Christmas in a Man Camp | VideoEvan Kruegel | 12/25/2012
"It`s an unusual situation, a lot of us are from the south and Texas, and there`s not a lot going on there, and we`re very glad to have jobs and we`re appreciative of where we are. It could be a lot worse," he said.
But that`s not to say he won`t be missing his family on Christmas Day.
"I`m going to be thinking about my wife. I`ve been married 20 years and I`ve never had a Christmas apart. I`ll be thinking about my 17-year-old son, my 14-year-old daughter, my 12-year-old son and what they`ll be doing on Christmas morning. That`s what I`ll be thinking about."
Lodge staff are doing their best to make the men feel at home. They`ll be hosting huge dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and they`ve presented the men with a chance to give back to the community. Five local families in need will dine with the men in style, before meeting Santa and receiving presents. It`s a chance for the men to be grateful for what they do have.
One resident who is especially grateful for the camp is Blake Fenn. One year ago, he was in a very different situation.
"I was actually living in a camper. It`s a bit of an upgrade from where we were last year with no heat or water."
He says the camp is a second home to him, but he`ll still be thinking about his home back in Mississippi on Christmas Day.
"I have a huge family back home, and everybody gathers up around 7:00 Christmas morning. So I`m sure I`ll be answering phone calls and talking to them. Everybody misses home, but not a lot of people get the chance to work in a place like this."
While Christmas in a Man Camp might not sound like the perfect holiday, these men are content with the situation. The lodge is going out of its way to make them feel comfortable and they`re making the best of what they`ve been given. After all, many of these men are up here to better the lives of their families back home, and if working through Christmas means doing just that, then so be it.