Archive for the ‘Program News’ 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

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

Benefit Auction 2013 Gross Totals

Greetings Friends!  Here’s a message I wrote internally just now (to board, staff and auction committee).  It’s so exciting I just HAD to share it with everyone!

————

I just did the math and here’s what it seems we’ll receive (gross) when all payments are made.  This of course does not include any further rounding up people may do ( or any mistakes I’ve made!).  I’ll publish the net when we finalize that and receive outstanding payments.

SourceAmount
Cashier including (live and silent bidding and raffle tix paid cash/check)24500
Bidding (live and silent NOT paid to date)3830
Bidding (live and silent paid by Credit Card)9146
Snowmobile Raffle sold BEFORE auction980
Cash Box From food/beverage540

TOTAL = $38,996.

When we add the match to that we’ll be pushing $60K raised from the day!!!  As a German-speaking friend of mine says: “awe inspiring”
Thanks to each of you for your part in making the day a success and for your commitment to helping young people develop their relationship with God!
Brandon
————–
To God be all praise, honor and thanks!  And to many who gave items to be sold and who bid on those items.  As the saying goes, “it takes a village.”  Here at camp, we say it takes a community of love.  And how fun to be part of that community!
In case you missed out on the fun, you can do three exciting things from this post:
[button-medium color=”green” link=”eepurl.com/puW8r”]Get Camp Emails[/button-medium]     [button-medium color=”green” link=”bethanybirches.org/wp-content/media/2013/09/2013-auction-lot-list-w_.pdf”]View Winning Bids[/button-medium]    [button-medium color=”green” link=”bethanybirches.org/donate/”]Make A Donation[/button-medium]

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: Snow Camp!

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.

IMG_7573It 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!

Scott Kratz, Volunteer

 

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

Spring Newsletter 2013: Mission Possible, The Pavilion Project

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.

You may gain intel about the free gifts and give here.

In order to proceed, you must watch the video about the project here.


 

Safety and Care at Camp: Tuna Tuesday

This Tuesday, I decided to write about safety at camp.  Why?  I believe many parents are on some level concerned about some aspect of camp.

For some, it’s the thought of their child being bullied or even worse, abused by an adult.  We could classify these concerns as violence.

For others, it’s less threatening and about every day challenges. Some of the questions may be: will my child have fun?  Will they stay warm?  Will they want to come home?  Will they make any friends?  We might call these sorts of concerns comfort related.

For other parents, it’s about physical harm not caused by a person but by the environment and setting.  Will my child break their leg at group games or while hiking?  Will they get stung by a bee?  I might label these concerns as environmental safety.

So what does Bethany Birches do to address these three categories of safety (don’t get me wrong, there are other areas of safety that we monitor!  But for the sake of a reasonable length blog post, I’ll have to include those in a future post)?

Violence: we work very hard when hiring staff.  We do multiple reference checks, a criminal background check including sex offender registries.  We have a detailed interview.  We ask lots of questions about faith, religion and world view.  Finally, if we notice any behavior from a staff person that is concerning on this front, we let them go.  As for bullying, we guard against this as best we can through maintaining adult supervision at nearly all times, requiring campers to travel around camp with a trusted buddy (like when going to the bathroom) and by disciplining those exhibiting bullying behavior and working closely with them to change their patterns of relating to others.

Comfort: this is a tough one!  Some campers don’t want to admit their cold in front of their friends. Others don’t tell their counselor they wet their bed.  And some times, campers just don’t know they’re uncomfortable!  As a parent, you know that you often have to think for your child in ways they cannot yet think for themselves.  This is what we teach our staff to do.  We teach them to notice how their campers are feeling.  Are they happy or sad?  Are their shoes wet or dry?  Do they have extra clothes to change into?  Does their sleeping bag smell weird?  One of our primary goals for counselors and all staff members is that they would be an excellent guide for each camper.  By guide I simply mean that they would provide a meaningful experience, initiate fun and conversation, and take really good care of each child, including washing their sleeping bag after peed in without anyone noticing!

While life and the outdoors throw all sorts of curve balls like a mean spirited attack from another to a cold rainy day, we desire to always care deeply for each person entrusted to us.  We take seriously complaints from parents and do our very best to get better at keeping kids safe, comfortable and happy so their mind, body and soul can grow while at camp.

Here’s to another exciting, meaningful safe season of summer camp at Bethany Birches!

Tuna