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Summer Staff Preview: Frodo to Float

After being a camper (many summers), an intern (’11), an assistant counselor (’12) and the counselor of Partridge (’13) and taking a summer off (’14) Frodo is returning to try out a different staff position: Floating Counselor! Each camper will get to have Frodo as a counselor at some point during the week. Read on for why she’s glad to be back at BBC and why you should come too!

“Look out summer of 2015, this is going to be like one you’ve never seen! Who is ready for some crazy fun times up at BBC this summer? I know that I am! I am back on staff this summer and I can’t wait to share wonderfully fun times with friends new and old! It will be a grand time at camp this summer soaking in the sun, running around in the woods, singing praises to our precious Jesus (and silly songs too!), and who knows what crazy new adventures we will all be having together! I know I am looking forward to swimming in the pond and working in the garden (maybe we can even cook some of our camp-grown food!). More than anything else I am excited to get hugs from you all and spend a week- or two!- doing all sorts of fun things together!” – Frodo

Frodo on Staff '13

Frodo on Staff ’13

Frodo as a camper!

Frodo as a camper!

Frodo commits to returning!

Frodo commits to returning!

BBC Trivia in your Mailbox

You should have received this brochure in your mailbox. There are 2 errors in it! If you match the dates in the brochure to the website (bethanybirches.org/summer-camps) you’ll find it. The website is correct! FIRST PERSONS TO EMAIL  THE ERRORS to camp@bethanybirches.org receives 10% off camp registration! Don’t feel like digging through to find the answer? SHARE THIS Blog POST on FB and get 5% off camp registrations!

We’re thankful to Kellyn “Benji” Boyden for creating such a beautiful brochure. Next year we’ll proofread more carefully!

Hope to see you this summer!!

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TBT: Polar Bear Campers in the New Pavi

Impressive. Well Constructed. Beautiful. These are words people have used to describe the new pavi when look around the construction site. But the word we hear most is BIG. And it’s true. There is a lot of space in the new pavilion. Outside of renovating the kitchen, more (dry) space was one of the main motivators for a new pavi. And now we have A LOT OF SPACE. It’s easy for me to think of all the  games, activities, etc campers and staff can play in that space. But that’s my job.

At Polar Bear camp in February I asked campers to consider what they might do in this space. Before they started making cardboard sleds they acted out activities that would take place in the new pavi. They had no trouble coming up with ideas. Look below to see a couple of the ideas they came up with.

I hope they’ll each come back and use the new space this summer.

Will you come too? (Bring a camper, volunteer, or come to the annual sunday service)

If you want a sneak peak of the new pavi before summer come on up to volunteer anytime between now and June!

-Cheeks.

Nye and Campers are ready to play 4 square in the new pavi!

Nye and Campers are ready to play 4 square on the porch of the new pavi!

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Benji and campers are ready to sing prayer songs in the new pavi!

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Ru and campers pretend to sing in front of the designated spot for the fireplace in the new pavi.

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Ray’s campers are ready for fun!

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Buoy and campers are ready to eat in the new pavi during inclement weather!

 

 

Summer Staff Preview: Romie Returns as 3Peat Counselor

They say the third time’s a charm. No doubt that will be true for Romie! Romie started as the counselor of Hummingbird in 2013. She returned to Hummingbird for a 2nd summer in 2014. She has a unique ability to listen and lead, sing and play and share God in a way that makes sense to each individual she interacts with. When I asked Romie if she’d consider returning for a 3rd summer I was delighted to hear her say, “Yes. I believe I’m not done learning at BBC.” Read on for more on what Romie is excited about and why you should join her this summer at BBC! (It’s very possible that if you join Romie this summer you may hear this as a song…)

“I’m excited for:

Salamanders, smiles,

New and old faces,

Giggles and mud piles,

And three-legged races!

Over-the-fire-cooking,

Great conversation,

Bird watching and looking,

And summer hydration!

Singing, swinging,

Loving and caring,

Gauntlet-ball flinging,

And being a bit daring.

But mostly I’m excited

To simply see YOU!

Because camp is the people,

(And it’s the place too).

Romie and Campers

Romie and Campers

Romie's Staff Photo

Romie’s Staff Photo

Romie Commits to Summer 2015

Romie Commits to Summer 2015

Romie is one with the earth

Romie is one with the earth

Romie FacePaints at '14 Discoverer Carnival

Romie FacePaints at ’14 Discoverer Carnival

Romie in the Mud Pit

Romie in the Mud Pit

 

 

 

(Mennonite) Disaster (Service) at BBC

The Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) van could be seen in the camp parking lot from April 6-10. Each spring a group of volunteers from Salford Mennonite Church travel in this van to an area that has experienced a natural disaster. The group serves for a week by doing whatever needs to be done to minimize the physical effects of the disaster. This spring there wasn’t an option to head towards a natural disaster on the East Coast so they drove the van to BBC!

A number of the guys in the group joked about bringing the MDS van to BBC. Clearly, this is NOT a site of a natural disaster. And yet something about having the MDS van at BBC last week was so fitting. At times this project has felt like a disaster…

…Attempting to build a large building from start to finish in VT during the months of Sept – June is a bit disastrous…Utilizing as many volunteers as possible to build a commercial building has the potential to be a scheduling disaster…Going 50+ days below freezing when attempting to complete outside construction work feels like a disaster to each worker who can’t feel their fingers/toes most of the day…A spring thaw turning the parking lot into a huge mudpit has the feel of disaster.

The Salford MDS crew did what most MDS crews do. They brought encouragement in the face of discouraging facts. They smiled as they climbed ladders to shingle the roof. They shrugged off the April snow that pushed them to insulate inside. They asked questions about the mission of BBC and worked all the harder. When they finished on Friday the building had more siding, shingles and insulation. The van pulled out early Saturday morning. The parking lot was still muddy. Much of the building is left to be finished. There still isn’t enough money in the bank.

On Monday Ken Hershey, Larry Derstine (Bridgewater, VT), Roy Snell (Woodstock, VT) volunteered time to continue working on shingling and siding. Andy Bird (Bridgewater, VT), Harold Bergey, Will Bergey, Marlin and Neil Bergey (Hatfield, PA) are volunteering all week to continue the rough in electrical work. Today Russell and Nancy Pejouhy (Bethel, VT) came to stain interior boards. Margaret (Lebanon, NH) is here keeping the office in order. A group from Make it Rain will be here this weekend to volunteer their skills and on Sunday a group from Blooming Glen Mennonite Church will start a week of service.

At BBC we normally experience God using people to bring encouragement in the face of discouraging circumstances all summer and this year, all winter. Experience first hand how God does this by volunteering time or giving money to help build the pavilion or sending a kid to BBC this summer!

The MDS Van

The MDS Van

Salford MDS Crew

Salford MDS Crew

Larry Derstine adds shingles

Larry Derstine adds shingles

Marlin and Neil of Bergey's Electric Volunteer to do the high ceiling work.

Marlin and Neil of Bergey’s Electric Volunteer to do the high ceiling work.

Nancy (OSO) and Russell (OWO) volunteer to stain.

Nancy (OSO) and Russell (OWO) volunteer to stain.

 

Summer Staff Preview: From Camper to Intern to Asst Counselor to Counselor – GIGI IS BACK!

She was a camper for years, then an intern. Last summer she was an assistant counselor and this year she’s coming back to counsel for the summer.  One of the best parts of being the program director for 10 years is experiencing campers grow into staff and giving a summer to help other youth develop their relationship with God.

I remember the first time Tuna and I met GiGi in the registration line. She asked us if we knew Mike Wenger. She was an energetic member of woodpecker. GiGi hasn’t missed a summer since. She’s continued to ask questions, have lots of energy and be an integral part of BBC summers. We’re excited she’s committed to a summer of counseling before she heads to UVM in the fall.

Read on for why she’s excited to return to BBC this summer and why you should come join her:

“Hi everyone! I am so excited to come back to camp! Last summer was so much fun and I can not imagine a summer without camp in it! I can’t wait to play in the mudpit, sing some great songs and get to learn and share about God. All this is going to be so great, and we have a brand new pavillion so we can have even more fun! Can’t wait to see old friends and make new ones this summer!” -Gigi

Flossie as an Asst Counselor in 2014

Flossie as an Asst Counselor in 2014

Flossie on Crew in 2013

Flossie on Crew in 2013

Can you find GiGi as a camper in 2005?

Can you find GiGi as a camper in 2005?

Flossie Commits to Coming as a Counselor in 2015!

Flossie Commits to Coming as a Counselor in 2015!

Summer Staff Preview: Chia – A “Good-for-Camp” Counselor

Just as Chia seeds are good for your health, Chia is a “good – for – camp counselor”which is why we are thrilled to announce that Chia is returning for another summer! Campers love her. Staff rely on her. And God is evident in her. After volunteering here in 2006 & 2008 and being on staff in 2014 we are glad for Chia to return for the entire summer of 2015! Read on for why she’s excited to come back to BBC and why she thinks you should too!

“Hello BBC Campers!! I am super excited to be coming back to BBC for a second summer! I was a counselor last year and absolutely loved it. I love being able to spend a summer with a community of friends who love God, who love others, and love His creation. I really enjoyed getting to know each one of my campers and have so many fond memories from my times with the girls in Woodpecker! I can’t wait to try some awesome new activities, and have new adventures with my campers this summer. I also can’t wait to return because I feel like God is not done with me at BBC … I hope to get to know the campers I had last summer better, and form new relationships  with new campers this summer! I’m excited to share my story of what God’s been doing in my life, learn from my campers, and of course, have fun! I can’t wait to see you this summer and hope you’ll come back to camp 🙂

Chia Commits to Summer 15

Chia Commits to Summer 15

Chia and Campers at '14 Shin Dig

Chia and Campers at ’14 Shin Dig

Chia and Azul post Zip Line

Chia and Azul post Zip Line

Chia Sharing with Kids at '14 Annual Sunday Service

Chia Sharing with Kids at ’14 Annual Sunday Service

 

“See” Winter at BBC

Waking up to snow this morning reminded me that this is the winter that just won’t quit! And what a winter it has been. Lots of people were on and off the hill to help with the building but my favorite groups continue to be THE CAMPERS! During the month of Feb there were 3 great weekends of winter camp! I recently spoke with a camper who was at snow camp who said she enjoys snow camp even more than summer camp.

The 2015 Snow Camp Season included Bobcat Camp for grades 3-6, Lynx Camp for grades 5-7 and Polar Bear Camp for grades 7-9. Each camp had unique activities like cardboard sled races, snowball olympics and popsicle stick collages. Each camp had different staff and campers. Despite the uniqueness of each weekend all 3 snow camps included time outside enjoying the beautiful (and cold) winter wonderland, learning and asking questions about faith, great food (thanks to many volunteers) and lots and lots of fun!

See the BBC Snow Camps for yourself at these different links and then mark your calendars to join us next year or tell your friends to join us for exciting weekends of camp in the snow!

Bobcat Snow Camp: Pics of Bobcat  and a video with the new BBC Quadcopter!

Polar Bear Snow Camp: Pics of Polar Bear

Lynx Snow Camp: Pics of Lynx

As winter winds down (slowly) we are anxiously awaiting Summer! This summer marks BBC’s 50th summer and the first summer in the new pavi! Don’t miss these exciting milestones at BBC! Sign up for SUMMER CAMP now at  http://www.bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/

Summer Staff Preview: Nye is Hired!

NYE is coming back for the summer! He’s been at snow camps, he’s volunteered at summer camp and for the first time since 2012 he’ll be at BBC for the entire summer. Read on for why he’s returning and why you should too!!

“I CAN’T WAIT to come back to camp! I’ve been busy stewing my creative juices in my time away from BBC- and I can’t wait to see how having a brand new ENORMOUS pavilion will let us create new games and activities. I can’t wait to do all of my old favorites- the Mudpit, Mission Impossible, Gold Rush- and I even have ideas for awesome NEW games! But I won’t give them away here- come join us at camp this summer to find out!

I can’t wait to worship God, play in the sun, and see you all this summer!

~Nye

Nye's Commits to BBC for Summer 2015

Nye Commits to BBC for Summer 2015

Nye with Bobcat Campers '14

Nye with Bobcat Campers ’14

Nye At Snow Camp

Nye At Snow Camp

Nye Volunteers at Mission Possible Week '13

Nye Volunteers at Mission Possible Week ’13

Pavi Hoedown Teardown: Thank You!

Sometimes the task ahead of us looks too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

When completing a thesis became a requirement for graduate school I wondered if I would pass. (I did.)

When driving over the Killington Pass in the snow became necessary to go home I wondered if I should rent an apt in Rutland. (I didn’t.)

When a group of new summer staff shows up each June and many campers are registered to join us I often wonder to myself, “hmmm, how will this go?” Each summer has gone well, with plenty of lessons along the way. (Except for 2009, that summer was really hard!)

When Tuna told me we needed to have the pavilion packed up, prepared for tear down and host a party the day after 8 weeks of summer camp ended, I laughed. Usually, the day after summer camp ends, I sleep. For a very long time.

The task seemed too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

Then a large group of people showed up. People of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and camp connections came to help.

I started to realize the day was going to go differently than I expected when one of the Musser Woodcutters (a group of men who have been coming each November to cut firewood for camp for the past 15+ years) walked into the pavi just before 2pm with his wife. They live in central PA. After hugs and greetings they both asked, “what can we do?” Lynette got to work in the kitchen and Merle hauled stuff from the pavilion to various places on the gator.

Board members arrived ready to get their hands dirty. Shoot, they even brought their spouses and kids!

Rouke’s Mom and Dad arrived at the start and took apart the water fountain, the kitchen and some of the walls! Campers from past and present came with their families and cut trees, cleaned out the craft hut, organized and boxed up the nurse’s station, moved kitchen supplies, put the craft hut on trees, and all the while smiled and asked what else they could do to help.

Volunteers who have been around since the start of camp cleaned out the recycling shed (which had not been fully cleaned out for an embarrassing amount of time), took apart electrical things and continued to ask, “what else can we do?”. Sharkbait’s (assistant cook ’14) family spent time moving the cubbies to chickadee and organizing items in their temporary homes.  Chad Yoder and Austin Landes started in well before 2pm, moving the ball box, taking apart the mural, and dismantling the sound system. Jeff Rosenberger and Dale Snader drove their trucks and trailers around camp property moving heavy kitchen appliances. They too, did all this work smiling and always asking what else can we do?

Local carpenters salvaged pieces of the old pavilion to sell at the upcoming benefit auction. Althea and Jane inventoried, bagged up and organized the camp store supplies. Phil, Denise and a crew of helpers provided everyone with a great meal, sans kitchen!

It wasn’t long until I had no answer to the continuous question, “what else can we do?” And it has taken me too long to say THANK YOU to each person who came to help with the Pavi Teardown Hoedown.

And now, as various challenges with each step of the building process arise, the task of replacing the Pavi seems too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

Then I remember the Pavi Teardown Hoedown. I also remember the volunteers who come to help each summer. I remember what BBC shared with campers for the duration of Summer ’14: God will build God’s people up by using God’s people. That is the story of Bethany Birches. God uses God’s people to build a community of love.  Bring on the task of building a new Pavi.  Only with God are all things possible. May God inspire you to help build the new Pavi.

#We would be building #withGod