Archive for the ‘Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project’ Category

Bob Walks For the Pavilion Project: Central Market and Pavi History

For the past few months of my Bethany Birches Camp (BBC) WALK, my footprints have trod 20-25 miles of sidewalks in the City of Lancaster, PA, population 59,000.  I chose to walk in an environment different from the countryside, suburbia, and township parks I was familiar with.  The walk concentrated on 110 acres of Downtown Lancaster 1/4th mile N-S-E-W outward from City Square, the Center of Downtown Lancaster.  The Square provides resources of banking, food service, a 297 room hotel, and perhaps the most known and visited icon, the Lancaster Central Market, tucked into the N.W. corner of The Square.  This Square is surrounded by Queen, King, Duke, and Prince Streets, whose names bear the influence of Old English Royalty.  This historical market established in 1889 is visited annually by thousands of locals and tourists, even though it is located in a small corner of The Square.  The Central Market is the magnetic force which attracts so many people nationally and internationally, to mingle with friends and visitors, and taste the vendors’ best of food fare, including shoofly pies.

One day I stopped off at The Central Market on my WALK and visited with patrons seated at a table.  In less than an hour’s time, three of us learned that each was a walker; one, along with her friend, had walked 5 miles together to the market, known to them as a common place of meeting, to strengthen their friendship, and the two of them learned about Bethany Birches Camp for Children in Vermont.  We wished each other well in our individual WALKING lives.  What a nice memory!

My intentional WALK experience Downtown found me reviewing 50+ years of footprints at Bethany Birches Camp located on 100 acres tucked into a small mountain top beside Lynds Hill Road in Plymouth, Vermont.  It was begun in 1965.  BBC is by now experiencing an adolescence of growing and developing an exciting camp program which is meeting the needs of a growing number of children, youth, and families, many of whom lack a significant church family life.  The establishment of BBC was not influenced by Old English Royalty but by newly immigrated residents, a married couple from Pennsylvania who invested in land.  Their hope was to establish a camp which would help youth and children develop a relationship with God.  The Camp “square” is the Pavilion (PAVI) which contains the main support services of the camp and from which many activities flow.  The PAVI is not surrounded by streets influenced by banking and commercial influences, but by trees, mountains, and open skies.  It provides a view of mountain ranges for a distance of 4 to 5 miles (quite unthinkable for market-goers gazing anywhere within 1/4th mile of Lancaster city square). Rainy weather, though not necessarily welcome, is managed well since the open side of the PAVI can be quickly enclosed with solidly constructed curtains and storm doors; so most activities can continue rain or shine.  From the PAVI, a road extends into the woodland which leads to five cabins for girls on one side, and five cabins for boys on the other.  Each cabin bears the name of a bird, not inspired by Old English Royalty, but by the fact that the “ten birds” are at home in the mountain top.  The camp is blessed with resources such as; a caring Christian Director and Administration, trained counselors, pastor, swimming pool, nature trails, Bible and nature classes, and most importantly, the prayers and support of committed board members as well as many financial supporters.

Central Market in Downtown Lancaster, PA, has a 125 year history of providing experiences for people who can satisfy their food tastes, along with meeting new people, and renewing older and lasting friendships.  They return year after year to experience more of the same.

BBC in Plymouth, VT., has a 52 year history of providing an experience for children and youth to have safe and secure camping activities with new and former friends, and to become acquainted with God who loves them.  And yes, they return year after year for more of the same.  Can you imagine my smile as I tell you my wife Anna Mae and I are planning to spend a week at Bethany Birches Camp this summer?

~ Bob Weaver

Bob Walks: Tree Houses, A Pine tree and Dementia

My wife Anna Mae and I recently completed a driving trip from Pennsylvania to South Dakota.  We visited our empty-nest daughter Jenelle Miller (a former BBC camper and years later, counselor) and her husband Craig.  This trip allowed me opportunity to exercise “out-of-the-box” activity recently encouraged by my health care specialists for management of my mild dementia.  It is hoped that this type of activity will help my mind to “connect the dots” of my life’s everyday experiences so I can feel better connected.  The challenge of this new dementia-dimension of my life has contributed considerably to my decision to begin my BBC WALK.

During this 13-day trip, my footprint was left on the roadsides of the 8 states we traveled through.  In our 2,688-mile round trip travels, I noticed the ability, particularly in the Prairie States, to sight single objects at increasing distances away from the eye.  In the final leg of our trip west we were approaching the SW corner boundary of Craig and Jenelle’s farm and we noticed an 80-90 year old scotch pine tree in the distance.  Days later, this corner tree was sighted 2 miles away as I walked westward on the county road.  The tree can also be sighted 3 miles away from east to west. It has marked the Miller farm for four generations, a “connecting dot” for all their family that they are nearing home.  This is experienced by all as change and renewal.

There exists another stalwart tree located in the BBC community.  It is known as the tree house which provides shade for flowers, a perch for the birds, and a resting, out-of-the-ordinary place for campers to which counselors take them for an evening fireside and night sleepover away from the hustle and bustle of daytime camp activities.  The tree house is built at a height where campers can look down on the flowers, and across at the birds; a “connecting dot” for both campers and their environment.

When Anna Mae and I visited the tree house years ago, we wanted to linger for some time.  Just imagine a camp cabin of Warblers and their counselor flocking to the tree house/Nest . . . (new name?)  for a sleepover!  This BBC “point of interest” provides one of many opportunities for children to be introduced to Jesus, a super “coming home”.

– Bob

Visit the fundraising page for Bob’s walk to support BBC.

Finishing The Pavilion One Step At A Time

This past summer a camp supporter, Yogi, noted that the kitchen was not near complete. He asked me what one of the next steps was to finish it.  A week later, a friend of his and camp supporter, Mark, asked him what else was needed at camp on the pavilion project.  Yogi told him quite simply, a stainless steel table.  This wasn’t just any table, as you’ll see in the photos below.  It took design and special manufacturing and would be expensive!  The table was envisioned especially to help with the famous BBC fire side cooking.  This table is the backbone of the crate packing and storage process.

To make a long story short, Mark mentioned the mini project to one of his friends Wil. Together they paid for the table and got the project under way.  Today, during Lynx Winter Camp, the good folks over at Steiger Supply North dropped the table off and helped to set it in place.  Campers even pitched in to peel off the annoying protective tape.

For me, this web of people making this small project happen in cooperation and team work is a vision of the community of God.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

 

High School Seniors Start the New Year Serving

Just when you thought pavilion progress was over…2017 started off with pavilion door painting! A group of 8 Seniors (+ 2 adults) from Dock Mennonite Academy spent Jan 3 – 8 doing a lot of painting. The interior doors of the pavilion are clean and colorful thanks to their service.

Painting doors wasn’t their only accomplishment. The group of seniors prepared the mudroom to hang/stack/organize winter gear including skates and skis. Others in the group spent time repainting the floor and walls of the cabin basement. Now the basement of the cabin matches the new bathrooms upstairs. Both are shiny, clean and fresh! The group rounded out their week with various odds and end jobs and finished the week having some fun on the tube run and ice rink!

Why would a group of 8 seniors from PA come to BBC to paint, clean, sand and scrub? Dock Mennonite Academy requires each senior to participate in senior experience week. Seniors have the option to job shadow a professional in a field they have interest in or spend the week serving. We are thankful this group chose to spend the week helping at BBC.

The next time you’re in the cabin basement as a renter or snow camper or the next time you walk through the pavilion door as a parent, renter, camper, staff or volunteer you might be thankful for their work also!

We’re hoping to see some of them in the future while camp program is in session. In fact we hope the same for you! 2017 has opportunity for folks of all ages to experience BBC (including freshly painted doors). Check out summer and winter options. Hope to see you on the hill soon!

Basement floor – before and after

Spring Work Day

Summer programming starts in a month! We want to have occupancy to the pavilion by the end of the month. Can you help?!

Join us on Saturday May 28th from 9am – 3pm for Spring Work Day! Jobs will include (but not limited to)
.Painting the upstairs of the pavilion
.Turning the pavilion from a construction zone to summer camp zone
.Putting away/Cleaning up winter camp equipment
.Preparing Shelter Sites for Summer
.Preparing grounds for summer camp

We’ll have jobs for all skill levels and lunch for everyone, too!
Russell “OWO” Pejouey will be on site to cook a delicious lunch.

Lodging is available here at Bethany Birches for anyone who wants to come from a distance or make a weekend of it!

Email amber at bethanybirches.org to let us know you can help or respond on the BBC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/568154376678577/

 

Volunteers Invite Friends to Camp

I’ve been struck the last few days how much fun it is to bring friends to camp! This past week 2 volunteers who have been coming to camp for the past 18+ years brought two friends to camp. Each of them contributed to help the 2nd floor of the pavilion progress.

Merle Horst and Dave Mussleman are part of the Musser Woodcutting crew. This crew of guys have been cutting the camp’s wood for the last 18+ years. A few weeks ago I sent an email to Merle to see if he could round up some able volunteers to help us finish the 2nd floor of the pavilion. Dave was available and so were 2 friends – Lester and Will.

Thanks to Merle and Dave inviting friends a lot MORE was accomplished in 2 and a half days on the top floor of the pavilion. Beautiful barn doors, trim, wainscot caps, shelves were among their projects. Not to mention everyone seemed to have a lot of fun! Community building happens among campers, volunteers, staff and whoever finds themselves on the hill. Camp is always more fun with friends!

If you’re a camper family – consider inviting at least 1 new friend to BBC this summer!
If you’re a volunteer – consider inviting a friend who’s never been to camp to join you the next time you’re on the hill!

We hope to see you on the hill soon!

Cheeks.

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The sawing station

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Lester and Will work on shelving

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Pine Trim Everywhere

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Shelf and Coat Rack at the Main Entrance

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Dave putting up Barn Board Trim

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Rustic Shelving above office doors

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Friends from Lancaster helping at BBC!

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Having a good time

Volunteer to Help Finish the Pavilion at BBC – Feb 6th

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.

If you can’t join us on the 6th but would still like to help, please let us know. There are various projects that can be done outside of work days if you have other time you are able to give.
OR if you have a group you’d like to bring for a few days we’d be happy to coordinate that as well.
We are so thankful for your help! Hope to see you on the hill soon,

Amber “Cheeks” Bergey

work day pic

Pavilion Work Continues – Can you help?!

Happy New Year from BBC!

What better way to start the new year than helping build the pavilion at BBC?! There is still lots of work to do on the 2nd  floor of the pavilion including drywall, finishing work, hanging doors and shelving (see pic below). We’d love to have your help!
Join us on January 16th to make progress on the 2nd floor. We’ll start working at 9am with snacks/coffee available all day and lunch at 12:30. Join us for the whole day or just an hour! Specific work
will depend on what skill is available. PLEASE LET US KNOW if you are coming so Phil Wilkerson (construction manager) can plan projects accordingly.
If you can’t join us on the 16th but would still like to help, please let me know. There are various projects that can be done outside of work days if you have other time you are able to give.
OR if you have a group you’d like to bring for a few days we’d be happy to coordinate that as well.

We are so thankful for your help! Hope to see you on the hill soon,

Amber “Cheeks” Bergey

Upstairs unfinished IMG_1898