunteers put in close to 300 hours of work (collectively)," said Green Meadows Principal Bob Bassett. "It would take the Camp Green Meadows maintenance staff months of work to get some of the projects done that the credit union volunteers did in one morning."

Camp Green Meadows is an outdoor school located in Fish Camp near the Wawona entrance to Yosemite National Park.

It is operated by the Merced County Office of Education. The school serves students from throughout California in single-day and weeklong outdoor settings and functions as a recreation camp in the summer.

The camp will celebrate its 50th year of operation next year.

The list of tasks completed during the credit union volunteer day on Aug. 24 ranged from painting picnic tables and splitting firewood to rebuilding the archery backstop and constructing a retaining wall.

"It's great to see volunteers from three different credit unions coming together for the benefit of the community," said Jim Huff, Educational Employees Credit Union marketing director. "By working together we were able to accomplish so much more."

Employees from the credit unions, their families and even a group of students from Merced and El Capitan high schools helped with cleanup and restoration projects.

"Working together with the other credit unions, we were able to make a big difference at Camp Green Meadows," said Nancy Deavours, Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union chief executive officer and president. "It was a great way to help the school and show the credit union spirit of people helping people."

Steven E. Gomes, county superintendent of schools, praised the volunteers for their efforts.

"I consider Camp Green Meadows as a treasure benefiting Merced County students and giving them hands-on environmental science experience," Gomes said. "The credit unions' support affirms how important the outdoor school is to our community."

Camp Green Meadows is on Facebook and stories about time spent at the outdoor school are being solicited. Visit www.facebook.com/CampGreenMeadows, "like" Camp Green Meadows and post a story about a favorite time at the outdoor school.

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