Archive for the ‘For Campers’ Category

Summer 2014 Dates

Summer 2014 Dates are here!

As usual, there will be all sorts of good things to follow.  Updates on special features, blog posts from counselors, videos and more.

But for now, here are the dates (http://www.bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/):

 

2014 Summer Camp Schedule

Program

(pages with specifics not yet updated)

Length

Age

Date

Friendship1/2 week6-87/13 – 7/15
Pioneershort week7-97/13 – 7/17
Pilgrim1 week9-116/22 – 6/27
Voyager1 week10-126/29 – 7/4
Voyager Extended2 weeks11-126/29 – 7/11
Discoverer1 week11-137/6 – 7/11
Favoritesshort week11-148/3 – 8/7
Explorer1 week12-147/20 – 7/25
Sojourner1 week14-187/27 – 8/1
Favorites Crewshort week15-188/3 – 8/7
Internship2 weeks16-186/29 – 7/11

Goals

Flo here again… have you ever set a goal? Camp has a goal… to raise $1.8 million for a new pavi so that campers can keep coming to camp for many years. When I was first asked to help that seemed like such a big number… and it is! But we’ve already raised $1.2 million!

What kind of goal would you like to achieve? Is there something you’d like to challenge yourself with? Last weekend, I had the pleasure of running with Sparkles and Benjamine in their first ever race. It was awesome! They both set a goal and reached it. Make a decision today to challenge yourself and set a goal… YOU CAN DO IT!!

– Flo

BBC Teen Campers to Ethiopia

Campers will teach you just as much as (if not more than) you teach them. I share this mantra with staff often throughout orientation. Staff  and campers prove the saying true for 8 weeks every summer at Bethany Birches Camp (BBC). A few weeks ago I experienced the mantra to be true for myself as well. Three BBC teen campers reminded me of what it looks like to love God and love people.

About 6 months ago at BBC’s 2013 April Connect for Teens, Annie and Katie Soho told me I should join them on a service trip to an orphanage in Ethiopia in August*. The offer was tempting. I perseverated for about 6 weeks until I finally declined. Recently I was browsing pictures from their trip and reading about their stories (I’m still waiting to hear in person) through an article in the Valley News** and I’m wondering why I didn’t join them. The pictures and comments struck me as love in action. Specifically loving the least – children and widows. The campers were carrying out the beliefs I claim and share each summer.

For the past 10 summers I’ve shared God’s 2 most important commandments: Love God and Love People. As each summer concludes the post summer blues inevitably sink in. I miss the excitement and energy of young people at camp. I miss the staff. I feel like the beauty of camp is wasted on the emptiness. I wonder if any campers heard anything this summer that will change their lives. Over the course of their summers at BBC – Annie, Katie and Flossie heard something. These 3 girls have been hearing this message for a long time from camp, from their churches and from their families. These BBC campers not only heard a message to love others but put the message into practice. They sacrificed 2 weeks of their summer to serve in Ethiopia. Campers continue to teach me.

Annie, Katie (and their mom Sandy) and Flossie inspired me. Following their journey to Ethiopia and back again has inspired me to not just stay on the hill of a lonely camp but to move into the world (or invite the world to me) to love God and love people. I don’t know that I’ll be heading to Ethiopia anytime soon but right now I’m inspired by these 3  BBC campers to consider how I can live out now what I share all summer. How do I love the love and serve the people around me now? I’m learning more from these campers than they are from me.

 

*Selamta Family Project is an organization that seeks to place orphans in forever families. Find out more here.

**I waited too long after the article to post this. You can’t seem to get to the article anymore online. If you’d like to read it in full let me know, I think I can get my hands on a copy.

 

 

Experience The Auction

Apple cider, maple syrup and donuts, oh my! Have you ever experienced the BBC auction? Let me give you a glimpse into the things that touched me this past weekend:

Campers come and help sell the items on the live auction by presenting the items to the audience – little do they know what an impact that has on the sale of the item!

Counselors and staff return with donated items- or they are like “mystery shoppers”, proxy bidding for those online bids that have been submitted.

People travel from places far & wide to come spend a day in the beautiful countryside and support camp.

A fabulous auctioneer from PA comes with his entourage to most definitely get more money per item with his perfect blend of humor, compassion and philanthropic encouragement.

Items are baked, chopped, squeezed, pressed, fried, ground, and cooked with loving hands to provide nourishment for the crowds and yummy additions to the sale!

Oh yes, and then the money…. People pay crazy amounts for everyday items. 15 people chose to simply donate $200-$400 each to send a camper to camp. And a wonderful “matching donor” (Glenn and Diane Moyer) agreed to double what was raised per dollar for any amount raised between $20,000 and $40,000.

Maybe it is because I didn’t grow up going to auctions that I am just awed by it all. Maybe because I truly love BBC – the place that it is, the kids, staff and counselors, and all that it represents. Maybe it’s because I know that there is something bigger than me out there, and He always shows himself to me when I’m there. Whatever the reason, I left the 2013 BBC Auction with a thankful heart and a happy soul. And the icing on the cake is that through all of this we keep making progress towards this wonderful goal of keeping the camp alive and thriving for generations to come. With the additional money raised, we have now raised well over $1 million towards the goal of $1.8 million for a new pavilion at camp.

For more information on that project (Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project) go here.  To read about the auction totals go here. Photos of the auction day go here.

If you like what you see here, share it with others! “Like” us on Facebook! Repost a blog! Tweet about it (@BethanyBirches)! You can use #MissionPossible, #WithGod, #ThePaviProject Tuna loves to use the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. This was so evident this gorgeous, amazing weekend in VT. Praise be to God, thanks be to all of you and blessings to all the kids who continue to develop their relationship with God.

Flo

(aka Beth Goshow)

Mission Possible Communications Manager

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THE $1100 GOLDEN SHOVEL

BBC Newspaper- Rouke

Every week at camp there is a newspaper interest group. Campers get to interview staff, spy around camp, and write stories. These reports then get turned into articles which they type up for the newspaper that gets distributed at the end of the week. This year we decided it would be fun to share some of them here on the blog. Here are some stories about one of the male counselors here that inspired some creative stories:

ROUKE UNDERCOVER WEREWOLF

Rouke is usually a normal person by day, but on a night of a full moon he starts to transform. Although he always has bushy hair on his head and his voice is dark, deep, low and mysterious. His teeth are like little daggers hanging out of a small mouth; by the way he loves to

Catch Frisbees by his mouth. His eyes have that evil glare in them. Detective Anastasia gives us more answers to unravel this mystery. At only age twenty one who knows what he will be capable of in the future? If you have any questions contact the expert BITTY@BLUEJAY.ORG”.

                                   Thanks you’ll be hearing from us again;)

                                            BY LILIA, AMBER, Bitty

The Chronicles of BBC part 1: The werewolf, the elves, and the Matchbox

One VERY Rainy day these young Elves went the swallow Lair. The young boy wolves were getting ready to eat. A few were howling and complaining about being hungry. Rouke (The Were wolf!) growled at them to stop! The beautiful eleven princess Quinzady came over to ROUKE and saw he was struggling to light his damp matches. She used her powers to light the Damp matches. Rouke looked up and smiled. Quinzady looked down and smiled when she saw his fangs popping out of his mouth. The little girl elves were hanging out and that’s when the AWESOME Sparkles the Fairy and (meah) Finn the troll came! After thay ate Venison sausage and Dragon Eggs they left and Rouke howled ot the full moon! (NOt really!)

p.s. this is a TRUE story exept all the mytical creatures!)

                            By: Chloe Marie J

Newsletter 2013: Snow Camp Synopsis & Summer Highlights

The winter of 2013 was a busy one at BBC. Campers, staff and volunteers all enjoyed the endless snow, adventure and excitement that filled the hill from December 2012 – April 2013.

Polar Bear is Back: Polar Bear Camp returned as the third weekend long snow camp this winter. The weekend was exclusively for 6th – 8th graders. Jr. High-aged campers enjoyed being together for their own weekend with Middle School specific activities and topics.

The Game of Seasons: The benefits of hiring an assistant program director for the winter were numerous! One of the benefits included a creative new game that intertwined education about animals’ different needs during different seasons, utilized the space of the cabin and connected to our theme of changing seasons for the weekend. Lynx campers reaped the benefits of this new game and were requesting it be brought back for summer!

Valuable Volunteers: Each snow camp requires significant volunteer input for the weekend to run smoothly. The Franconia Mennonite Church Young Adult Group came to meet all the volunteer needs for the Polar Bear Camp. One young adult served as the shepherd, others cooked and others played the role of counselors. Together they made a great team, brought a ton of fun for campers and served as great role models of service for each of us. We hope they’ll be back!
Mission Impossible Pose

Summer Highlights:

Summer 2013 Theme: Mission Possible. Matthew 19:26 says “With God all things are possible.” The theme this summer will aim to teach campers how to be WITH GOD and why this is the only mission worth pursuing.

NEW WEEK! Mission Possible Week! Every summer campers ask to play Mission Impossible more than once in a week. We finally caved. This week is all mission impossible all the time. The week requires campers to work together to solve the week long mission! Campers must have played Mission Impossible prior to this week in order to attend.

Cheeks

Newsletter 2013: BBC TV

For years the wonderful staff and campers at camp have been creating many videos (hundreds!).  A lot of those (less than two hundred) made their way to Youtube. It was such a shame to let them sit there, lonely and unwatched so we decided to create BBC TV.  There are currently four channels: Summer, Winter, Staff and Everything (clever title, we know). You’ll find them here: BBC TV

Newsletter 2013: Summer Programs & Events

Event   Age   Date
Staff Orientation17+Jun 15-22
Pilgrim9-11Jun 23-28
Voyager10-12Jun 30-Jul 5
Voyager Extended10-11Jun 23-Jul 5
Church at Camp and Chicken BBQ(Camp staff lead in worship and sharing)AllJul 7 10 am
BBQ following Service
Friendship/ Pioneer 6-9Jul 7-9/7-11
Discoverer 11-13Jul 14-19
Internship15-17Jul 14-26
Explorer 12-14Jul 21-26
Discoverer Extended12-13Jul 14-26
Sojourner 14-18Jul 28-Aug 2
Mission Possible/Crew 11-14/15-18Aug 4-8
Staff De-Orientation17+Aug 9-11
Facility Available for Rent & EventsAug 12-Oct
BBC Annual Benefit AuctionSept 28 10am
Fall Work DayOct 26 9am

At Home in the World: Spiritual Saturday

Among the blogs I read is Generous Matters. It’s largely about generosity, giving and making ourselves rich toward God (rather than just plain old rich). This past Friday, the author of the blog included an excerpt from CS Lewis… I love CS Lewis! Here’s what he wrote in one of his books:

“Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of really being at home on Earth, which is just what we want. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old.”

Having read Screwtape Letters, I know that Lewis does not consider it a good thing when we feel “at home on Earth.”  Being at home on Earth makes it hard to be at home in God’s Kingdom.

This summer, we hope to have a ton of fun while discovering together this special place some Christians call God’s Kingdom.  If we trust Jesus’ words, we know that in that place is where we receive “life to the full.”

Tuna