Archive for April, 2012

The Return of Sparkles!

Sparkles is coming back as Program Extraordinaire for summer 2012. Read on to find out why she’s returning and who/what she’s bringing with her!

Dear campers,

I’m coming back for another summer because I love camp!

Sparkles at the Coop Course

I love camp because it is a place where I found myself and felt accepted. It is a place that God opened himself to me in a way that I could feel. I love singing praise songs as much as I love singing silly songs.

When I first arrive at camp there is an anticipation of all the fun that’s going to happen: swimming, slip n slide, group games, crafts, sleeping out, and the list goes on and on. Along the way these amazing friendships begin to form. It is these relationships that last throughout the year and keep me coming back.

I keep returning to camp to have the chance to see old friends as well as create new ones. It’s a community of people that all work together. I cannot wait for this summer to meet many new faces and grow into a tightly knit opened armed extension of God’s love.

Some may remember the infamous Dew the Bear, well he is coming back too, and he is going to be bringing his friend Dew the Hippopotamus. I invite and encourage you to return to camp and bring a new friend as well! See Dew, meet his new friend and experience a piece of, in my opinion, the best place on earth.

See you this summer!
Sparkles

Email about Free Camps – Discounts

About a week ago I sent an email to many camper families.  It was all about Free Camps (there’s still two more to happen this coming Sunday)!  I thought I’d post the email series here for anyone who missed the info… here’s the second one:

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To the parents of Camper:

Greetings again!

I didn’t mention it in my last email, but there are lots of ways to save oncamp.  We make it so because one of our mission priorities is to makecamp super affordable!  One way to save is by coming to the upcomingFree Camps.  In short, we’re giving a $100 voucher at each Free Campevent (so 3 in total).  Each person that comes will get one ticket to be entered in the drawing.  The drawing will be done at the event. If you win, summer camp costs $100 less for you this year!

Also, you can save by bringing never-ever’s to the party with you.  Never-ever’s are campers that haven’t been to a BBC program before.  You’ll receive a $7 discount for each never-ever you bring with you that is camp-age (between 6-17).

Additional details on the discounts being offered through Free Camp here –www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp

A few other ways to save on camp this summer:

1.      Sign up for the BBC Blog – you’ll get a $10 discount when you send us the code you get from signing up.  You can sign up here –http://www.bethanybirches.org/blog/blog-subscription/

2.      If one child comes to more than one session or you send more than one child, you get discounts. You can select them when you register (register online here – bethanybirches.org/summer-camp-application-form)

3.      Apply for Kids to Camp money (scholarship) here –http://www.bethanybirches.org/scholarship-request-form. You will qualify if your child gets free lunch or reduced-price lunch.  Other discounts will not be honored if you receive Kids to Camp money (because we give lots of it to those that qualify).

Hope to see you this weekend in Rutland or the following in Taftsville or Ascutney!

Tuna

(Brandon)

p.s. Here are the dates again

THIS SUNDAY: April 22, 2012: 2-4pm

Rutland, VT

Grace Church, 8 Court Street, in the youth center

 

April 29, 2012: 1-3pm

Woodstock, VT

@ Taftsville Chapel, Happy Valley Rd. just off Rt. 4 across from the Taftsville Bridge, in the sanctuary

 

April 29, 2012: 5-7pm

Ascutney, VT

Ascutney Union Church, from intersection of Rte. 5 and Rte. 131 go north approx. 1/10 mile. Church is on the right.

PIZZA DINNER INCLUDED!

You’re welcome to RSVP to this email.  If you decide last minute to come, just come on out!

Email about Free Camps – special invitation

About a week and a half ago I sent an email to many camper families.  It was all about Free Camps (there’s still two more to happen this coming Sunday)!  I thought I’s post the email series here for anyone who missed the info… here’s the first one:

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To the parents of Camper:

I hope this finds you well.

I’m writing to invite you to an event that is happening near you.  We call it free camp.  It’s two hours of camp

with some of our favorite indoor activities, food and fun.

 

I’ll be there with some staff and volunteers and we’ll be talking about summer 2012.

There are lots of details about Free Camp on the website:http://www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp.

This is also a great chance to share camp with your friends – feel free to forward this to them.

 

Will you and your family join us?  I would love if you come to one of these parties and send your camper(s)

to camp this summer!

 

Here are the dates and locations:

THIS SUNDAY: April 22, 2012: 2-4pm

Rutland, VT

Grace Church, 8 Court Street, in the youth center

 

April 29, 2012: 1-3pm

Woodstock, VT

@ Taftsville Chapel, Happy Valley Rd. just off Rt. 4 across from the Taftsville Bridge, in the sanctuary

 

April 29, 2012: 5-7pm

Ascutney, VT

Ascutney Union Church, from intersection of Rte. 5 and Rte. 131 go north approx. 1/10 mile. Church is on the right.

PIZZA DINNER INCLUDED!

 

Kids Need Summer Camp

Kids need summer camp

“America needs to send all of these kids to camp this summer before this generation loses the values that have driven our country since the beginning,” says author Marc Joseph, CEO and founder of DollarDays International Inc. In a Huffington Post blog entry, Joseph points out that Generation Z (children born since the late 1990s), has never known life before Internet and online connections. Many of these children communicate by text messages more than talking; they spend little time outdoors and have a very different worldview than the generation before them.

Joseph urges parents: “We need to get these kids out playing and communicating and winning and losing so they can take our place in getting this country back to leading the world in economic and ethical ways. Help send these kids to camp this summer.”

You can read the entire article here.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Inside Out: Like a Child

Cheeks and Katelyn, BBC Fall 2011

It’s amazing what you find when you look for it! More themes of inside out continue to run through every day life.Last weekend I found a sampling of the inside out theme in Pennsylvania. Tuna and I made a quick trip south for a bridal shower for my soon to be sister in law. We had a great time catching up with family, hearing the latest news and telling lots of people about the latest happenings at BBC!

My favorite part of the weekend was sitting next to my almost 5 year old niece in church on Sunday morning. After the service it dawned on me yet again why God calls us to be like children. It doesn’t make sense. We spend our entire lives growing out of our childhood and yet Jesus states that we should become like little children. On Sunday, sitting next to my niece who was learning how to sit like a 5 yr old in church (Butt on the bench or feet on the floor), I was reminded again why Jesus values children:

She was quietly coloring for most of the service. It seemed like she was paying zero attention to the message the pastor was sharing. But every so often she’d look up at me and ask something related to what the pastor was saying. “What’s doubt?” The pastor had just mentioned Thomas’s doubt. So I tried to whisper an answer she’d understand and she went back to coloring. A few minutes later she looked up at me and said “what’s the least?” The pastor had just mentioned how God was always using “the least.” Again, I tried to put myself in her shoes and give an answer that would make sense.  A few minutes later she asked, “Did anyone else die on a cross?” So I told her that other people had been punished that way. She responded with, “Did they come back to life?” I just shook my head. After looking at me for a few moments she went back to coloring.

All the questions. All the inquiries. Asking about whatever we hear. I believe God wants us to do more question asking and more clarifying. Jesus invites us to spend more time with children and be like them. It doesn’t make sense for us to be more like children or to accept children the same way we do adults. But after hanging out with a 5 year old in church, I’m reminded yet again of the goodness of a young spirit and am excited to spend time with kids all summer long!

Inside Out: Death to Life

I know summer is getting closer when I start to see the summer theme everywhere I look. Easter weekend was an obvious display this summer’s theme: Inside Out. We celebrate the death of Jesus on Friday. This death then leads to life. It doesn’t make sense. Death is supposed to be the end of life, but in the Kingdom of God, death always leads to new life. Weird.

This theme of death leading to life is also present in the natural world around us. One of my favorite stops on the BBC nature trail was developed a few years ago by Katie “Scoop” Gehman and myself. We were walking along the nature trail and we saw this incredible pile of dirt. You see, the pile of dirt was actually the uprooting of a tree, but from our perspective you couldn’t tell, it just looked like a random, huge pile of dirt! We thought it was worthy of being a new post on the nature trail. However, the first time we took the staff on the revised nature trail, they knew immediately that the pile of dirt was an uprooted tree! (needless to say we were disappointed in their lack of amazement!) I walked the nature trail the other day. Currently, when you walk by this pile of dirt, you see new life springing from it. Grasses, ferns and moss all growing on the pile of dirt formed from the uprooted roots of the tree. The death of the tree is bringing new life to the forest.

As I reflect on various things in my life that are ending (or have ended) I look forward to the new life that lies ahead, including whatever Summer 2012 will bring!

Counselor Nye is comin’ back!

I just can’t wait to come back to BBC this summer! Working at camp last summer was probably one of the best experiences of my life, not to mention easily the best job that I have ever had.

I mean, what’s not to like? Running through the woods from “guards” with flashlights for Mission Impossible, doing elaborate team performances for the jump contest on Wet ‘n Wild Wednesdays, or just good old singing around a campfire and being in the woods with God. But, let’s not forget eating ice cream as fast as possible- with no hands, of course. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Week after week I would smile at the flood of new campers, mostly new faces. Well, this summer I will be seeing some new faces, but hopefully not as many. I hope I see some of my old campers again this summer, or just anyone who came in 2011. It was absolutely the best way to spend my summer in the woods.

But above all of the zany things that I did as a counselor, with others on the fantastic staff or even with you campers (enormous grease fires come to mind), what made this summer truly rewarding was the growth I found in my own connection with God. Time after time I hear people say that God is present on the Hill, and take it from someone who was there for a couple of months, the stories are true. I can’t wait for the spiritual growth to begin again and for the relationships that will grow between new and old friends.

So, this summer’s going to be a brand-new adventure for me, even though I’m coming back for another year. Who knows what wacky science experiments or activities I’ll think up next… Camp has truly become a place that feels like home to me, and I hope that you all will come be at home, or at least find out what I mean.

See you soon, I’m coming home!

-NYE

April Monthly Contact

Each month, I write an email to some of Bethany Birches’ supporters.  The topics and content vary.  I share from my heart in these emails, about things that have happened at camp that I just love! A lot of times, I highlight something that one of our campers or staff has written or done.  And, what would a note to supporters be without updates and sharing of needs?!  Expect that too.  Here’s April’s update.

You can subscribe to this update if you’d like right here.

The latest need:

Maintenance Manager Position Open

Bethany Birches Camp Job Description – this position is currently open!

Position: Manager of Maintenance

Job Type: Part-time, year-round

Description: To perform the general maintenance, repairs, upkeep of the Bethany Birches Camp facilities including building, grounds, motor vehicles and tools.  Tracking which tasks have been done and which are due is also part of this role.  This person may also be responsible to oversee some aspects of facility development (especially construction projects).

Job Tasks:

  • Coordinate and plan for volunteer workgroups and workdays
  • Coordinate and plan for capital improvement projects
  • Oversee contracted labor
  • Contact service personnel such as plumber, electrician, etc. when needed
  • Oversee and complete lawn mowing (volunteers can take care of most of this)
  • Purchase, within budget, needed supplies for maintenance and repair
  • Keep firewood stocked in all locations (volunteers can help greatly with this)
  • Keep all motors (tractor, mower, weed whacker, chain saws etc.) in proper condition performing regular maintenance according to the proper schedules
  • Maintain trails, low ropes course, pond features and other physical resources.
  • Help out in the summer as needed
  • Occasionally fill in for Executive or Program Directors to welcome rental groups
  • Help with cleaning in preparation for renters
  • Snow removal
  • Get facility read for programs (ice rink, winterization, etc. etc.)
  • Complete daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks
  • Give a report to the Executive Director each month (includes major and minor needs – present and future – what you’ve been working on and general satisfaction about work)
  • Complete projects and other work that comes up

Report to: Executive Director

Direct Reports: Seasonal maintenance staff & volunteers

Starting Compensation:

$11.50 – $13.50/hour commensurate with experience

Number of hours being offered:

  • Minimum: 480 hours or 60 days per year
  • Maximum as of now: 600 hours or 75 days per year

Final compensation and hours will be worked out depending on applicant

You may purchase health care through Bethany Birches.  You may use salary to pay for health care.  This position has lots of room for growth.

Timing:

Hours can be adjusted seasonally.  A minimum of 1 day per week during spring, summer and fall is necessary.  Additional days could be worked in preparation for summer.  Winter projects are typically flexible.  During winter months, three days/month will be necessary.  Ideally this time would be spread across projects and snow removal and snow camp preparations.

Apply by downloading the application and sending to Brandon at Bethany Birches.