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The Bunkhouse Editions: A Preview!

Have you noticed that the Saddle Up! capital campaign has been quiet over the winter?  Well, we've been hunkered down at the ranch, working out ten-thousand details for the next major phase of Saddle Up! -- the replacement of Ekone Ranch's beloved Bunkhouse.  Now with spring approaching (promise!) and a busy construction season ahead, we're ready to reveal! 
Wait...spring??!  It's coming (really!), but at the moment, the Bunkhouse is buried in snow, which is pushing back our timeline a bit. Step 1: surrender to the weather, give thanks for the needed moisture, plow, go sledding, shovel roofs, plow again, and yes, bite our fingernails a little about whether the Bunkhouse will be done in time for camp. 
(Meanwhile, the new road is easier to plow than ever getting snowed-in this year!  And snow is a fun toy and crossfit workout all in one!)
We began by doing what we could from the inside of the Bunkhouse.  Starting with giving gratitude for all the cozy community and sweet dreams this wonderful space has held for the past 20 years.  Several of the people in our gratitude circle helped build this structure in 1999!
And in short order, all the bunks and lofts vanished.  And with that, we're committed.
We will be hustling hard all spring to get the new Bunkhouse ready for campers by June 16.  Here's the plan:
This beautiful artist rendering of the new Bunkhouse give a pretty good idea of what to expect.  Two wings, each sleeping 18-22.  A common space joining them, for toothbrushing, story time, and the community-building that is central to Ekone's programs--plus an additional sleeping loft.  Staff dens on each end, for summer counselors to stay close to campers, and a range of other uses year-round.  A cozy, versatile space, with form following function in every design element.
This fully-engineered building will provide exceptional strength and durability, versatility for our many different kinds of programs, "Pattern Language" grace and spacemaking, and modern safety features like fire sprinklers and many, many egress windows. 

(If you're interested in more design details and some of the background thinking that has gone into the planning of this structure, here's an overview our Design Considerations.)
We've assembled a construction team who will be led by Tanner Milliren, who grew up in Goldendale and has a strong background in green building, unconventional projects, and working with volunteers. 
Yes, we said volunteers!  We intend for every phase of Saddle Up! to be as participatory as possible.  We know from experience how powerful it is to have a hand in building the future of this place, and we want to extend that opportunity to YOU.  (Plus, "many hands" is how we'll get this done...truly.)
Want to come pitch in for a weekend?  Check out our Workparty Schedule.  Have more time than that to offer, or particularly relevant skills?  Contact and she'll find the right place for you! 
We're going to do everything in our power to complete the west wing and the common space before camp begins!  Work will continue on the east wing and the staff dens throughout the summer (and check out our new Construction Camp!)  We'll rely on tipis, tents and other creative solutions for campers, staff and volunteers as needed, with classic Ekone creative-problem-solving.  (Spring programs will enjoy giant slumber parties in the lodge....)  (If you happen to have a tent, trailer, camper, bus, or tiny house you'd like to loan us, we'd be STOKED.)
As we grapple with the ten-thousand details and decisions, we also keep our eyes on the importance and meaning of this work.  And on our intention that these human constructions serve the land and help to create a beautiful future.
We are just $52,000 from fully funding the Bunkhouse. 

If you gave to Saddle Up! last year...THANK YOU for getting us this far!  We'll be in touch with you this spring to discuss renewing your gift for 2019, with a grateful heart for all you've done already.

If you haven't yet contributed to Saddle Up!, would you consider helping us reach this milestone?  Here's a Donation Link, and checks to the address below are most welcome with big gratitude!  But we'd love a personal conversation most of all, if you'd like to share your advice, experience, or support over a cup of coffee or a meal--Shonie will come to you!
The journey continues!  Stay tuned for more Breaking News in future editions of Straight From the Saddle

Wishing you all well-shoveled paths, cozy warm spaces, and the returning birds of spring,
The Saddle Up! trail bosses
Did you miss any of the adventure thus far?  Here's a recap:
Chapter 1: The Reason for the Journey
Chapter 2: Where We're Going
Chapter 3: The Trail Map
Chapter 4: Provisioning for the Journey
Chapter 5: Truth-Checking
Chapter 6: The Dusty Trail Behind Us
Chapter 7: How Many Cowpokes Does it Take to Saddle Up?
Chapter 8: Route Scouts
Volume 2, Chapter 1: The Point of No Return

Volume 2, Chapter 2: A New Approach; Ekone's Shiny New Road

Sacred Earth Foundation stewards 1,138 acres in the upper Rock Creek watershed, and is the home of Ekone Summer Camps and White Eagle Memorial Preserve.  ~
509-773-4536 ~

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