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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.

Free Camp!

These three events are free too... just like hugs

Free Camp!

What could be better than a week at Bethany Birches Camp this summer you ask? I say Free Camp!

No, this isn’t a chance to get a week of camp free, it’s a chance to get a few hours of camp free. Although, you can get $100 off your upcoming camp session this summer + multiples of $7 on top of that (see below).

Here’s the deal: For a few hours we’ll bring some of our staff to a town near you and do camp (if you live in VT or NH that is). We will:

  • Get messy (if you want) at our pig trough.
  • Play Full Contact Playdough Pictionary or Mission Impossible or Smugglers.
  • Watch video from last summer.
  • Hear stories of summer camp.
  • Eat snacks if the pig trough wasn’t enough.

Get Camp Cheap:

  1. GET $100 OFF SUMMER 2012 – Each eligible camper* that attends will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate good for BBC Summer 2012 program. One certificate will be given at the event.
  2. Any returning camper will be given a $7 discount for summer 2012 for EACH eligible never-ever** they bring along!

*will be in the age range 5-18 yrs. old this summer.
**never-ever camper is someone who’s never been to BBC for any program

No need to sign up, just show up! We’ll have info and forms on summer camp at the party as well.

FOR DATES AND TIMES – www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp 

Fire Marshal Update


I can’t tell you how good it is to be loved and cared for by a community.  In Bethany Birches’ case, this is a community of love.  A community built on Jesus.  I don’t always know how to articulate what that means, but I write it because this community is different than many.  For example:

  • One of our campers made a $10 contribution to the cabin project.
  • Parents of campers continue to call and write offering whatever they can to help.
  • Two large churches are planning to give to the project in a meaningful way.
What has become clear over the last two weeks is that many have received something special while at Bethany Birches.  Others have received something special by supporting Bethany Birches. They have freely received and so they freely give.  This is the way God’s spirit works and it’s so encouraging to be a part of the receiving side.
It’s starting to look like there’s a good chance we’ll be able to get the cabin in shape by June.  I met yesterday with Robert (architect) and Paul (builder) to start the detailed punch list.  Very exciting.  Within a week or so, we ought to be able to post the dates for a couple work days/weekends.  There’s already a work group planning to come mid April.  If you are or have friends that are skilled in a building trade, contact me and we can find a time for you to get to work!
If you have money you can contribute, you can give through the website or by mail (address: 2610 Lynds Hill Road, Plymouth, VT 05056) or phone (802-672-5220).
Hot off the press – this is from our board meeting last week.  One of the greatest challenges to meet is the required exits for the sleeping lofts. We can’t even put a door on the side near the road because the porch roof from below is in the way.  In order to get the exits needed, we’re planning to move forward with one of our master plan initiatives.  In short, it’s to add adequate bathrooms to the cabin (right now there are two, very small bathrooms).  So, if we put the shell for the bathrooms up now, we can bring the two exits out through that shell.  Yee Ha!
Next up – completion of design and plans to obtain permitting through the fire marshal.
I thank God for each of you and for what God’s spirit will do here at camp this summer!
Brandon

Fire Marshal Visit

This post is about a sad story.  It’s the story of the BBC Cabin the day the fire marshal came to visit.

Bruce and Jay were friendly and clear.  They have concerns about how quickly people could get out of the building in case of fire.  They gave us a conditional permit, which ends April 1, 2012!  After that, no one can sleep in the building until it’s amended to meet Vermont Life Safety Code.

How big of a deal can 8 violations really be?  Apparently a big enough deal to cost $20-$30K (un-detailed estimate) – YIKES!

So I tell the board.  They wisely came to the decision that now is not the time to upgrade the building as we hope to someday.  We must stay focused on the pavilion project.  We’re oh so close to beginning the fundraising effort for that.  So, the vote is that we amend the building as simply as possible in the least expensive way we can.

For those of you who are wondering about these violations, here’s the first draft of a punch list:

ViolationRemedyNotes
1.No Egress window main floor bedroomsInstall 1 egress windows in each of four bd. rms.Window to be 5.7 square feet
2.Stairwells out of code. upgrade wall material. install 20 min doors. install closure on door. upstairs build wall. 4 stairwells. drywall. doors
NoneAdd heating in loftNeed heating because of closure to lofts
3.No exits in loftsInstall exit door in each sided (2 total)Need exit stairway from floor to ground
4.loft ceilingInstall sheetrock
5. inadequate Co2 detectorsInstall hardwired Co2 with battery back-upRun wires with smoke detect system
6.No smoke detectors in basementInstall 2 smoke detectors in basementPart of total smoke detect overhaul
7. no emergency lightingInstall emergency lighting system
8. inadequate fire alarm systemInstall new fire alarm system with communicationsClarify what communications system is
NonePainting and other touchups related to construction

And so here we are.  We MUST do the above if we want to use the building this summer in program.  CAN YOU HELP US?  HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO HELP:

  • Give money!  Just the materials are going to cost over $10K (EDIT on 4/6/12 – materials will probably be closer to $30K!).  Send a check or give online here and give to general operations or where needed most.
  • Give time: we’ll need volunteers to do most of the work.  Consider getting a small crew of experienced people together and come up for a weekend.  A few experienced laborers can make a big dent in just two days.  Call the office or email Brandon.
  • Give material: perhaps you own or have influence in a supply chain that could get us sheet rock, lighting, paint, etc.  If it’s in the above list, we need it.

And so the story of an old camp, that’s doing the best it can, continues.

Something very interesting to me is the fact that I had a two hour emotional cycle after the fire marshal’s visit.  At first I was frustrated and annoyed.  Then, humility kicked in.  So often, when I receive correction, direction, instruction, if I am able to release my frustration, I begin to sense God at work.

God, join us in this endevor and in all of our endevors.  I pray that you will bring the resources and people needed to acomplish this change and that it will not distract from the bigger things ahead.

Pavilion Project: Survey Results

Recently, some of you (141 to be exact) filled out a survey to help us understand the support you have for this project.  The results were helpful and meaningful – thanks!  See the bottom of this post for more context on this project if you’re not sure what all this is about.

Some highlights from the survey results include:

  • Estimate that together you may support this project to the tune of $425,000 in cash
  • Estimate that together you may provide expense offsets to the tune of another $500,000
  • The project as it is conceptualized is well supported among you, specifically these ideas:
  • Additional rainy day space
  • Winter space that allows campers to get and stay warm during winter program
  • Ability for staff to do their jobs well, with less stress
  • The continuation of the pavilion concept (rather than a traditional building)
  • The possibility of a “Barn Raising” meaning, lots of opportunity for volunteer help and labor
  • Support for the current leadership, vision and mission of BBC
  • Diversity around the importance of “Green” construction
  • Diversity around the term rustic and just how rustic BBC ought to be and remain

The cost estimate for the total project including all related expenses and fundraising for normal operations is estimated to be between $1,600,000 and $1,800,000.  Bear in mind that there are many factors that go into these estimates and the project cost and the estimated revenue could change quickly depending on any of those factors.

So here we are.  At a cross roads.  How much faith do we put into these estimates?  How big of a problem is it that there is a $700,000 discrepancy between what is needed and what might be raised?

These are extremely tough questions to answer.  We know we don’t want a mortgage.  We know we need to move forward with this project.  We know God has done unusual things at BBC in the past.

We as a board are looking closely at whether we can overcome the perceived money gap by phasing the building from the outside-in.  If this is possible in a way that is desirable, we will be able to proceed.

———————————

A little context:

For years we’ve been planning toward a more sustainable Bethany Birches (BBC).  One that relies deeply on the wisdom and guidance of our gracious God.  And at the same time, a Bethany Birches that doesn’t need to raise quite so much money for annual support.  A BBC that understands deeply the heart of it’s ministry and is consistently able to find the right people to carry out the work of it’s mission.  And this is the ongoing lesson in humility – to do this work while at the same time recognizing God as the giver and sustainer.  It’s something we’ve been working out for over 47 years now.

Our planning and probing has revealed various things and sparked passionate conversation.  The immediate next step in our work is replacement of our program head-quarters… the Pavi!  It was the first building on site in 1966.  It was added on to in 1968.  The building has lived well and been used well.  It’s old, broken and in many ways can’t do what we’re asking it to do.  For more on the intentions of the project, see this post.

Youthful Lust

I (Tuna) recently started reading a daily devotional from the Baptists via an iPhone app.  I found it when I was looking for a daily devotional app.  I thought of myself as a young lad and many of our campers as I read this…

Youth and Old Age

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart – 2 Timothy 2:22

Youthful lusts are not limited to physical attraction. They include excessive desires for popularity, acceptance, worldly success, or academic achievement.

The lusts that Paul warns us against are any of the short-sighted cravings of youth for personal pleasure or gain, rather than for personal godliness. Youthful lusts include any hunger or ambition that distracts from our pursuit of true righteousness, faith, charity, and peace.

Interestingly, Paul is not content with our fleeing youthful lusts; he commands us, alternatively, to pursue hard after (the word follow is very strong in the original language) a pure-hearted devotion to God. We will not experience the vibrant, joyful, fulfilling Christian life until we are not only trying to avoid sin but are also seeking after Christ.

And one of the greatest encouragements for people as they pursue Christ is to follow after Him with those that call on the Lord themselves out of a pure heart. Good friends are a great help to the Christian life, and are especially crucial when you are young.

So, young people, remember to flee away from sinful temptations, follow after Christ as your Lord, and look for good friends who will pursue Christ with you.

Ski Okemo

To anyone in grades 9-12: join us this weekend at the Jan. Connect.  On Sat., Jan. 7 we will go skiing before heading back to camp for the rest of the weekend.  And get this – it’s only going to cost you $10!  Thanks to Neil and Hamish Dewar – the tickets are on them – thanks Dewar’s!  NOTE: $10 tickets limited to the first 10 campers.

So, if you’re coming to the Jan. Connect and you’d like to get some skiing in, let us know.  Email camp @ bethanybirches.org to get your name on the list.

Details

  • Register for the program and let us know you want to go skiing.  Add $10 to your payment.
  • If you already paid for the weekend, bring $10 with you.
  • You must have a parent-signed permission to participate along with you.
  • We’ll have two places and times for meeting:
  • Plymouth Country Store at 7:30am (store is on Rt. 100 and is closed now)… you’ll drop you stuff for the weekend off there and that stuff will be taken to camp… you’ll take your ski gear with you and go to the mountain
  • OR, meet at Okemo at 8am at the drop off area at the Clock Tower Base Area… 77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow, VT. There is an unloading area right next to the clock tower. This is the main area of Okemo.  You do NOT want to go to the Jackson Gore area. We will meet at this unloading area around 8am. Call Brandon at 802-432-8989 if you need help finding us.
  • Price – $10
  • Lunch – bring your own lunch or money for food – you’ll get dinner when you get back to camp.
Again, to get on the ski list, email or call (802-672-5220).  We’ll save a ticket for you!
Tuna

Wish List

Greetings.  Sometimes, supporters will ask what we hope for, what we need to do the work of Bethany Birches better.

Well, most of what we want isn’t what we need and most of what we need can’t be put on this list.  But, there are some tools and other things that will help us do our work better.  Some of these items will make our jobs easier.

If you are able to acquire, buy or otherwise gain for us, any of these things, we will be grateful! And, you can get tax benefit too.

THE LIST (right now)

  • Trail work – lots to do!
  • Benches for fireside sites – we need help on design and materials and install
  • Basketball court repair – $$
  • Large Generator – 15KW to 30KW – preferably PTO driven on 3 point hitch OR propane set in place
  • Pressure washer – ours broke
  • Tools – particularly ratchet set, wrenches, cordless drill
  • Paint brushes and other painting supplies
  • Ladders – step ladders 6′, 8′ or 10′ as well as extension ladders – 16’+
  • Wheel barrow (or two)
  • Logging/Farm winch for 3-point hitch attachment for a 30-40 horse tractor
  • Garden Hoses – flexible… rubber works best!
  • Large mower (52″ or 60″) – our 1970’s model Gravely is almost dead
  • Silage wrap – in large sheet (50×100) – for the ice rink!
  • Pond Beach Enlargement – Excavation services.  Eventually we need to dredge the pond also.
  • Director’s Residence – walkway from front porch to driveway
  • Volunteers during the summer

Winter Camp Food Help

View the Full Details that were sent by email.

Hi Friends,

Greetings from BBC! We’ve had a couple of snow falls already so we are full speed ahead to snow camps!

Can you help us with snow camps? Cooking continues to be one of the biggest challenges to running snow camps. Last year it was a big help to the volunteer cooks to pull frozen meals out of the freezer and pop in the oven. We’d like to do that again this year.

This is where YOU can help: Below is a list of seemingly kid friendly meals that could be frozen until snow camps. Make as many of each or choose from a couple. If you have additional ideas for freezer meals, by all means, let me know and cook away, keeping in mind that we like to have the same thing for everyone at meals. So if we find ourselves with one exotic casserole, we may save it for a staff/volunteer celebration dinner:)
The freezers are on now! You can help at winter camps anytime from now till January! Drop meals off at camp anytime between now and Jan 8th. We’re here most days at least from 10-5. If we’re not here, the freezer is in the basement of the cabin, right outside the office. If you’re at Bethany Mennonite Church on a Sunday morning, please feel free to hand off the meal to me there as well!
Don’t let distance keep you from contributing. We’re frequent travelers of Rt 4 so if you want to meet somewhere on Rt 4, just give a call to set something up. If you’re in the SE PA area, you can drop meals off at Rich and Lucy Landis’ home and I’ll pick them up next time we’re in the area (Dec and Jan; Call 802-672-5220 for directions/details.).
Thanks in advance for your help and support! Amber Bergey

Potential Freezer Needs

Dinners:
Lasagnas/Baked Ziti        Mac & Cheese      Chicken Corn Casserole    MeatLoaf Stromboli/Pizza               Enchilada Casserole Shepherd’s Pie                Meatballs

Lunches/Soups 
Chicken Noodle Soup       Corn Chowder          Chili                Tomato Soup        Broccoli Cheese Soup       Potato Soup
Breakfast/Treats/Other
Applesauce                   Cookies (all varieties) Brownies                      Cakes/Cupcakes
Egg Casseroles             Shoo Fly Pie
Funny Cake                  Sticky Buns
Coffee Cake

Won’t be long till winter!
Camp sign in winter

 Pictures from Snow Camps

Campers walking toward the tubing run 3

P1010059 2

See more photos here.