Author Archive

Mid-Week Ski Deals

If you like to ski/snowboard/spend time in the green mountains in the winter AND you care deeply about furthering God’s Kingdom here on Earth, keep reading! BBC has developed a wonderful opportunity for your passions to intersect:

We are offering a rate of $15/person/night for midweek rentals this winter. This offer is good for any church-going group starting NOW through April 2013. You must reserve a minimum of 2 nights and cannot combine this offer with any others. You’ll be eligible for the whole cabin with 10 more than 10 people. Minimum of 4 people or $60 charge. Mention the “church goer” discount when making your reservation.

It’s a win win! You get to enjoy a few days of adventure in the snowy green mountains all while helping BBC continue working towards helping youth develop their relationship with God.

To make a reservation visit this page or email camp@bethanybirches.org or call 802-672-5220.

Hope to see you this winter!

 

Inside Out Lives On!

Summer 2012 is officially over. Actually, it’s long past official, it’s history! The temps are dipping lower and lower, the counselors and campers have been gone for months. The pond is empty of the summer toys. The swings are still. The water to the bath house is off. Now is the time of year when BBC looks ahead to next summer, summer 2013. It’s been a challenge to move on this year partly because the theme from last Summer continues to be real all around me. Inside Out is be evident each day. I continue to see these ideas around me and experience them in my life.

The most visible example of late was the foliage season. The brilliant colors of the leaves changing bring the mountains to life. Everywhere is bustling and busy with tourists and crafts. Life is vibrant. But the reality is, regardless of all the life and color that comes with the changing leaves, it’s a symbol of dying. The leaves change color because all the nutrition and oxygen is removed. The trunk of the tree holds onto all the life giving material so the tree as a whole can survive winter. This allows pigments in the leaves that have always been there shine through. The displays of red, orange and yellow are beautiful. The colors are beautiful symbols of the death to follow.  Beauty precedes death. The dying of the leaf allows the tree to survive the winter.  The current leaves die and fall so the tree can live on through the winter. From death comes life. It’s Inside Out.

I’m sure the Inside Out theme will continue to abound around me, even now that all the leaves have fallen. I’ll continue to enjoy recounting the experiences and events of the summer of 2012. As I remember the relevance of the Inside Out theme, I’ll seek to uncover a theme with the same amount of relevance for the upcoming winter camps and the Summer of 2013. Stay tuned!

 

Tuna and Cheeks enjoying foliage with new friends Dave and Kathi Peters of GlobalStory2 in October 2012.

Introducing: Kelsey Zimmerman (Camp name TBD)

Kelsey is new to Bethany Birches but NOT new to being at a camp! Read on to find out more:

I am so excited for camp to begin this summer! My name is Kelsey and I live in town called New Holland in Lancaster County, PA. I am a junior at Eastern University and am studying Early Childhood Education. I have never been to Bethany Birches before this summer, but I went to a similar camp near my home many times over the years. Camp has always been a wonderful experience for me and I am sure that this year at Bethany Birches will be just as great! I am very excited to get to know my fellow staff members and all of the campers that I will have the privilege of meeting this summer. I am still friends with many people that I have met at camp years ago and am looking forward to building new friendships like these. Some of my favorite memories have been made at camp and I know that many more will be made this summer. I can’t wait to begin all of the swimming, hiking, games and other fun adventures that this summer will be filled with! I am also very excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow in my relationship with the Lord alongside everyone at camp. Camp is always a great place to see the amazing ways that God is working in your life and discover new ways to get to know him.Being a camp counselor is something that I have always wanted to do since I was a young child and I feel very blessed to have the chance to do so this summer! I hope you will be able to join me and the rest of the Bethany Birches staff this summer!

See you soon!

Kelsey

Kelsey Zimmerman

Introducing Amelia DiSabito (camp name TBD)

After hearing from some of the returning counselors earlier this spring, I thought it’d be fun to introduce a few of the first time staff members joining us this summer:

Amelia DiSabito is originally from Vermont but currently attends college in Florida. She found out about BBC through her brother James and friend Daniel “Dapper Dan” Appelt. Read on for more about Amelia and what she’s looking forward to this summer:

Hey everyone!

Because this is my first summer at BBC  I don’t have tons of tales to tell about camp, except for the wild stories my younger brother (James) shared after he got home from one crazy week at BBC.  I can’t wait to let the games begin and see all the campers having a blast! I grew up on tag, capture the flag and kickball. I love to kayak, rock climb, walk around in the woods, and eat Spaghettios! After being away at school for the year I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to come home to the most beautiful place ever, Vermont! To spend a whole summer praising God for His wonderful creation is such a blessing. On top of that, I look forward to learning to serve those around me better and to love others with the same love that God has for us.  Hope to see you this summer!

Come meet Amelia this summer!

Welcome Amelia!

Inside Out: Beauty from Rain

I love the sun! For a few days in April I got to experience plenty of sun. The weather at camp was warm, sunny and felt like summer! I was ready to invite campers to the hill and get camp rolling. When the sun is out I want the hill to be full of youth and staff running around outside enjoying the wilderness. When the sun is shining and temperatures are above 65 I can think of nothing I’d rather do than roam around 100 acres exploring the wilderness with others.

Then came the rains. The past few weeks have been damp, rainy and cool. My shoes get wet each time I go outside. My body gets chilled when I have to get something from the pavilion or the craft hut. I have nightmares of campers who run out of socks. The more it rains the more I frantically search for indoor pavilion activities. A counselor who worked here in 2004, 2005, and 2006 told me she just recently stopped having nightmares about camp in the rain!

Camp in the rain can be fun, but I prefer the sunny skies. Dampness at camp is easily cured by a warm fire, but I prefer warmth from the sun. One of our former staff/campers recalls her favorite memories of BBC during rainy days in the pavilion. Campers don’t always notice the rain. I do.

Last week as I sulked about the rainy days and lack of sun I noticed the grass turning a darker, luscious shade of green. I noticed the flowers by the steps of camp shooting higher out of the ground. The rhubarb in the garden is much closer to picking! I remembered a counselor who took her campers puddle jumping. I appreciated the warmth of the woodstove. I enjoyed the sound of the rain dripping off the trees.

The rain brings the beauty. I like the sun much more than the rain. I like the beauty surrounding me most. I wouldn’t really like a world without rain. So much beauty would be missing. It’s inside out. What we don’t like brings the beauty we do!

Rain coming off the Pavilion

Counselor Quinzy is Returning!

Hey Guys!

Quinzy playing Messy Twister

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coming back for this summer!  Between all the fun activities and just spending time getting to know the campers, camp is without a doubt, the best place to spend a summer.  Year after year I return to camp and it just gets better and better!  Meeting new campers and seeing the familiar faces of old campers is one of the most exciting things for me because I remember how much fun BBC was when I was your age.  Camp has something for everyone and people of all ages.  We play games, do arts and crafts, theater, and archery.  We also have an entire day dedicated to getting messy and an entire one dedicated to the water!  And that is just the beginning!

With all of the games and other things aside, the best experience at camp, hands down, is building a relationship with God.  Camp has always been a place where I could feel God and I’m hoping you guys will be able to feel him too here.   I hope those of you who have been here before continue to learn new things about God and Jesus and grow with them (as I do when I am there).   I also hope that people who have never heard about God or don’t know about the story of Jesus get to see how great our God truly is, and that everyone can see God’s love through others around them.

If you like eating delicious food over a campfire, singing and dancing, playing games, swimming in the pond, meeting awesome people, and just plain old being ridiculous, camp is for you.  The relationships you build here, with others and with God, will continue with you for the rest of your lives.

I hope to see you there!

-Quinzy

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

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