Amber Bergey, Program Director says one thing she loves about her job is interacting with people who rent the camp property.
Some of the stuff renters say
We like being right at camp with “other” opportunities available like tubing, LOTS of room, washer, dryer, woodstove for drying out and warming up. We loved being able to crash together, and enjoyed having you all (staff) right there during the day. The setting is absolutely gorgeous! THE PRICE IS RIGHT 🙂 – Loureen Landis
We enjoy renting the BBC cabin because it fits our whole family (12-15 of us), it is close to many ski resorts, and the tubing hill is lots of fun!! It is also nice to know that we are supporting BBC by renting the cabin during the off season! – Erica Merrill
We love staying at BBC to escape our busy lives and the camp always feels like a home away from home to us. It’s a great way to foster a relationship with God through nature while supporting the camp. – Jen Yoder
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.
A lot of snow + campers + BBC= SNOW CAMP!! Undoubtedly campers love going to camp: to see friends, to see the staff, and at BBC- to learn more about God. We (a group of volunteers) had a great time with the campers in a non-stop action packed weekend, but the focus wasn’t necessarily on snow – It was on God.
Something that stands out in my mind from the weekend was a conversation that a couple of us (volunteers and campers) were having. I remembered one of the campers – he has a brilliant mind but had a hard time processing the existence of one almighty God. He and his family tended to be polytheistic and as we talked about the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings in the Bible, he asked some really good questions – like, “Why did Elijah call upon Baal to bring fire down when that wasn’t Baals ‘gift’ or ‘power’? He wasn’t the god of fire so of course he won’t be able to send fire down on the altar.” Hmm, good point. We continued to go deeper, yet at some point he seemed to reach an impasse, to which he said, “I’m a skeptic…” as if he thought that by saying that I would stop asking questions. We pressed on. He said that it would take a REALLY BIG miracle to prove to him that the God of Abraham is real.
It was a blessing to be a part of that discussion. He was processing the Christian story. He was asking good questions. He has a deeper knowledge now than he had before – whether that translates into a trust in Jesus and eventual service of God’s Kingdom is yet to be seen. At least a weekend at camp filled his heart and mind with knowledge of the truth. Sometimes these conversations can be a challenge, but they’re the ones that can also bring about the most change and can give us the most encouragement to keep going, to keep proclaiming the message of the gospel to a world that so desperately needs to hear it, see it, feel it, experience it – and Bethany Birches IS all of those things to EVERY camper!
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.
We knew it was going to be a challenge – I remember being in a beautiful place after my frustration subsided upon the fire marshal’s departure. The kind of place in which it’s clear that though this is going to be a hard road to walk, it’s going to be good. It’s a road that God has paved. And it was. Not only did we receive grace from the fire marshal and volunteers but many gave money. And by the end of December, we should be completed with the cabin fire safety project.
And now we find ourselves facing another challenge: the construction of a new pavilion. Lots could be said about this project but that will be the topic of future newsletters. Right now the thing to know is that we’ve begun the fundraising effort. We’re calling the effort Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project. If you have a contribution you’re compelled to make and you’d like to talk about your gift, please contact me at the office (802-672-5220) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The third challenge on my mind as I write is the mission the camp has been given – to help young people develop their relationship with God by providing them with a Christ-centered camping experience in a natural and nurturing environment. Inherent is a challenge for staff and campers alike. While we (donors, volunteers, staff) are the helpers, it is the young person and God that must do the relationship building. To become Christ-centered while creating a natural and nurturing setting is a life-long work for each of us. If we can accomplish it, the world will be changed. As Mission Possible states in its theme verse, this sort of change is only possible with God (Matt. 19:26).
And that’s the encouraging part: that seemingly impossible things are possible. Then the challenge of life becomes not how to build that building or how to repair a broken relationship but how to join up with the God who instead makes things possible. If we are willing, God will help in that endeavor too.