Place your online auction bids from the item of the day email below. You can also visit the total listing here.
The form has been taken down for this year’s auction. We hope you can make it out to the event Saturday! If not, plan to join us September 27, 2014 for next year’s event!
Greetings friends! I’m pasting the Annual Benefit Auction Online Bidding Form here so that those who are receiving the item of the day email can come straight here and place bids. Not receiving the item of the day emails?
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“It’s a good thing they hire 20 yr olds because they are the only people crazy enough to do it!” A current friend of mine and a former BBC counselor was recently referring to the job of camp counseling. It is a crazy job. At BBC counselors care for kids 23/5. Counselors are responsible for cooking meals for campers, sharing Jesus with campers, consistently increasing the fun quotient and creating community among a group of young people who have just met each other. Talent, patience and a desire to keep learning are required for this type of job. Each summer BBC recruits high quality young adults to serve as camp staff. No wonder I miss them so much when they leave!
My friend and I are not the only ones to notice the high quality of camp counselors. An article in Time Magazine reports that “many educators have come to recognize that summer camp, and specifically being a counselor, fosters precisely the skill that we value so highly in young adults: taking responsibility.” The article suggests camp counselors should receive more notice and benefit because “the camp-counselor experience prepares successful young adults through teamwork, empathy, cross-cultural understanding, ability to work with subordinates and superiors, creativity, working under pressure and managing with limited resources.” What other experience packs this type of learning and development?
After reflecting on this past summer at BBC I find myself so thankful for the staff who spent 8 weeks helping the youth around them develop their relationship with God and who continue to develop themselves into people who will surely spread God’s kingdom here on Earth.
In his blog post, Jonathan McKee explains an experiment he and his wife performed on their teenager. He writes:
Our theory was basically this: Start strict, and loosen up as our kids get older, eventually freeing them from all boundaries by age 17½.
Guess how it went… not bad! In fact, it allowed their daughter to begin a deeper relationship with them. Their idea was that at age 18 she can do whatever she wants. The figured they may as well let her start doing that at 17½ so that they would still have some influence before she left the house.
Discussions with us were no longer about trying to convince us to give her permission—she already had that. Now conversations were about what she was learning from her decisions, good and bad.
She began talking with us about decisions even more. When she wanted to drive over 2 hours to San Francisco with her friends (the furthest she had ever driven), she wanted to know all about traffic, directions and safety. Not because we made her, but because we were “safe” to talk with.
Genius parenting! Now when she leaves for college, she may stay in touch. I’d encourage you to read the whole article.
What do you think? Want to try this out when your son or daughter hits 17½?
Greetings friends. The below blog post was written by a friend and consultant, Mark Vincent. He has been working closely with me (Tuna) on our campaign to rebuild the pavilion. This summer we are entering the “Public Phase” of this effort and so I thought I’d share it with you this “Tuna Tuesday”.
Capital campaign communication: 2 awesome examples
We learn so much from our clients. Occasionally we can pass the benefits along.
I have been privileged to work with Bethany Birches Camp as they ready themselves for their first big capital campaign. Their Executive Director, still in the early stages of his career, is an outstanding example of someone who knows he doesn’t know and is therefore able to learn and grow and put a lot of long-timers to shame at the excellence he is already achieving.
Most noticeable is the way he, the board and volunteers have been able to inject the organizational culture of the camp into all their campaign communication. Whenever the constituency interacts with them they are having a camp experience, not just a communication from the camp. Here are two awesome examples:
1. Their video that introduces the campaign and makes the case provides an excellent standard other organizations can aspire to reach:
2. A recent update on an unanticipated project that could have harmed momentum conveys a non-anxious, thankful, yet light-heartedly determined way forward. Anyone who participated can find themselves in the blogs/photos etc. that are linked in the note. It provides a great personal touch mixed with the benefits of social media and web. Here is the text:
Greetings friends. I’m writing with deep joy in my heart for each of you. As you probably remember about a year ago we received some tough news from the fire marshal: that the Bethany Birches Cabin would be shut down April 1, 2012 until we complied with numerous requirements.
One of my biggest concerns was how we’d pay for the upgrades to the building. My second concern related to how to get the work done. Because of you, the work was finished and paid for! THANK YOU!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of this effort and for your ongoing help in Bethany Birches’ mission to help young people develop their relationship with God. Without you we would still be without the use of the cabin!
And here is one more idea. Why not take these examples to your development and/or communications team to view and then ask what is one step we might take to better inject our organization’s culture into our communication–especially in a capital campaign? How might our constituency have an ongoing experience and not just another communications piece?
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!
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.
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
The annual board retreat was held in January at Jeff Rosenberger’s Springfield Apple Orchard. Phil Bergey was the facilitator. The Pavilion Project is foremost for the director and the board along with the continuing energy needed to carry on the mission of BBC. Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project has been launched to make this dream become a reality in 2014 after the camping season is completed. Building plans, site location, timetables, contractors, current finances, and prospective donors are on the minds of many. A comprehensive director’s review has also been undertaken. Recommendations and compensation have been updated. The board is very pleased with the leadership and vision provided by Brandon Bergey and the program director (and wife!), Amber. Public Social Media Policies are also being formulated to keep abreast with modern technologies and social media. The organization continues to seek ways and opportunities to help shape youth and young adults to be productive Kingdom citizens.
Intel is on a need to know basis. Here’s what you need to know. The effort to replace the old pavilion with a new one is under way.
We’ve been hard at work raising money since October 2012. Some of camp’s faithful supporters have given generously to achieve nearly $700,000 in commitments already. The project total is $1,800,000. This will pay for the new pavilion and subsidize program for 4 years (we wanted to consolidate all our fundraising needs for the length of the campaign into one effort).
Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to make a gift (or at least a commitment) by August 15, 2013. If you complete your mission you will receive a couple free gifts.
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.”