Ron Jones, a local farmer and member of Christ Community United Methodist Church in Seneca Knolls, graciously offered the Senior High Youth Group and Dominican Republic Mission Team the proceeds from all maple syrup the groups can produce and sell.
Currently in the first phase of the project, youth group members have removed taps and couplers from old sap tubing and reassembled it into usable tubing, then taken the tubing and taps out into the woods and attached taps to the trees. They then connected the taps to tubing, a process that consists of several trees connecting to form a "sap line," which is then connected into the main line delivering sap to a holding tank.
"We have an amazing group of kids that spent much of their winter break week out in the woods laying the ground work for this project," said Anita Brittain, one of the adult leaders who will be going to the Dominican Republic with the youth group. "It's cold, strenuous work, but we have heard few complaints. Many of the youth even said they enjoyed the work."
The youth group will continue to work on this project through the tapping, collection, boiling, bottling and selling process. They hope to produce between 500 and 600 bottles of syrup to sell and intend on selling the syrup in pint bottles (16 ounces), one pint for $13 and 2 for $23.
Youth group members hope to raise enough money to purchase a church van, in addition to a July trip to the Dominican Republic where 11 members of the Christ Community United Methodist Youth Group will help the Orphanage Outreach Program. The Orphanage Outreach Christian Alternative Breaks Program reaches out to orphaned and abandoned children giving them the tools and resources necessary to grow up to be productive, responsible, caring members of society.