Archive for the ‘Donors’ Category

Get your free 50th anniversary tshirt: #BBCTshirtday

#BBCTshirtday is going to happen every Monday from now through Feb 8.  As we get ready for winter and summer camps in 2016 we want to hear from you on social media.  So next Monday get your BBC tshirt on and take a picture of yourself somewhere fun, or even better, you AND your friends, and post on Facebook.  Tuesday morning, we will select our favorite one and mail you a FREE 50th anniversary t shirt.  Just like the ones in this pic.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BBCTshirtDay and tag Bethany Birches Camp to get in the running.

Good luck!

Tuna

#GivingTuesday

Greetings friends.  Today is a day some know as #givingtuesday.  We gave thanks
(Thanksgiving) Thursday and got some good deals (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and today is a chance to give to others. If you’re in the giving mood, help get a kid to camp this winter and upcoming summer.

GIVE NOW!

If you’re not in the giving mood, I hope this video lifts your spirits.

Brandon “Tuna:” Bergey

p.s. here’s a little more about #givingtuesday: www.givingtuesday.org

13th Annual Benefit Auction Review

Hey Camp Friends!

As you may have heard, the 13th Annual Benefit Auction was a huge success! I’m here to tell you more about the day.

Crisp and cool, everything that an autumn day in Vermont should be. Add just about every fall staple; we really had the perfect day: warm homemade doughnuts, fresh apple cider, hot coffee, an enthusiastic community, and the myriad of colors just starting to show among the trees in the surrounding hills. Something that stood out to me was this sense of joy among everyone who was at camp that day. From campers tossing apples to be pressed into cider, to board members working hard in the kitchen and behind the scenes, to every auction-goer. Whether they were working, or simply sitting in a plastic lawn chair, everyone was there for one common reason: to raise money for kids to come to camp. At its peak there were around 170 people together at one time. I found this to be an amazing testament to the power of camp (one of many I would experience that day).

My favorite moment of the auction came when it was time to “bid” on camperships (scholarships to pay for camp weeks). Each cost $400, and as soon as the auctioneer called for bids, hands were raised. 19 donors in fact.  Some of them even raised their bidder numbers more than once for a total of $8900 raised for Kids to Camp Fund. It was beautiful!

After the auction ended, everyone shared lunch together, sponsored by Gallagher & Flynn. As the afternoon went on, some people left, and some stayed to enjoy hayrides, pavilion tours, and even a Dutch Blitz tournament! After having dinner together, provided by Jesse’s BBQ, everyone gathered for fireside, a common camp tradition. We heard from Audie Bellimer about his first summer at camp, back in the first years of summer camp. We also heard from Alison Charbeneau about her camp memories. After that, anyone was invited to share their memories and stories of camp throughout the years. We closed by singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” together. I could not think of a more fitting hymn to encompass God’s goodness and provision for camp throughout the last 50 years. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, celebrating camp’s history and bright future.

Ok, now let’s talk numbers. Through bidding, camp store purchases, apple cider and related products, and chimney stones, the total amount raised was $52,500! All of this goes to pay for campers who can’t pay to come to camp AND the new pavilion. $13,000 of that sum was raised for the new chimney. This is the most money raised through the auction yet!

For more details from the auction, visit bethanybirches.org/benefit-auction. Here you’ll find information about how much each item brought, photos from the day, and 50th Anniversary merchandise available for purchase online! Now, mark your calendars for next years auction, September 24th, 2016!

We sincerely thank every volunteer, staff member, camper, and auction goer. We could not have done this without you. Heck, we can’t do camp without you, and many others! We hope and look forward to seeing you next year!

-Benji

50th Anniversary and Auction Success

Fresh homemade doughnuts hot out of the oven.  Fresh, fair-trade, high-grade coffee to go with them.  Nippy fall air.  Sipping fresh pressed apple cider made from VT apples out of your 50th anniversary mug club mug.  People bustling about, excited for the auction to start, 170 of them, prepared to do what they can to support the camp and Vermont’s young people.  This is the stage upon which the 50th anniversary celebration and annual auction played out.  It was a wonderful time.  We’re going to write a more full report but wanted to post this just to let you know that more than $50,000 was given.  Hooray for all of you who made it happen!  More to come when we get all the money counted and details hammered out.

Tuna

Construction Update – Week of June 8

This week has been stressful! We had an electrical inspection on Monday (passed). Building inspection on Tuesday (allowed access to a couple areas). We are still needing a visit from the health department.  And, on top of that, staff are showing up.  In fact, summer staff orientation starts on Saturday!

In the building lots of progress has happened.  Wall finishes are going on.  Fire alarm has been completed. The kitchen is almost entirely set up (and is now being clean).  Final grading and seeding has happened everywhere. Porch railings are being installed.  The boiler is supposed to come on line Friday.

And yet, there is still lots to do.  Some lighting fixtures have to be installed and there is plenty of finish carpentry to do. And of course after that, the upstairs has to be finished, chimney installed, big garage doors and wood boiler installed, climbing wall built and some other things.  But, we are headed toward completion on phase 1 and that feels good.

Check out the latest photos.

Construction Update – week of May 3:

The week is shaping up to be a great week for pavi progress! Martin Excavating is scheduled to return to begin the final grading so keep your eye out for large machines back on the hill! Bill Derstine, Ralph Leatherman & Rich Leatherman (all of the Southeastern PA area) are joining Harold Bergey and Andy Bird to keep going on the rough wiring and service hook up. Inside the building you’ll also find drywalling in the kitchen continuing by the crew of Jenne Construction and PEW Builders. The large trench you can see off the front right corner of the building is thanks to Dale Snader of Dale’s homes who came up last week to do some digging for the electrical hook up. If the pavi cam could pan the rest of the camp you’d see there is much clean up and work to do before summer which starts in less than 2 months! Can you come help us get ready for summer?

Cheeks is Pregnant!

Yes, it’s true. Her due date is June 26. We’re posting here to make sure the whole Bethany Birches family knows this exciting news.  This will be our (Tuna and Cheeks) first child.  We were so busy with camp for many years that we didn’t consider children.  One day, Cheeks turns to me (Tuna) and says by the time I’m 30, I want to know if we’re going to have children. I said OK.  30 came and went.  So did 31.  By the time we were 32 we were ready for a child.  And in our 33rd year, we will have a baby, Lord willing.  It’s amazing how God works in our hearts and adjusts our perspectives over time.

As you know, June, July and August are the three busiest months of the year here at camp.  Probably not the ideal time to welcome a new person into the world.  But, we are.  And we are thankful for the opportunity to have a child.  So the camp started looking for an interim program director since Amber will not be able to do her job this summer.  We offered the position to Dan Laubach and he accepted.

The full story on staffing at camp, in case you’re wondering:

  • I (Tuna) will continue to be the Executive Director
  • Cheeks may or may not return to her post as Program Director (she is allowed a little more time to decide that)
  • Dan, the interim Program Director, is committed through October at least.
  • Many of the summer staff are returning from prior years.

If you’re at camp this summer, you will recognize many of us from past summers.  And you might even see baby Tunacheeks!

Hope to see you at camp soon!

Tuna

(aka Brandon)

 

 

Pavi Construction Update April 1-30

What a month! The pavi has been transformed from a partly finished shell to an almost summer-ready building…well, parts of it.

Progress could not be made without the help of so many volunteers! People have come from far (PA) and close (Lynds Hill Road) to help get the pavi ready for Summer 2015.

Progress also could not be made without the daily efforts of the Jenne Construction Crew. We’re thankful they braved the mud season & cold spring temps to keep moving the pavilion closer to finished!

Despite all the progress that’s been made during the month of April there remains quite a ways to go! Do you have anytime during the month of May to join us in getting the pavilion ready for summer? Email us or call the office to let us know when you can come. If you can’t come to help in May be sure to join us this summer! Bring a camper or come volunteer!

Read on for a recap of pavi work throughout the last month.  Click the link to see Pavilion Progress Pics and the people who have been doing the work.

Pavi Construction Update week of April 6
Another exciting week at BBC! A group of 13 are here from Salford Mennonite Church (Harleysville, PA). In one day (Tues) they’ve put decking on the porch roofs, started shingling, aided Harold Bergey with the electrical progress in the kitchen and continue to prepare the downstairs for insulation and sheet rock.  The crew of Jenne Construction continues to steadily move the pavilion towards completion. Pray for good roofing weather this week as many hands make the work light!

 

Pavi Construction Update: Week of April 13

There continues to be lots of action on the hill this week to move the pavilion towards a certificate of occupancy by June 1! Inside the building a team of electricians are finishing up the rough wiring and spending time on a lift to prepare the high pavi ceilings for lights. Many thanks to Harold Bergey who’s here for the third straight week and his posse of volunteers: Will Bergey, Marlin Bergey and Neil Bergey from Bergey’s Electric (Hatfield, PA). Andy Bird (Bridgewater, VT) has been volunteering his VT Masters license all week too! Roy Snell (Woodstock, VT) Ken Hershey and Larry Derstine (Bridgewater, VT) have spent 2 days shingling and siding. Nancy and Russell Pejouhy and Jeremy Ebersole (Tafstville, VT) have spent time staining interior boards. RFactor is here spraying insulation downstairs. On Tuesday Nevin and Job Mast (Oley, PA) spent the day installing piping for a central vac. Audie Bellimer (Bridgewater, VT) is making sure propane is ready to be used in the kitchen. Jon Blanch (Wallingford, VT) continues to spearhead the heating efforts. And the crew of Jenne Construction steadily contributes to pavi progress each day!

Pavi Construction Update – week of April 20:

Today marks 6 weeks exactly until we would like to gain conditional occupancy and start moving into the new pavilion.  In some ways, that seems like a long time. But it’s not!  There is much to be done before that point. If you’re able to give some time (or $$$) between now and June 1, please do!

This week a group of 10 guys from Blooming Glen Mennonite Church is volunteering.  R-Factor insulation experts are on site doing spray foam.  Jenne Construction is here, of course.  Local volunteers (Betsy Tonkin, Marcia Bender, Calef Hepler, Naomi Moyer, Joanne Hershey and others) are staining board after board.  Porches are being finished and then siding will continue with help from Ken Hershey, Roy Snell and Larry Derstine.  Roofing will continue as weather allows (it snowed some today, April 20).  Electrical rough in is nearly done and finishes are starting.  Pray with us for ongoing safety and good times.

Pavi Construction Update – Week of April 27: 

Harold Bergey is back to work with Andy Bird on underground electrical needs. Dale Snader of Dale’s homes donates time and machines to dig trenches. Ken Hershey and Larry Derstine contribute their carpentry expertise to every aspect of the building. John Blanch continues to move the heating work towards completion. Jenne Construction completes the shingling on the 2 story part while making headway on drywalling the kitchen. Tuna, Greg and Robert discuss phasing with the fire marshall in an effort to gain conditional occupancy by June 1.

Come join us and be part of the May Update!

Pic of Pavi on April 1, 2015

Pic of Pavi on April 1, 2015

Pic of Pavi taken May 1

Pic of Pavi taken May 1

 

See more pics here!

(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.