“We are not in Kansas anymore” at least that is what I told my mid-western wife when I brought her to Maryland!
Normally it is not hard to get motivated to go into work on Friday mornings because we all go skiing every afternoon with the Calleva Snow Club, but last Friday was a bit different.
At 7:45, a tornado touched down on the Calleva Farm landing in the woods behind our amazing kitchen that brings you the Dirty Dinners and then cutting across fields to our Indoor Riding Arena where our CHAPS (calleva horse adventure programs) calls home.
For 15 minutes, this 95+MPH winds took down 100+ trees, numerous horse sheds, lighthouse, bleachers, windmill, the Enchanted Forest and whatever happened to be in in the path of a decapitated or uprooted tree! Several of these structures were built by students that came to the farm for a senior project or as part of our agricultural programs learning about sustainable construction.
Fortunately none of our staff, horses, cattle, or other farm animals were hurt when the tornado hit. Our mechanic Steve was in the woods and was able to get under his truck, all the animals laid down in the open fields, and staff stayed in their buildings while the trees fell.
The thoughts of cleaning, rebuilding and figuring out options for where there once was many trees feels quite overwhelming but somehow pales in comparison to the tremendous outpour of support and love. From camper families, community leaders, local clubs, churches, alumni, childhood friends, it is just a great reminder that we are so lucky to have such a supportive and caring community.
We are planning for 3 community days next week. Our plan is to do a MASSIVE CLEAN-UP on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2-6pm. Calleva Staff will be leading teams on a multitude of projects from tree branch removal, dismantling of sheds, reclaiming and recycling resources, fixing fields, and picking up debris from woods and fields.
We hope to see you all and look forward to working alongside our friends. Please bring good work boots, work gloves, and proper safety gear. We are asking all volunteers to sign waivers and will be serving food from our kitchen. Volunteers will be directed upon arriving at the farm.
19120 Martinsburg Road
Dickerson MD 20842