WARRENSBURG - Liz Sebald stepped out of her Main St. home Monday and looked at about 20 teens from across the nation busily painting her house.
Her husband Jerry, getting on in years, hadn't been able to accomplish the task himself, she said.
"This is an answer to our prayers," she said, watching some of the teens from YouthWorks mission scrape paint, while others applied a thick, fresh coat.
Elle Burkert, 16, of Reading Pa. lifted her brush of the house's siding for a moment. This was her second mission trip with YouthWorks, which is hosting about 420 teens in community service outreach work through next month in Warrensburg, North Creek, Johnsburg, Chester, Bakers Mills, and surrounding communities.
"I'm happy to be here, helping people, making a difference - leaving things better than when we came," she said. "Besides, I enjoy meeting people, making new friends."
Maximilian Kennedy, 18, also of reading, climbed down a ladder where he was scraping off weathered paint off
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the Sebald house.
"Most people might think this work is a hassle, but many people working together make work light," he said. "And the conversations with friends while we work make it really enjoyable."
The teens participating in these week-long sessions of Christian mission outreach are volunteering their time sprucing up homes, churches and public facilities in the region, as well as reserving several hours per day for recreational pursuits.
Also, the group is now conducting a day camp Aug. 5 for children ages 4 to 11, to be held from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays at the Bakers Mills Wesleyan Church off state Rte. 8. Children from all over northern Warren County are welcome to attend.
Abby Mueller of Orange County Ca. said she was really enjoying her work helping lead the day camp, which includes reading, singing, crafts, and story-telling. This is her second mission trip, but her first in the Adirondacks, she said.
"These kids really appreciate our attention," she said. "It feels really good to make them so happy."
The YouthWorks group is being housed in the parish house at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Warrensburg, spending their days at their worksites.
So far, the teen volunteers have worked at a variety of locations, cleaning up and installing barbecue grills at the North Creek Ski Bowl, and working at Whitewater Manor assisted living home in North Creek, mowing the lawn, and accomplishing other yard work, while entertaining residents, according to YouthWorks crew leader Mark Strickland. Later this week, the youth will be visiting seniors at the Tri-County Nursing Home in North Creek, he said.
At Camp Triumph in northern Warren County, the teens have been renovating the site so it can be reopened, Strickland said. There, the volunteers are weeding, mowing, painting the house and barn, he said.
The teen crews have also been at the Johnsburg town baseball fields off Peaceful Valley Road, cleaning up and painting - plus fixing up the dugouts as well as the concession stand, Strickland said.
At the Baker's Mills Wesleyan Church, one crew accomplished considerable renovations, including extensive exterior painting and fixups.
Later this month, crews will be helping prepare the Warren County fairgrounds off Schroon River Rd. for the upcoming county Youth Fair, he said.
Major corporations as well as local enterprises have donated the materials and equipment for the renovation work, he said. YouthWorks is a nationwide Christian organization based in Minneapolis, and northern Warren County is one of 70 destinations across the nation for this outreach program.
The YouthWorks teens have been working with locally based North Country Ministry on lining up projects to undertake. The teens painted the barn and spruced up their food pantry, Strickland said.
"It's been a great opportunity to come out and serve," Strickland said.