USA Shaolin Temple’s Autumn Construction Phase Complete
With the deed to the New USA Shaolin Temple signed on September 3rd, there was no time to waste in preparing for next summer’s camp. The temple grounds in Fleischmanns was previously a summer camp, but hadn’t been fully used in at least 15 years. There are about 15 buildings still on the property, some in better condition than others. The newer, sturdier buildings were chosen to be refurbished before the cold and snowy upstate New York winter weather set in.
Every weekend, and even on weekdays, after the deed was signed, until the weekend of October 16th, students and disciples from the Temple made the time in their busy New York City schedules to drive 2.5 hours and work on the property. On September 24th, two professional contractors and friends of the Temple drove 24 hours straight from Florida to work full-time and oversee the project.
Each weekend was a beautiful experience. The bonds of the Temple community showed strong as an immense amount was accomplished. Each weekend saw 15-30 students come put their hands together to help build the temple. Even some students and disciples who couldn’t make time to come work helped by cooking delicious meals or buying snacks for the workers to bring up.
On most weekends, a few people would drive up Friday night, or even Friday morning. Most people would come up Saturday morning and spend the night camping outside or sleeping together in the main cabin. Every morning at 7 AM sharp, the team would wake up to the theme from Jet Li’s “Shaolin Temple”, a tradition picked up in China on the 2010 trip at Shishu Shi Yan Xiao’s school. After working from 8 AM – Sundown, the team would gather around the campfire to share dinner, relaxing after a long day’s work with good food and good friends.
By the time to finish the Autumn phase had come, the exteriors of 5 buildings had been painted, 4 new roofs had been installed, the inside of one building had been demolished, cleaned, sheet rocked, and primed, over 12 tons of debris, old shingles, and garbage was removed, and multiple fix-ups and additions had been made around the property in general. Train harder! Everyone looked forward to being able to take a break from working, but at the same time looked forward to the next phases in the winter and spring – and to more camping trips!