Volunteers from around the country making a difference in Waldo County 

A group of teenagers are spending their summer vacation in Maine, helping others. Some homes in Waldo County will look a lot better before they head home.It’s called the Swan Lake Work Camp. More than 400 teenage volunteers arrived Sunday from all over the country. Their mission? To repair more than 60 houses around Waldo County. The Swan Lake community church helped raise more than $19,000 to for the materials.Jeff Bettinger is the workshop director. “They work to identify places of need, homes of need, and they do their pre-screening and then we want to look at homes that we can do two things. One is we can provide a meaningful project, and we can accomplish it,” he says.The church calls it their gift to the community. Swan Lake Community Church member Patty Keyes says when they first put the word out they were looking for homes to work on, people were a bit skeptical. “Who comes and says we’ll paint your house for free?” she says.Keyes says there’s no official criteria for the homeowners they help. “We’re free to help whoever we want to, but for the kids sake, as well as the recipients, we really want to focus on elderly people, disabled people who can’t physically do the work, and people who just don’t have the money,” she says.The kids who do the work paid their own travel expenses to get here, coming from as far away as Maryland, Colorado, Wisconsin, and new York. For Fransesca Le Brecque, this is her third summer in the workcamp. “It’s a great experience so I was like I want to do it again,” she says, “Maine is pretty. We have a fabulous beach behind us. It’s really cool and it’s cooler than it is in New York right now so that’s pleasant.”For the homeowners, like Stockton Springs resident Nancy Galland, who reap the benefits, they say they’ll be forever grateful. “It’s really refreshing. It just really gives you a lot of faith that this world is going to be okay in the hands of this generation. You know it’s the kind of person who can think outside of themselves and care about other people is what’s really needed in this world.”