Author Archive

Your Birthday Party at Camp

Birthday Party slip and slideThe first campers at camp this summer were birthday campers! On 2 different occasions campers got to celebrate their birthday at Bethany Birches. Sparkles led their favorite camp activities while parents, family and friends brought food and supplies for the party. Everyone enjoyed BBC’s beautiful view and loads of fun. One camper mom commented, “Are you planning to do this next year? I hope so; my daughter is already planning her next birthday!” Check with BBC in the fall for the possibility of hosting your birthday party here at no cost!

– Amber “Cheeks” Bergey

When will the snow melt?!

Yesterday, I was walking around the pavilion and found a big pile of snow left.  I decided it would be fun to guess when it would melt.  So I took a picture and post it on Facebook with that question. And said whomever guessed right would get a new BBC Sticker.  Each day, I’m going to take a picture around noon and paste it here, on this post.  And that evening, I’ll post it to FB too.

What’s your guess?  When will this pile of snow melt?!  Of course summer camp won’t be far behind…

April 22:

Snow pile April 22

April 23 (does it look any less?!):

photo

April 24

Snow melt 4-24

April 25

snow melt 4-25

April 26Snow melt 4-26
April 28Snow melt 4-28
April 29Snow melt 4-29
April 30Snow Melt 4-30
May 1Snow melt 5-1
May 2Snow melt 5-2
May 4Snow melt 5-4
May 5Snow melt 5-5
May 6 – IT IS FINISHED!Snow Melt 5-6
COMMENTARY

 

Here’s what people are guessing on FB:

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 1.57.09 PM

 

 

Why Camp Has To Be Challenging

This is an excellent article from American Camp Association!

In summary, it promotes the fact that at the heart of camp are the things that build up people.  Hardships. Failures. Homesickness.  I would add, fun, relationships and the outdoors go a long way in this building of a person.

You simply must read this article:

http://www.acacamps.org/campmag/1311/tried-true

Tuna

Giving Creates Happiness (and more money)

This post is about money and time.  These are two scarce resources.  By the end of the post, I hope to have made a great case for why you might like to accept my invitation to come and give time to camp, or give money, or both.  In the giving of these two scarce resources, you will be happier!

I stumbled upon two blog posts this past week, both dealing with the data that shows giving things away (especially money and time) make people happier.

One post was sent to me by my brother (thanks Bryce).  It’s here.  In it, author Arthur Brooks writes:

In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity.

He’s not talking about tax loop holes… he’s talking about the way that giving stimulates us.  He goes on to explain:

Psychologists, I learned, have long found that donating and volunteering bring a host of benefits to those who give. In one typical study, researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia confirmed that, in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on oneself barely moves the needle, but spending on others causes a significant increase.

I have seen this over and over again. I’ve been working for Bethany Birches for 10 years now.  One of my primary responsibilities is to reach out to supporters and would-be supporters and share the power of camp with them.  It’s amazing. When people are here, at camp, they meet and impact young people.  Often they catch a vision of a better world.  They are inspired to adjust aspects of their own lives, encourage young people and give to the camp.  It’s magical… or perhaps a better word is mystical.  Mystical is a better word, I think, because it makes room for the possibility that in this process of relationships and service (giving of ourselves and our resources), God enters.

The second post is from a blog I subscribe to called Generous Matters.  In her post, Rebekah Basinger references Brooks’ post and adds some of her own words.

Here’s the problem with all this.  It sounds suspicious.  Until you experience the joy that comes from giving your time and money away, especially to those who need it (like young people at camp), you can’t quite believe that it can provide meaning and happiness.

Won’t you give it a try?

Give Money     Give Time

Tuna

(aka Brandon Bergey)

Free Camp and Portable Gaga

Free Camps are finished for the the 2014 spring season.  Here is a quick video summary from Woodstock’s. Thanks to all who came out to try out the new portable Gaga Pit!

Tuna

Pavi Virtual Tour

Check this out!  Architect Robert Buchan created this short video tour through the building for the recent Camp Association Meeting. We suspect the building to look something like this:
 

BBC’s Year End Report (2013)

This past Saturday night, we had our annual meeting at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock (thanks for that FCCW!).

It was a good turnout as seen in the picture above.

The agenda included reporting, visioning and a pot luck meal.  One thing we wanted to show but didn’t have time for was Robert’s fly through of the new pavi.  You can watch it over here.

During reporting, we covered much of the annual report.  You can read it for yourself right here.

For those of you association members who missed Sandy’s song, here it is:

 

Want more info on joining the BBC Association? Check it out.

Career! The intersection of faith and work. Tuna and Cheeks share with Christopher Dock High School Students

A number of weeks ago I got an email from John Stoltzfus, the campus pastor at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School.  He wanted to know if Cheeks or I or both would be willing to come share about the intersection of faith and career in our lives.  I thought about it for a day and realized that not only would I enjoy being back at my alma matter, I have a deep passion for young people and their search to figure out what to do with their time.  It was a stressful journey for me and so I wrote him back and told him I’d love to share with the Dock students!

Here’s what I said.  Cheeks worked her schedule out to be able to come also. She was able to share a small part of her story.

Segment I (9 min.):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcghQe96LtY&feature=youtu.be

How have your faith and career intersected?  I’d love to hear about it.
Tuna

Winter Camp: Cure for the Common Winter

At camp, we tend not to do commercials. We aren’t a commercial place and we try hard to remain rustic. We cook meals over the fire, use wood to heat buildings, use cast iron to cook food, light our way at night with gas lanterns and all sorts of other old-time stuff. This lack of technology at camp helps keep distractions at bay (although, let’s be honest, cast iron and gas lanterns are awesome technologies!).

As we learn how to communicate with the outside world, we try to demonstrate camp as best we can so those who haven’t yet been to camp, can gain a sense for how fun it really is. Each winter camp session, campers just can’t seem to get enough tubing!

We used video to demonstrate how much campers LOVE to tube in this 30 second commercial.

 

See you at winter camp?

Tuna

The Benefits of Breakfast

On February 8, we hosted a Women’s Breakfast at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church. When planning began last year, the committee decided to ask Amber to share, and she said yes! The committee also decided that donations raised at the breakfast would go to Camp.

The Women’s Breakfast was a huge success! Amber shared stories from the Hill about “Meeting God in Unexpected Places”. She talked about there being room for conflicting feelings in our lives – like strength & weakness, confidence & fear, when we have Jesus. That sometimes both are present, but the love of Jesus allows us to acknowledge and understand the differences in the highs and lows in our lives, without allowing them to define who we are.

This happens to me every year when we come to shepherd for a week at camp. I love the opportunity to be with the kids, getting to know them better in a one-to-one setting. But I am not so comfortable standing before them and speaking during daily Jump Start’s and Fireside’s. The benefits that come from the relationships developed with campers definitely outweighs my public speaking fears, and the grace of God allows me to have enough confidence to get through the hard part of FEAR so that I can enjoy the LOVE of being with kids at camp.

I was privileged to be a part of the planning committee for this Women’s Breakfast. It is a lot of work, but seeing 115 women, spanning several generations, come together for a morning of fellowship, food and rejuvenation through the words shared is such a blessing! And while fund-raising is not the main focus of our breakfast, we are continually amazed at the wonderful ways in which God works. We had several different donors come forward willing to give $5,000 in “matching donations”! This means that they will match all donations given at the breakfast, up to $5,000. In turn, this encourages people to give generously at the breakfast, because then basically every dollar they give is doubled! I am always amazed by the strength of a community when they work together. Who would think that a breakfast could generate this much funding?

And guess what? We collected over $4,500 on that Saturday morning! Praise God! There are expenses to cover and we are still collecting donations this week. Our goal is to raise as close to $5,000, which will then turn in to $10,000 for camp! As of today (Valentine’s day), we are at $9,000! So I challenge you to think of new, fun ways that you can raise money for the new pavilion. To you campers who ski a lot – what about selling hot chocolate slope-side? What about hosting a pancake breakfast before school one morning? Think about it, and don’t let your fears stop you from doing something that will give back to you and your community… YOU CAN DO IT!!

Flo

(aka Beth Goshow)

 

Click here to listen to Amber’s sharing!

Click here for photos from the morning.