Almost 900 teenagers have paid good money to spend part of their summer vacation, working as laborers and sleeping on school floors.
Two separate groups of students are doing projects in the region, this week and next, as part of a mission to help those "in their own backyard instead of traveling across the United States or the world to help others," said Mindy Liebau.
She directs FredCamp, a group that's done summer home-repair projects for 21 years. The 35 teens and six adults will undertake projects in at least eight area homes next week.
During the camp, they'll sleep on the floor of Fredericksburg Christian School in Spotsylvania County. They'll use the school as their base station and eat meals donated by volunteer groups.
FredCamp is a Christian program for high school students "working to repair hearts and homes in the Fredericksburg area," according to the group's motto.
This week, 850 teens from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington have been camping at King George High School for the diocese's 30th WorkCamp. They've traveled to seven different counties that are part of the Arlington diocese to work on more than 200 major renovation projects.
The goal is to "make the homes of elderly and low-income residents warmer, safer and drier," according to a press release. They are replacing windows and doors, building decks and wheelchair ramps and repairing roofs. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors also are being put in homes.
The teens represent 42 parishes and are accompanied by almost 500 volunteers, contractors and staff from the Arlington diocese. The crews have worked all week on projects and are inviting residents they help to join them in a celebration luncheon Friday at King George High School.