Archive for the ‘For Campers’ Category

(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!

Be Thankful Beyond Thanksgiving

November is a time when we remember to be thankful – in between stuffing ourselves with a delicious feast and watching football! What would it look like to be thankful each day? Ask anyone who has been to camp and they would probably agree that being at Bethany Birches Camp makes it a little easier to be thankful. The atmosphere surrounding camp makes it impossible to ignore our miraculous God.

Around seven years ago I was introduced to camp. I went to visit a staff member (who later became my sister-in-law) and went back the following year to become a counselor. I spent eight weeks in the mountains in Vermont. Every week presented different challenges but looking back the lessons and blessings that I experienced will last a lifetime. I am so thankful for every moment I spend at BBC!

Bethany Birches gives me the opportunity to be myself and to teach campers about Jesus. God takes our efforts and our abilities and multiplies them more than we can ever imagine. When it’s time to leave camp it feels like a part of me never leaves, and I always try to take a little bit of camp with me.

If you have never experienced BBC I strongly encourage you to find a way to help out. Everyone is welcome at camp, all have a talent, skill, or ability that can be used to further the Kingdom of God.
As you enjoying thanksgiving allow me to leave you with this passage: Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For The Lord is good and His love endures forever;  His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100: 4,5
Finn (aka Brent Gehman)

Old Pavi Art Sold At Annual Benefit Auction

On September 27, the 12th annual benefit auction will be held at Bethany Birches Camp.

The original pavilion was torn down just a month ago. And we are busily working toward the completion of the new pavilion. And boy is it going to cost some money to build and finish this new pavilion!  Many people have given faithfully, sacrificially and exuberantly. And we are thankful.  More on that in a future post.  This post is about the auction and old pavi art!

Some camp supporters who are skilled craftsmen decided to make some really cool items for the auction out of the old pavilion.  Fred Schlabach and Dave Beidler have been hard at work and they’ve created some incredible stuff.  Fred made a bunch of mirrors. He will explain why he chose mirrors at the auction. He also made a pendant light.  Dave made a table out of the old pavilion posts!  Some of these items will be matched so that when you bid on it your dollar is worth two or three!  Who wants one?!  Can’t make it to the auction?  Place a bid online right here using the codes in the descriptions

Bid Now

Hope: Looking Forward To Camp

Cheeks reached out to a few campers and staff pre-summer camp and asked what they’re hoping for.  Here’s what she found:

What campers are hoping for…

  • I can’t wait to eat camp food!!! (Anni)
  • Excited to see everyone (Mckayla, Deanna)
  • Learn and have fun (Destiny)

What staff hope for campers… 

  • I hope that campers will encounter Jesus in new ways, be challenged, and have so much fun! (Benji)
  • That they will feel loved and accepted and that they will create life long friendships and learn more about themselves as well as God and the earth they live on. (Hannah)
  • I hope to build connections with each camper, that they will be able to feel God’s love through us! (Sparkles)

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

UBuildIt: A special summer camp 2014 week at Bethany Birches

Camp is packed full of so many fun activities. While part of my job is to think of new and exciting activities to bring to camp, we have often looked to campers for inspiration as well. From interviews, to camper’s evaluations, to conversations, we want campers to have a voice. If a camper has a creative vision, we’ll run with it.  I imagine this is how the pillow log came to be, and it’s exactly why we installed an archery range. Kids after all have the best imaginations!

This year we are putting on our second consecutive special theme week that looks different from the usual Vermont summer camp program. We chose the title UbuildIt. We are harnessing the imaginations of 50 or so campers to create a very fun and interactive week. Campers will be able to pick their favorite activities when they register. We will plan the week based on these choices. Campers will even have the chance to modify existing activities for each other. Some of the favorites up for modification include Mission Impossible, Pig Trough, Slip N’ Slide, Camp Cinema, Group Games.

So often in this day and age we see young people relying on social media, screens and apps to entertain. This favorites UbuildIt week is going to turn this model upside down and challenge campers to get involved in making the fun! We couldn’t be more excited to see what they come up with.

Are you joining us this summer?

Sparkles

 

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:

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