Archive for the ‘For Parents’ Category

New Program Director Hired!

Greetings Friends, a little while back I announced that Dan “Chick” Laubach was moving on from Bethany Birches at the end of August.

We launched a search in March and received 27 applications by the time we closed the application period this summer.  After extending an offer to an applicant and receiving a “no” from him, I opened a discussion with a friend familiar to Bethany Birches.  We call her Wonder Woman.  Outside of camp she is known as Courtney Hollingsworth.  She has volunteered as Camp Shepherd, Day Camp Manager, and Kitchen Aid, among other things.  She’s filled with energy and love and was looking to get back into ministry of some kind after supervising the front office at the Woodstock Inn.  Prior to that she was in seminary and before that she was a director of high school youth ministry at her home church in CA.

The only agreement we have come to at this time is that she will be full time through next summer.  Her and I will consider her fit after she’s been here a few months and see if we would like to arrange a longer tenure or not.

She has already begun!  She has an email address (courtney@bethanybirches.org). Feel free to reach out to her and introduce yourself.  She is currently working from a distance lightly and will start here at camp on the 27th of Aug and overlap with Chick for a week and then take the reigns.

Courtney/Wonder Woman with a baby sea turtle

Thanks to each of you who have been involved with the camp and have helped to cause our ongoing success.  Please welcome Wonder Woman warmly.  I hope you’ll come out to camp soon if you haven’t been recently.  Next option to be here is the Benefit Auction September 29.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Day Camp: No Week Looks the Same!

What do “A Bugs Life”, “Wild Week” and “Splash Week” all have in common?! Each title is a theme for one of the weeks of day camp at BBC. Each week of day camp will include traditional BBC favorites such as, cooking over the fire, swimming in the pond and playing outside. The themes allow each week to be unique from each other.

Day Camp A  (June 25 – 29) will explore A Bugs Life. Water bugs, spiders, lady bugs and other small insects. Each day will focus on a specific bug and what that bug can teach us about life. Along with songs and crafts to complement each critter.

Wild Week is happening  the week of Jul 3-6 . Campers will spend time exploring the wild around them, understanding what nature can teach them and playing games simulating life in the wild.

Splash Week (Day Camp C, Jul 30 – Aug 3) will round out the 2018 day camp line up! All wet all the time. Day campers will join overnight campers as they explore what we can learn from the properties of water. Day campers will also enjoy day camp specific crafts and activities related to the splash week theme.

Despite differing themes – each day Camp Week will be chocked full of fun, friends faith and the outdoors! It’s a great taste of BBC for young campers. We hope to see you on the hill!

Wonder Woman Returns to BBC Day Camp

Last summer (2017) Day Camp C was the highest attended Day Camp Session to date at BBC. Wonder Woman was one of the counselors for that week and we are excited to announce she is returning for TWO DAY CAMP WEEKS THIS SUMMER! If you’re attending Day Camp A or C Wonder Woman will be one of your leaders. Below she describes why she’s excited to return for 2 sessions this summer:

Day Camp Rocks!  And I am so excited to be returning to Bethany Birches Camp for a second summer as a volunteer Day-Camp counselor!

When I think back to last year, I can’t help but smile as I remember all of the fun that was had by campers and counselors alike in our week together.  There are so many great memories to choose from –  but swimming in the pond, going down the giant slip and slide, and eating ice cream out of a trough immediately come to mind.  Each memory involves our whole group smiling, laughing, and just having a downright blast together!

Working with the youngest campers, while of course had a few challenging moments, was overall a true joy! They come to camp so full of energy and ready for fun.  They have great imaginations and a wonderful spirit of play and adventure.  And most of them had never been to camp before, so everything is new and exciting for them.  We had the best time hiking out to the tree houses for a special lunch, singing at Jumpstart each morning with the overnight campers, doing craft projects, playing games, and experiencing all that camp has to offer!

While I admit that I personally enjoyed getting to participate in all of the awesome camp activities just as much as the kids did (who doesn’t love a jumping on the water trampoline?!? ), the reason I am coming back again is because, in addition to being awesomely fun, I found camp to be amazingly rewarding.

I loved getting to know each of the campers, and enjoyed their unique personalities and what they brought to camp each day- just by being them. Sometimes that was a Moana sing-a-long, a game of pretending to be robots on the playground, or a dream of catching their first frog at the pond…it was always a surprise waiting to happen.

And I was incredibly impressed by how great these little ones were at making new friends.  While they essentially arrived as strangers, by the end of the first day each camper had a new buddy, and by the end of the week the whole group seemed like they had grown up together.   Wow!  What an example for us all.

But perhaps the best part for me was getting to help my campers succeed at trying new things.  I loved getting to encourage them to go for it, cheering them on while they did, and then celebrating their successes and accomplishments.  We had campers learn to swim, kayak for the first time, hike farther than they ever had before, and be willing to overcome fears -like going down the giant slip and slide for the first time, and then loving it!

The smiles on their faces that, exuded not only joy, but pride and confidence in themselves, were simply priceless.

And yes – I was gloriously exhausted at the end of each day, and thankful to go home to sleep in my own bed each night  (a day-camp perk!).

But you really can’t beat  camp, and I feel pretty lucky to get to be a part of it again.

Counting down the days till summer,

Courtney Hollingsworth   (aka Wonder Woman)

 

 

Day Camp Safari

Treehouse lunch hike

Post Pig Trough

Program Director Application Period is Open!

That’s right folks.  This is your chance to apply for your dream job.  Being the Program Director at BBC is perhaps one of the most fun (and most challenging) jobs out there.  Just think – it could be your job to run (or delegate) Wet and Wild Wednesday.  It could be your job to run (or delegate) the annual cardboard sled and boat races.  I mean, how awesome is that?  Not to mention recruiting and training staff, budgeting, performance reviews… oh wait, those perhaps are not the most fun parts.

Seriously though, if you have any interest, apply now!  I hope to select the next BBC Program Director by June 1 of this year.  That gives you a month and a half to finish your application and tidy up your resume. Start here: http://www.bethanybirches.org/pd

And if you’re not going to apply, would you pray for the process?  Pray that God nudges an ideal fit this direction and that we have the wisdom to see that person when they show up.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Executive Director

Program Director transition: you will be missed Chick!

Why do all good things come to an end?  So that new good things can begin!

Dan “Chick” Laubach has served as program director since May 2015. He has decided to finish his service at Bethany Birches effective the end of August 2018. He has made important contributions (and will continue to this year… and he evens plans to volunteer beyond this year).  While he was program director, summer and winter registrations were opened earlier than ever.  I believe that has contributed to the ongoing increase in attendance (in fact, half of programs offered in a calendar year have waiting lists… we’re expecting even more waiting lists this year).  Chick has also contributed to a professionalism in the office.  He has helped to upgrade policies and procedures and has sharpened some of our marketing and communications plans.

I very much appreciate the amount of time he has allowed us for making the transition.  He is going to continue managing the program throughout this winter and summer.  He will depart at the end of summer 2018.  If a replacement is found in time, I would consider him/her starting as soon as May 2018 for maximum transfer of knowledge, ideas, practices etc.  However, if an ideal fit is found, we would start them whenever works best for them.  The search for a new program director will begin shortly.  We have some backend work to do to clarify the type of person we’re looking for and finalize some details.  In the mean time, if you or someone you know has interest, please do reach out to me.  Call the office, email or even text if you have my number.

We give Chick a big round of applause and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.  Most importantly, may you be guided by God’s spirit and at peace into the unknown.  Thanks for your service and can’t wait to see you back here as a volunteer.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey