May 15, 2014

After three coats of primer, we finally have the first coat of paint on the walls and ceiling.  It is looking good!!
It is difficult to see in this picture, but the bathroom walls are green, though not Girl Scout green!!
While we were at the construction meeting, they started pouring the concrete for the entry sidewalks. Concrete walkway in front of the building.  These guys work really fast.
Picture of the front door into the building with the concrete entryway.  That is Don Evans on the right watching them work.
Final grading is complete on the parking lot.  It looks huge!!!


Here is another view of the parking lot.  See how big it is in relation to the Nature Nook? 

April 5, 2014

Wow, what a winter it has been!  Doing winter construction usually isn’t a problem, but this winter has really taken a toll on the construction schedule at Camp Soni Springs.  We are finally seeing some progress and I wanted to share some photos of where we are in the building process.

Before any of the drywall was up, I wanted to get a picture of this dirty, dirty shower.  This is the handicapped shower in the women’s restroom. We finally got the sliding glass doors that lead to the covered porch area.  They are going to be so nice and give great access to the porch for programming purposes.  And they really make the multi-purpose room bright with all the light that they let in. In order to start the drywall process we really needed to get the insulation in and the heat going.  We brought in a temporary propane tank and a huge heater to get the building warm enough to work in.  I am looking forward to some warmer temperatures. How about you?

Once we got the insulation in and the temporary heat, we were able to get the dry walling underway.  It is amazing how fast it all goes up.  The building is almost completely dry walled, mudded and taped.  Here is a picture of some of the dry walling supplies. Here is a picture taken from the front door to the building looking through the vestibule and into the main room.  The doorway that you see on the left is into the women’s restroom and the doorway that you can just barely see on the right is into the bunk room wing. This picture is of the actual sleeping room in the bunk room wing.  This room will hold 7 bunks or 14 girls.  There are lots and windows and lots of light.  

Here is a view of the common area in the bunk room wing.  It will be a nice space with a kitchen counter (opposite this wall) and refrigerator. Right outside the back door to the bunk room itself will be the fire ring area. Here is a photo of the trading post with an office just beyond.  It is small, but should be large enough for some private meeting space for a camp director or two.   Here is a photo of the health center.  It will have a stack washer dryer, counter and sink, under cabinet refrigerator, and a separate bathroom.  (The doorway to the bath is on the right out of this picture)

December 2, 2014

Here are two pictures of the septic field. It is so large that it covers the entire area that was once Tulip Bend Unit.  Once it is graded and seeded, it should be a nice sports field or maybe a new archery range.

Here is the view of the front entrance      This picture was taken standing in the
with the bunk room windows that face    entrance to the program space looking
the front of the building.                          out toward the covered porch area. We
                                                                 don’t have cement poured in the porch area
                                                                 yet because they wanted to get the roof on
                                                                 and they are hoping that the weather warms
                                                                 up a little. (This might be wishful thinking
                                                                 at this point)

This picture was taken standing in the    This is a picture of the kitchen. Looks
vestibule area looking into the bunk       like we are cooking up some wood.Yum!
room. The larger area will be the
common room for the bunk room.
The room at the back with the
windows is where the bunks will
go and the small room to the left
is the leader room.

This view is to the left of the main entrance.
The door on the left is to the trading post/office
and the door on the right is to the health center.

October 17, 2013

The Camp Soni Springs Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) is really starting to take shape! The interior framing is nearing completion and even some trusses have been set. Additionally, work on the septic drain field (a large project in itself) has begun as well as some grading around the MPC. Clearing of the parking lot is complete and the main entrance off Martin Road is nearly ready for final grading and stone placement. The drilling of the new well and tying it into the building will begin shortly. Once the sheathing for the roof is in place, plumbing and electrical wiring can begin. Although a lot of work remains, the progress made thus far is truly heartening! 

The trusses and walls of the kitchen       The same can be said for the camper’s wing.
are complete.

Interior framing looking from the           Interior framing looking towards the
porch to the kitchen.                                camper’s wing.

Work on the drain field involves             The size of the drain field is enormous and
moving tons of sand.                                covers most of what used to be Tulip Bend.

A semi of drain field material                 Looking towards the main entrance with the
navigates Soni roads.                              kitchen on the left and the camper’s quarters
                                                                on the right.

The main entrance looking towards        A bobcat backfills soil around the foundation
Martin Road.

October 11, 2013

Construction of the Camp Soni Springs Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) continues on a fast track.  A new well for the building will be drilled shortly, and septic site preparation is underway.  The clearing of the parking area is complete as well as the layout for the drive from the parking area to the MPC.  Framing is well underway and makes the design of the building visible.  Main power to the building will also be installed shortly.

Camper sleeping quarters wing is framed.        Kitchen framing nears completion.

Final clearing of the parking area.                The cleared parking area is ready for final leveling.

Framing of First Aid and Trading Post          Elevated view showing the camper sleeping wing
spaces near completion.
                                and the common program area.

October 7, 2013

It is official! We have a foundation on which to build a building. Yeah!

This picture is looking toward the kitchen end of the building.

This picture is looking toward the bunk room area of the building. You can see some of the footers have been placed where the walls will go.

One of the framing crew works on cutting some of the headers and footers for the studs. In the background you can see the posts for the porch.

Here is one of the stacks of roof trusses that have arrived and are stored on the site.

It was a beautiful day last Wednesday and the Camp looks wonderful, thanks to Don and all those that have helped him get this property back in shape. Though I didn’t take a picture of the pond, after the installation of the fountain and aerators and the application of weed killer, the water looks crystal clear.

The leaves are just starting to turn. It was a quiet and beautiful day, except for the sounds of pounding taking place back at the construction site. However, that is certainly a welcome disturbance!

September 30, 2013

Progress on the Camp Soni Springs Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) continues at a rapid pace.  As stated earlier, after “working” with local, county, and state agencies to obtain all required permits, things are rolling!  There was a slight delay when the worksite received almost 5” of rain on September 20th, but the dry weather since has allowed for renewed rapid activity.

Footers for the porch area and some of the porch supports.

Front Entrance to the building.

More supports for the porch area.

Plumbing for half bath in bunk room

Plumbing for the Kitchen and Bathroom areas.

Putting in the plumbing for the kitchen.

Some of the framing materials have been delivered.

Clearing the parking lot area.

Almost all the trees and stumps are gone from the parking lot.

September 17, 2013

Pictured is the poured foundation and the rebar. Numerous tests of the cement were taken during the pours to make sure the cement passes the load requirements.

It is a little hard to see but this is the foundation for the main part of the building completely poured. Masonry walls will be added for support.

Pictured is the initial perimeter pour for the pavilion (outdoor) section of the building.

September 6, 2013

Have you ever felt like you were running in circles as fast as you can and getting nowhere. Acquiring the Building Permit for the Multipurpose Center at Camp Soni Springs was just such an exercise. From someone at the state level suddenly leaving their job, to creating Standard Operating Procedures for a kitchen that was not even built yet were just some of the issues that came up again and again. However, finally and at long last, the building permit is posted on the site and we are moving forward. This is the picture of that precious piece of paper. 

This is a picture of our construction meeting at Soni Springs on September 4th.  Representatives from Shelton Construction, Don Evans, Soni Springs Site Manager and representatives from the Concrete company discuss pouring the foundation. 
Here are a couple of pictures of the forms for the foundation. The picture with the man working is taken from the kitchen end of the building. He is actually setting the forms for the bunk room wing. The other picture is looking at the front of the building. 
Now that we are moving forward, we expect things to happen very fast. We will post pictures as often as we can, or if you are out and about and want to take a look for yourself, give Don a call to make sure that he is available to escort you to the site.

July 25, 2013

Starting the pit for stumps.                      Still lots of roots and trees.

This space looks really BIG.                   Just about cleared.

Building site is cleared and fine graded.  Road to the building off the road by the
                                                                  shower house

Surveying the building site.                     Survey stakes for the building.

This will be a sunny late afternoon spot.  Starting work on the new entrance road.

New entrance from Martin Road.             New entrance road.

New entance road.                                   Mulch created by timber from the building site.

Firewood for next year.                            Building up the sledding hill with soil from
                                                                  the stump pits.

July 7, 2013

More review of the area at Camp Soni Springs for the Multi Purpose Center is being accomplished and stumps are being removed…it’s almost time to begin the building construction progress!


May 3, 2013


A major challenge to beginning construction of the new Camp Soni Springs Multi-Purpose Center was realized with the improvement of our existing road over the Marathon Oil pipeline. Once Marathon Oil engineers determined the thickness of the roadbed required to allow passage of heavy construction equipment over the pipeline, no time was wasted by our contractors in completing the task.


Contractors began clearing trees from the new Camp Soni Springs Multi-Purpose Center construction site. Tree parts capable of being chipped will be used as mulch to improve areas around camp. Logs will be placed in a remote camp location until seasoned and ready for cutting and splitting. This will ensure we'll always have firewood for the campfires we all love so much and none of the cleared trees will go to waste!

March 22, 2013

Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana is proud to announce the company chosen to partner with us on the construction of the Soni Multi-Purpose Building project is Shelton Construction, Benton Harbor, MI.  Tony Leininger, Carmi Design Group (Edwardsburg, MI) and Chris Myers, GSNI-M Director of Properties and IT will be attending the Three Oaks Township Planning Commission meeting the evening of Tuesday, March 26th to initiate the permit process for the project. Tony will serve as an  associate architect on the project providing construction management support. He will be working closely with Rick Parker from Brandstetter Carroll, Inc, who will serve as architect of record, as well as with Chris to oversee the construction process.  

February 22, 2013

One of the strategic priorities for the next three years is to implement the Master Site Plan and program plans to make camps desirable, affordable and enjoyable for all members. One of the goals for this priority is to initiate work to achieve parity across the property portfolio in accommodations, facilities and program.

The GSNI-M Board felt that the most immediate need for any of our properties was the construction of a Multi-purpose building at Camp Soni Springs that would serve as a hub for day camp operations. In addition, this building would also serve as a gathering place for girls and volunteers in the area. In August of 2012 and again in November 2012, the Board of Directors allocated funding for this project.     
After months of planning, we are very excited to be getting close to starting construction on this building. Brandstetter Carroll, the architectural firm that completed the Master Site Plans for GSNI-M was retained as the Architect of Record for this building. Tony Leininger, from Carmi Design Group out of Edwardsburg MI was retained at an associate architect for the project. Tony and his group will be responsible for construction engineering throughout the project. 
This climate controlled building will contain a small commercial kitchen, a first aid room, a trading post (retail area), a small office for the camp operations, and a large enclosed room (capacity 75) connected to a large covered porch (capacity 75). A small wing will have a bunk room that will serve as sleeping quarters for 14 girls and 4 adults. The large enclosed room will also allow large groups to sleepover at the camp on mattresses on the floor. 
An invitation to bid was sent to pre-qualified area construction companies last week and a pre-bid meeting will be held at Soni on February 25th.  Bids for the project will be opened on March 6th with the final decision will be made in mid-March.  Construction will start immediately with the hopes that the building will be substantially completed by early August (if not sooner). 
Throughout the project, we will take pictures and post them on the website so that everyone can share in the excitement of watching this building come to life.  Check back often as we post our progress.

Camp Soni Springs Case Statement
Architectural Rendering - Coming soon!
Camp Soni Springs Elevations layout
Camp Soni Springs Final Floorplan.
Learn more about Camp Soni Springs
Press Release