Archive for the ‘Program News’ Category

Annual Association Meeting

It’s that time of year! When the Bethany Birches Association gathers here at camp.  In short, we work together, eat lunch and transact business.  This year, however, our business transacting will be cut short by two very important things:

  1. A “walk-through” of the pavilion we intend to build in 2014.  More on that later.
  2. Family Feud (or Jeopardy) as Annual Report. We did this for the first time last year and it was a hit.

So please, mark your calendar and plan to join us.  Even if you’re not an association member. The day is open for all!

Here’s the schedule:

9:00 am – work begins. Total agenda not finalized, but may include: water tramp, clean kitchen, carpentry in shelters, trail maintenance.

12:30 pm – lunch!

1:30 pm – meeting begins (see above for most of the agenda)

4:00 pm – if it’s nice, play a round of disk golf… or just go home!

Can you make it?  Drop me a line at brandon @ bethanybirches.org

See you on the hill this spring!

Tuna

Free Camp! Woodstock, Windsor and Rutland

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It’s almost time for Free Camps! What are Free Camps?  They are two-fold:

  1. A chance for you to experience a small piece of camp
  2. A chance for us to share with you what’s happening this upcoming summer at camp

With the obvious intended outcome that you and all your friends sign up for camp this summer!

I think one of the best things about Free Camp is that it is yet another time when the Bethany Birches family comes together.  And, often, it’s a lot of new family members.  There end up being new family members because those already apart of the family bring their friends.  And that’s how camp spreads.  Friend to friend.

In fact, we want to encourage the spreading of camp.  Here are two reasons to come and bring your friends:

  • Bring a camp-aged friend that hasn’t been to BBC before and you both get $30 off of summer 2013
  • Take $10 off for each additional camp-aged friend you bring to Free Camp that hasn’t been to BBC

It’s easy to let us know you’re coming.  Join the event on Facebook, call the office (802-672-5220) or email camp @ bethanybirches.org.

More details here.

Hope to see you at the Free Camps!

Tuna

Volunteers and Video Conference

Last night I had a very fun experience. I had a 3 hour meeting with a bunch of cool people. Here’s the thing – it was all via Google Hangout (a free video conferencing tool). There were 7 of us on the conference in 4 locations.  What makes this more interesting to me is that the meeting was about and for Bethany Birches – a wilderness camp in a rural location. On top of that, the age range of people in the conference was 25-50.  I was surprised that it felt relatively easy to engage with each other and in the content of the meeting.

While this is a non-traditional way for a Christian, wilderness camp to operate, let’s think about some benefits:

  • 7 people representing 3 different states would have to travel a LOT to get together physically
  • That travel costs:
    • A lot of money (auto or plane expenses plus lost time at work)
    • A lot time (1 day instead of only 3 hours)
    • A lot of carbon (we still haven’t main-streamed travel without fossil fuel)
  • Everyone got to finish out the evening in a way they chose rather than driving home.

In short, I’d say it was a worth while way to have this meeting, even for a camp!

I love when an organization invites me to volunteer in a way that maximizes my time and includes me in the right part of a process.  I have a hard time when an organization invites me to  give my time before there is an effective way to use it or before there is clarity around the objective.

Our hope here at BBC is that everyone will consider volunteering here in some capacity and that we will find meaningful ways to plug you in.  It’s not too late to make plans to volunteer this summer!

Tuna

Occupancy Obtained! THANK YOU

It’s true. Occupancy for the Bethany Birches Cabin has been granted.  Here’s the proof, in fact.

This post is about the people who made it happen and what happened. THANK YOU!

What happened:

  • About a year ago we were informed we’d need to stop using the cabin April 1, 2012
  • The board and I struggled to find a way forward – including how to pay for the upgrades
  • Many people gave of their financial resource generously. Without these folks, we couldn’t have done it:  First Congregational Church of Woodstock, Doug and Becky Clemens, Dave and Beth Anders, Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, Bernard Sippin and many others.
  • $75,000 poured in over just a few months.
  • $65,000 has been spent and we’re done meeting the requirements! We expect to use the “extra” toward a few details in the cabin and any additional toward the upcoming Pavilion replacement.  Please do write to me (Brandon) if you’d prefer your gift to be allocated differently.
  • The fire marshals were kind and flexible and helped us create a building that is much safer in case of fire.

Some of the people: (THANK YOU)

  • Robert Buchan – helping with permitting and lending knowledge
  • Paul Derksen & Dave Beidler – carpenters working at a discount seeing the project through
  • Bergey’s Electric – giving materials and sending retired veterans
  • Harold & Esther Bergey, Herb & Janet Frederick – the retired vertans
  • Mike Bryan – overseeing the electrical at a discount
  • Many volunteers came to help
    • The Horsts (Earl, Merle, Mike & Clifford Horst)
    • Joanne & Ken Hershey
    • Leon Kratz
    • Andrew Moyer
    • Matt Haritoonian
    • Greg Jenne
    • Gerry Hawkes
    • Kristopher Blanchard
    • Scott Hepler
    • Dave Doria
    • Tom & Gail Smith
    • Mary Jane Crockett
    • Margaret Campbell
    • Diane Root

 THANK YOU!

Some pictures from the first first stage

Some pictures from the second stage:

 

How the lofts look upon completion:

Finished Cabin Lofts - Hannah Shelly (4)

Kumbaya

I understand Kumbaya means come by here.  Directing this at Jesus, we ask the Lord to come by here, where we are… to show up in our midst. We sang this at Polar Bear Snow Camp with the help of Scott Kratz. Here’s a recording from my phone:

Kumbaya

And a link to download it

5 Reasons to Join us for SNOW CAMP (from the campers)

Last weekend the cabin was bustling with Bobcat Campers. This weekend the cabin will be bustling with Polar Bear Campers. And next weekend the cabin will be bustling with Lynx Campers! Each weekend includes a great line up of snowy adventures on the tubing run and ice rink, unique BBC all camp winter activities, stellar staff and a theme to help us each understand how much God loves us. We asked a few Bobcat Campers what they liked most about snow camp and compiled their response into:

TOP 5 REASONS to come to SNOW CAMP (from a camper’s perspective):

1. The Tubing Run is AWESOME

2. Broomball Tournaments are fun!

3. Lots of Laughter

4. The Indoor Game Room (Air hockey, foosball, ping pong, etc)

5. Making Creations

There are many other reasons to come but you should join us on the hill to find out why! Lynx camp still has openings for any 4th – 8th grader. Register online here or email the camp office with questions: camp@bethanybirches.org

Click here to see a slideshow of Bobcat Camp Pics

Bobcat Campers enjoying the snow

Bobcat Campers enjoying the snow

Bobcat 2013 Slideshow

We had a great snow camp weekend with campers in grades 3-6. The weather was good. The tubing was good. The stove-sides were good.  A few pictures:

Summer 2013 Registration Open!

It’s true. It’s open. AND, you get a $50 discount for registering between now and next Friday at noon. An automatic discount that is. More details here.

If you already know your sessions and dates, just go ahead and sign up!

 

[button-medium color=”green” link=”bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/registration/”]Register Now[/button-medium]

[button-medium color=”green” link=”bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/session-highlights/”]Compare Sessions[/button-medium]

Summer Dates are Final!

Despite the snow on the ground and the fast approaching winter camps we are gearing up for another summer of fun, God, friends and nature. We’ve finalized the dates for SUMMER 2013, added a few programs to mix it up and will be ready to accept registrations NEXT Friday (Jan 18). Keep in mind, if you register within the first week of registration opening you’ll receive a $50 discount!

See the sessions and dates below and stay tuned for opening of registration, updates on new programs and the announcement of 2013 summer theme! Summer’s coming, are you?!

Pioneer – Ages 7-9; July 7-11
Pilgrim – Ages 9-11; June 23-28
Friendship – Ages 6-8; July 7-9
Voyager – Ages 10-12; June 30 – July 5
Voyager Extended – Ages 10-11; June 23 – July 5
Discoverer – Ages 11-13; July 14-19
Discoverer Extended – Ages 12 -13; July 14 – 26
Explorer – Ages 12 -14; July 21 – 26
Sojourner – Ages 14-18; July 28 – August 2

New to Summer 2013:

  • Mission Possible Week – Ages 11-14; August 4-8: It is exactly what it sounds like. A week where we play the favorite game Mission Impossible MORE THAN ONCE! This week is for returning campers who love the game, love camp and want to learn more about completing the mission that is LIFE. More details to follow.
  • W.O.W (week of work) – Ages 15-18; August 4-8: A week of work for any returning teen camper who wants to spend more time at BBC. Opportunities to help in various ways will abound along with plenty of time to hang out with friends and experience God in new ways through serving those around you. More details to follow.
  • Shortened Pioneer Session (ages 7-9)

There’s not better place to be during the summer than BBC! Hope to see you on the hill:)

Help on Sat. Dec. 8

Greetings!

This Saturday, December 8, we could use your help.  Here’s what’s going on:

  • Painting of the easiest kind – priming a brand new wall with nothing on it!
  • Installing a sub-floor in a basement
  • Putting the ice rink boards up if time and weather allow

If you can come, just reply in the comments and let me know your time-frame.  Even a couple hours will be helpful.

Tuna