Archive for the ‘Donors’ Category
Greetings BBC Supporters:
Each year in March, we have our Annual Association Meeting. The Association is the formal ownership group of the camp (being a non-profit, there are no financial benefits to ownership). FYI – anyone can join the association.
It’s a fun evening; sharing a meal, hearing from the staff and board directors and conferring together about important issues. This year the association had discussion around the camp’s core values.
You can listen to a good portion of the meeting right here.
The annual report can be found here. If you would like a copy mailed to you, let us know here at the camp office (802-672-5220).
It would be great to see you at next year’s meeting!
Brandon “Tuna” Bergey
I am excited to announce the first ever Birchmobile!
With a big thanks to board member Chad Yoder and Bergey’s for the donation on the truck, Alvin Landis and Landis Graphics on the design and supporter Rich Landis for bringing the truck to camp. I present the Birchmobile. It will be used for camper transportation, errands and other camp business and as a moving advertisement. May it live long and deliver many campers and staff safely!
Hope to see you at camp soon,
Brandon “Tuna” Bergey
2016 is off to a good start at BBC! Framing for the big doors is happening, an inaugural fire was lit in the pavilion fireplace and drywall on the 2nd floor is almost complete. Can you help us keep going?!
Join us on Feb 6th to keep making progress on the 2nd floor of the pavilion AND to transform the pavilion from a construction zone to a snow camp zone! We’ll have work for skilled (hanging pine boards, trim, etc) and unskilled (painting, clean up, organizing, etc) volunteers alike. Coffee Break, Lunch (12:30) and a tubing break for all as well! Please let us know you’re coming so we can plan projects and lunch accordingly. (amber at bethanybirches dot org or call the office 802-672-5220)
The fun will start at 9am. Come for an hour or come for the day.
Amber “Cheeks” Bergey
Matthew 25:34 reads: ‘When I was in prison you visited me, when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was stuck on Lynds Hill Road, you pulled me out…’
Actually that last phrase isn’t in the Bible. But the phrase does describe how the Bible came alive last week at Bethany Birches Camp.
I was getting ready to feed Susie when I heard a knock on the sliding door (a common mission impossible destination for many – knocks are not uncommon!). A man I did not know stood outside our door, looking cold and tired. I opened the door a crack.
“Hello, can I help you?”
“Uh, yea,” the man replied. “I’m from VTEL, I’m stuck down the road. Could I use your phone to call a tow truck?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, you may use the phone, come on in.”
“Do you have the number for a local towing company?” The stranger asks sheepishly.
“Uh, sir, you’re in Plymouth, VT. the middle of nowhere. Nothing is local… Let me call my husband at the camp up the road, he’ll know who to call.”
” Oh, just up the road, I can walk up there.”
And after a bit more conversation the cold, tired man trudges up the road towards camp.
About 15 min later, I see Chick on the tractor and Tuna and the stranger in our car driving down the road.
15 min later I see the tractor, the car and a mini van come up the road. The stranger gets out and gives Tuna a hug. The man gave Chick the certificate pictured here.
He wasn’t naked, hungry or in prison. He was stuck. And Chick and Tuna helped him get unstuck.
#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.
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.
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
I was preparing a document today… it’s a Pavilion Project Campaign finance and construction update. You’ll see it soon in the fall newsletter. And I got to thinking about the real purpose of the building and project. You see, during the course of the project I became overwhelmed at times and forgot why we were doing this. I lost perspective among the many details and decisions.
We originally set out to do this project to enhance and further BBC’s mission. The new building makes camp easier to run, makes camp more fun on rainy days (and we get a lot of those!) and of course, expands non-summer programming opportunities. This is where our mission begins to shine. A camper who is here multiple times each year typically develops their faith much more quickly and seriously. On top of those things, it makes the state happy. Let’s just say they were very unhappy with the old building (especially the “commercial” kitchen).
One thing that was evident this summer: it was a huge boost in summer operations. I found that staff seemed to have an easier time planning and running activities and storing and retrieving supplies. I think this gave them extra energy for making camp the best they could for campers. And the kitchen… the kitchen staff and volunteers worked so much faster… they could stage a whole day’s work and take breaks in the afternoon and get out at a reasonable hour. That just wasn’t possible in the old kitchen.
I overheard our new Program Director, Dan Laubach, talking about the benefits of the new pavilion when giving a tour recently… “It’s great even on rainy days. I can have dodge ball over there, cards out on that porch, 9 square here, arts and crafts on that porch and there’s still room for people to walk from place to place!” I think this highlights the point I’m trying to make about the new building being just want the camp needed to boost operational efficiency and to make camp as good as it can be for the many campers who utilize it. This is saying nothing of the rental opportunities and partnerships that are starting to crop up. More on those topics another time.
Here’s to hoping you don’t get lost along the way during your next overwhelming season in life. If you do, step back and try to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
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!
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.