That is what one of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity's coordinators called our crew from Frost Valley. He thought so highly of their attitude and abilities that he specifically requested them as his crew after working with them on Tuesday. They spent both Tuesday and Wednesday at the Habitat site putting the finishing touches on a house that had just been dedicated. Work included caulking, painting, and installing baseboards, doors, and insulation. They have really set a high standard for future groups that will be working with Habitat both in New Orleans and other areas around the U.S. Sunday was the first of two consecutive days off. They spent part of the day at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. There were shark and penguin feeding times, exotic sea life from around the world on display, and a showing of "Hurricane on the Bayou" at the IMAX theater. The highlight was seeing the City Park stadium in the film. When they volunteered there on Saturday, they heard descriptions of how the stadium was more of a lake complete with fish. It was hard to visualize until they saw footage of it on the IMAX and it really brought it home for them. After the aquarium, they spent some time walking around and seeing the sites before heading to Donna's Barbeque. Katie had spoken with Charlie before going to New Orleans. He is the 15+ year owner of Donna's and supposedly makes the best burger Kenny has ever had. In addition to some great food, there was some amazing music. Shannon Powell, a famous jazz drummer who has played with many influential musicians including Harry Connick, Jr., played a show with his newly-formed band. They stayed until almost midnight soaking in the creole culture before heading back to the YMCA for the night. Monday found the gang on a swamp tour. They toured a typical Louisiana swamp and learned about the trees and birds that make it such a unique place. They also had an opportunity to meet some other swamp residents.

gators

Supposedly, the alligator on the left was 14 feet long! The armored tour boat kept everyone safe while allowing for an great view of these amazing creatures. Everyone had a blast and enjoyed their final days in the Big Easy.

boat group

They will be flying back to Newark airport and arriving around 2 pm on Thursday. If you are picking your child up at the airport, please park in the short term parking for concourse C and meet them at the baggage claim area. If your child is coming back to Frost Valley, pick up begins at 11 am on Friday. You can beat the crowds by arriving a little early. Just look for the Adventure pick up area in the Main Dining Hall. Please be sure to bring photo identification to either pick up for verification purposes. Thank you so much for allowing your child to be part of this experience. Be sure to check our Flickr site for all of the pictures once the crew has arrived back here at Frost Valley. If you have any questions or concerns, please call or e-mail Kevin at (845) 985-2291 ext. 265 or kterrell@FrostValley.org.

About the Author

Zach eigenbrodt

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Zach couldn't keep himself out of the woods when growing up. He started working at a Northern Wisconsin YMCA Camp as a wilderness trip leader while in college and fell in love with getting kids into nature. The smiles on kids faces after returning from a once in a life time wilderness experience is why he is here today. Zach brought his talents to Frost Valley YMCA, in 2014, when he started as the Trips Coordinator and soon was promoted to Adventure Director. Zach loves all forms of Wilderness exploration, though some would say his heart lies most with canoeing.

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