Eric Blum — former volunteer, staff member, and avid supporter of nearby Frost Valley YMCA — bequeathed, after passing away in June 2013, a significant donation to Frost Valley specifically for the purpose of creating a new space for staff. The building, soon to be known as the Blum House, is nearing completion and will provide an area for Frost Valley employees to relax and bond with one another during their downtime.

In memory of Eric Blum, and to commemorate his gift, Frost Valley CEO Jerry Huncosky joined staff members to place a time capsule within the building’s walls on Thursday, March 5. The capsule contains photos and personal mementos donated by Blum’s family, articles written by Blum, a copy of a recent Frost Valley donor newsletter, Frost Valley’s 2013 Annual Report, a letter from Huncosky, and a few other notions. The capsule is to be opened 25 years from now, in the year 2040.

The Blum House has been designed in Blum’s own vision: to provide hardworking counselors, program instructors, and other staff members with the comforts of home during their time off, since these staff members often come from far and wide to work at Frost Valley. Blum wanted to give back to staff who he felt had given him — and countless others — so many invaluable life lessons and cherished memories throughout their lives.

Staff members will soon have a new, designated place to communicate with family back home (which, for some, may be outside of this country) thanks to a specified area to stay in touch with loved ones via video chat and e-mail. This is an exciting new feature, as Internet access is often limited on camp, given Frost Valley’s commitment to encouraging guests to disconnect from technology and reconnect with one another and nature. Staff can also relax indoors when their long shifts are over with a little friendly competition in a game room, snacks in a common area, and entertainment in a comfortable setting. The building was designed with eco-conscious building practices and has been funded by the charitable contributions of Blum’s friends and family. The Blum House will be complete this spring with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to follow.

This article was originally published in the Tri-Valley Townsman, 2015.