A Report from the road

After a long drive the Camp Take Notice gang heading to New Jersey reached the half-way point and stopped for the night. According to Peggy L. The group stayed that first night at 1st Baptist Church in DuBois, PA.  One of the camp supports contacted the church by guessing a half way point and just making cold calls. Upon hearing of our work, the church leadership graciously offered to put us… a group of strangers…up for the night.

The group got in at 9 PM and pastor was there to meet them gang.  He opened up the church and pretty much said said “here you are, make yourself at home,” providing the group not only with a safe dry place to sleep, but also showers and a gymnasium to stretch and play after many hours in a crowed car. Peggy L, MISSION board president who is traveling with the group noted  ” the whole hearted hospitality to a group they had never met was beautiful and amazing.”

John unwinds before bed

After a good sleep the CTN gang drove the rest of the way and arrived in Brick around diner time and were amazed at the relief effort there. A few people in a local neighborhood who looked around and said “something is not right, someone needs to do something. So we will.”  And they have!

An amazing group and an amazing effort = amazing stuff done!   

The CTN group arrived around dinner time and were fed a meal prepared by local families in a local club.  After dinner and getting to know those they will be working with they headed to the tent city where they will be staying during their time in New Jersey.

Again, the hospitality was overwhelming as this group of homeless men and women greeted the CTN folks and shared their space, food, propane, heaters, sleeping bags and friendship with the arrivals from Ann Arbor.  The CTN folks are looking forward to getting to know folks there better and learning about their tent city model, which is somewhat different from CTN.

On Sunday AM the CTN folks split up into teams and headed out w/ volunteers from Brick Relief to tear out drywall, repair what they could and help locals with the heart wrenching work of going through destroyed possessions.


And they’re off

Ten members of the Camp Take Notice Community headed out Friday AM to volunteer their time and talents doing Hurricane Relief Work in New Jersey.

NJ bound travelers and supporters gather before heading off

The group will be working with Brick Hurricane Relief. (See Press Release and Previous blog entries for background.) The group begin preparing Wednesday night with the first of 2 mandatory training/orientation sessions.  A second session was held on Thursday.

Glenn does some last minute packing

Friday AM was a rush of activity; a healthy breakfast, picking up vans and last minute supplies, packing up the vans etc. Those traveling and supporters who came to help pack up the vans and send the group off were in good spirits and talked about their reasons for going as they joked and laughed and worked together.

Tools set for packing

listening to last minute logistics

John L. Noted  he believes “this is a time when now, more than ever, we need to help each other out. Camp Take Notice and MISSION have made it clear that opportunities to help others is what life is all about”

John and Rachel pause from their preparations for a photo and to talk about why they are going.

Rachelle, another traveler also noted; “Being a part of a team of people from all walks of life is very beautiful for me. When people serve together they know each other in ways that could never happen otherwise. Working alongside the homeless of Ann Arbor to serve the ‘home-lost’ of New Jersey is humbling. I am very blessed to be a part of this team.”

Tracy W, who was unable to travel with the group this time around due to a prior commitment none the less attended the orientation sessions, contributed tips from this own experiences, and spent hours helping the group organize and pack.  He commented, “I hope the best for the group. I wish I could go.  It’s a good thing to do and I enjoy that kind of work. I love to get my hands dirty.”

John along w/ supporters Alan and Tracy



Contact: Sheri Wander: playfullspirit@gmail.com

On Friday, November 16, 2012 members and supporters of Camp Take Notice (CTN) will travel to New Jersey to assist with disaster relief following Hurricane Sandy. Since the eviction from their former home on Wagner Road in Ann Arbor, the Camp Take Notice community – a self-governed democratic tent city – has continued to meet to support one another and other area homeless individuals while working to secure a new location for residence. Upon learning of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the community (which has a history of doing community service) was determined to do something to help.

“Houseless individuals may not have many financial or physical resources to help with the relief efforts, but what we do have is the time, the willingness, and the skills” noted Caleb Poirier, a former EMT and one of the founders of Camp Take Notice who will be taking part in the relief efforts.

Once in New Jersey, Camp Take Notice will work directly with Brick Hurricane Recovery Program, a small grassroots organization set up in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Their goal is “to assist our families of Brick County and the surrounding communities throughout their recovery and restoration as a result of Hurricane Sandy”, stated Theresa Millerschoen, co-coordinator of the Brick Hurricane Relief program.

Brick Hurricane Relief opened with the need to feed those displaced and without power, as well as supply them with essential items. Now, as the recovery process continues, the needs of the community have changed and the relief programs are changing as well. They will be organizing clean-up crews and trips to provide voluntary manual labor. Camp Take Notice volunteers will be directly involved in these efforts.

In order to do the necessary work without putting an additional burden on the relief agency or the larger community, Camp Take Notice members and supporters will stay with a homeless tent community approximately eight miles from the New Jersey coast. Members of the hosting tent city will join CTN members in their relief efforts.

Those wishing to contribute to this effort should contact Sheri Wander via email at playfullspirit@gmail.com. The contingency will be collecting money for transportation as well as tents, bottled water, trash bags, rakes, shovels, brooms, and other needed relief items.


Home (an anonymous camper)

Home used to mean a house. A yard. My things. Then I lost these things. I lost them with mistakes I made.

When I lost my family I realized home means family.

Alone. Lost. Invisible. Nothing.

I found Camp Take Notice.  

A home can be a tent. A campfire. A community.

A family can be the ones who sit up with you telling you ya don’t need a drink. Or the drugs. 

Community. Found. Visible. Something. 

Climbing up. Digging my way out. 

Going to make it.

“Tents” (by anonymous)


A man came…

A tent came up…

Others came…

More tents came up…

Stories got shared

Frustrations were vented off

Inspirations and dreams were told

Listening ears and shoulders were offered

for others to cry on

Friendships were made here

Nights of safe sleep were provided…

That was until MDOT evicted us!


Interview with Brian Durrance

Interview with Brian Durrance

Check out Lucy Ann Lance’s interview of MISSION’s Vice President!

Town Hall Meeting August 19th

This Sunday there will be a panel at the U of M School of Social Work  (1080 S. University Ave, Education Conference Center). Please grace us with your presence! Dinner is at 6, discussion at 7!