Author Archive

Annual Sunday Service and BBQ (Church at Camp)

It’s that time of year – time for the camp staff to share about their experiences at camp, including how they’re experiencing God.  And a Chicken BBQ!

You’re invited.  If you can, come up to camp this coming Sunday, July 13, 2014 a little before 10am.  Service starts at 10am.  AND, there’s a Chicken BBQ directly following.  The BBQ is on us (free of charge – however we will take an offering for the Pavilion Project during the service).

As you probably know, the work of Bethany Birches is to create a camp atmosphere where young people can learn, grow and come to faith in Jesus.  This Sunday is about how that work is progressing and how we’ve evidenced God working and moving among us.

This post includes some of the folks who shared last summer.

See you here July 13?

August 9: Pavilion Teardown Hoedown Celebration

It’s a sad day and a glad day.  As you probably already know, our plan, in faith (and assuming all the necessary permits are finalized), is to tear the pavilion down starting in August.  To commemorate the building and the many memories, experiences, transformations, weddings, meals, (fill in the blank – seriously, which memories do you have from the pavi?) that happened under the original pavi roof, a party is being thrown!  And you’re invited.

Come one, come all.

Where: Bethany Birches Camp’s Pavilion

When: August 9, 2014 @ 2pm

What: First, work. We’ll haul a bunch of stuff out of the building. Second, party.  BBQ and square dance

See you there?

Tuna

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