Archive for the ‘Program News’ Category

Boating on the ice!

We didn’t take the dock out until nearly thanksgiving! Here’s how that went:

Introducing: Kelsey Zimmerman (Camp name TBD)

Kelsey is new to Bethany Birches but NOT new to being at a camp! Read on to find out more:

I am so excited for camp to begin this summer! My name is Kelsey and I live in town called New Holland in Lancaster County, PA. I am a junior at Eastern University and am studying Early Childhood Education. I have never been to Bethany Birches before this summer, but I went to a similar camp near my home many times over the years. Camp has always been a wonderful experience for me and I am sure that this year at Bethany Birches will be just as great! I am very excited to get to know my fellow staff members and all of the campers that I will have the privilege of meeting this summer. I am still friends with many people that I have met at camp years ago and am looking forward to building new friendships like these. Some of my favorite memories have been made at camp and I know that many more will be made this summer. I can’t wait to begin all of the swimming, hiking, games and other fun adventures that this summer will be filled with! I am also very excited to have the opportunity to learn and grow in my relationship with the Lord alongside everyone at camp. Camp is always a great place to see the amazing ways that God is working in your life and discover new ways to get to know him.Being a camp counselor is something that I have always wanted to do since I was a young child and I feel very blessed to have the chance to do so this summer! I hope you will be able to join me and the rest of the Bethany Birches staff this summer!

See you soon!

Kelsey

Kelsey Zimmerman

Introducing Amelia DiSabito (camp name TBD)

After hearing from some of the returning counselors earlier this spring, I thought it’d be fun to introduce a few of the first time staff members joining us this summer:

Amelia DiSabito is originally from Vermont but currently attends college in Florida. She found out about BBC through her brother James and friend Daniel “Dapper Dan” Appelt. Read on for more about Amelia and what she’s looking forward to this summer:

Hey everyone!

Because this is my first summer at BBC  I don’t have tons of tales to tell about camp, except for the wild stories my younger brother (James) shared after he got home from one crazy week at BBC.  I can’t wait to let the games begin and see all the campers having a blast! I grew up on tag, capture the flag and kickball. I love to kayak, rock climb, walk around in the woods, and eat Spaghettios! After being away at school for the year I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to come home to the most beautiful place ever, Vermont! To spend a whole summer praising God for His wonderful creation is such a blessing. On top of that, I look forward to learning to serve those around me better and to love others with the same love that God has for us.  Hope to see you this summer!

Come meet Amelia this summer!

Welcome Amelia!

Fire Marshal and Cabin Update

We’ve been hard at work!  So many volunteers have lent a hand as well as paid help.  Paul Derksen of Turning Leaf Houserights

Paul working on exit stair from loft

has been running the construction side of the project and putting paid and volunteer labor to work.  Mike Bryan (electrician) has been working with Harold Bergey and Herb Frederick of Bergey’s Electric to get the necessary electrical work done and Jim at Royal Alarms has been making things happen on the fire alarm side!  We’ve had so many helpers to date and it’s so encouraging.  When this project is finished, we’ll list all those involved.

Something amazing – the giving toward this project.  We’ve had two gifts of $20,000!  Thanks so much to Doug and Becky Clemens and also the First Congregational Church of Woodstock.   It’s just amazing how God moves through people to accomplish things.  Many have given besides these two very large gifts.  We’re so thankful we can keep moving, buying materials and getting everything in place because of this financial support.  And on top of that, Goodro Lumber is giving through a 15% discount on materials and A.M. Goshow and Son supplied the windows for the project.  Robert Buchan Architect has given quite a discounted rate on services.

Pray with us that we’ll be ready for a final inspection by the week of June 11 and that we’ll have necessary lodging for staff and volunteers this summer.  Pray also for wisdom! We want to make good choices about the Bethany Birches facility – choices that will be cost effective but durable and long-lasting.  Choices that will serve the program of the camp extremely well and allow us to continue to create a facility that accomplishes the unique mission God has given to Bethany Birches.

Thanks be to God for all the wonderful people who are coming together to help make this building safer!

And no matter what happens in the cabin, summer 2012 is on and only three weeks away!

Tuna

Leon working on the exit from the loft

Exploring Jesus Through the Theme: Inside Out


The sky is the limit. The possibilities are endless. With 100 acres of wilderness and a week’s time the options for activities, discussion, events and experiences at camp are endless. The limitless options can sometimes make planning a summer camp program overwhelming! How does one choose what to do, what to talk about and what to focus on? Over the last 8 years our answer to this question has been THEMES!
Wet N Wild Wednesday; Messy Monday; Tidy UP Tuesday; Theater Thursday and Fun Filled, Fire Free, Favorites, Farewell Friday. Each day has a theme and this helps us stay focused in this ADHD day-in-age and gives campers something to look forward to.

Themes also help us in our mission to help young people develop their relationship with God. Each summer has an overarching theme that gives counselors and shepherds a platform for sharing about God’s love and the life of Jesus with campers. The hope is that campers will relate to and remember their experience with God more readily.

Inside Out is the theme for 2012. After using highly specific nature themes for the past few years (Out on  a Limb (Trees); Rock Solid (Rocks); Aglow (Fire); H2O (Water); etc) the theme Inside Out will focus on how God’s Kingdom AND the natural world around us often seem inside out from what might be expected. With the beatitudes as our guide (Matthew 5) campers will examine the life and teachings of Jesus.  How did Jesus live differently from the world around him? Why would people live differently than the status quo? How does a tall tree grow from a small seed? How can life come from death?  What does a life following Jesus look like? These are some of the questions campers and counselors will ask together this summer. Can’t wait!

Cheeks (Amber Bergey)

Inside Out: Beauty from Rain

I love the sun! For a few days in April I got to experience plenty of sun. The weather at camp was warm, sunny and felt like summer! I was ready to invite campers to the hill and get camp rolling. When the sun is out I want the hill to be full of youth and staff running around outside enjoying the wilderness. When the sun is shining and temperatures are above 65 I can think of nothing I’d rather do than roam around 100 acres exploring the wilderness with others.

Then came the rains. The past few weeks have been damp, rainy and cool. My shoes get wet each time I go outside. My body gets chilled when I have to get something from the pavilion or the craft hut. I have nightmares of campers who run out of socks. The more it rains the more I frantically search for indoor pavilion activities. A counselor who worked here in 2004, 2005, and 2006 told me she just recently stopped having nightmares about camp in the rain!

Camp in the rain can be fun, but I prefer the sunny skies. Dampness at camp is easily cured by a warm fire, but I prefer warmth from the sun. One of our former staff/campers recalls her favorite memories of BBC during rainy days in the pavilion. Campers don’t always notice the rain. I do.

Last week as I sulked about the rainy days and lack of sun I noticed the grass turning a darker, luscious shade of green. I noticed the flowers by the steps of camp shooting higher out of the ground. The rhubarb in the garden is much closer to picking! I remembered a counselor who took her campers puddle jumping. I appreciated the warmth of the woodstove. I enjoyed the sound of the rain dripping off the trees.

The rain brings the beauty. I like the sun much more than the rain. I like the beauty surrounding me most. I wouldn’t really like a world without rain. So much beauty would be missing. It’s inside out. What we don’t like brings the beauty we do!

Rain coming off the Pavilion

Fire Marshal Update: Call for help

It’s been about two months since the fire marshal’s visit. We continue to be thankful for the way their office is working with us and helping to make the building safer.

Here’s what’s happening this month (May):

  • Electricians are working on the smoke detection system
  • Egress windows being installed
  • Cutting trees for a neighbor to earn cash for the project ($5000!)
  • Stairways being upgraded (smoke proofed)
  • Exit from loft constructed
  • LOTS OF CLEANING afterward!
Will you join us?  Here are some ways to help:
  • Carpentry, building trades – May 21-June1.  We need at least 2 volunteers each day.
  • Cleaning – we’ll need help with this from June 4-8
  • Cooking – particularly things that can be frozen.  Baked goods too. We need some lunches for people working the last two weeks of May.
You can let us know when you’re available and what you can give by filling this form out.  Again, here are the dates:
May 12:                    Spring Workday – come one, come all!
May 21 – June 1: Carpentry and building help
June 4 – June 8: Cleanup and prep for summer

Cabin Help

As you know, the cabin needs help so we can use it this summer! If you can help, let us know by filling out this form.
  • We will communicate with you this way
  • If you are giving carpentry/building labor, which trades/skills do you have? If food or baked goods, what do you plan to make and how much?
  • Please list the dates you intend to come to work. We will assume a full day unless you specify half day
    If no, select other and let us know how we can get it from you (if you live far, we may not be able to come get it).
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Once we hit June, we hope to have occupancy.  We expect to begin a small addition project that will finish the requirements for the building.  But, because of time, we need to postpone that till August and the fire marshal has been gracious in helping us get a timeline that works.

Join me in praying and hoping for a fun-filled, safe, eternally impacting summer!

Tuna

Counselor Quinzy is Returning!

Hey Guys!

Quinzy playing Messy Twister

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be coming back for this summer!  Between all the fun activities and just spending time getting to know the campers, camp is without a doubt, the best place to spend a summer.  Year after year I return to camp and it just gets better and better!  Meeting new campers and seeing the familiar faces of old campers is one of the most exciting things for me because I remember how much fun BBC was when I was your age.  Camp has something for everyone and people of all ages.  We play games, do arts and crafts, theater, and archery.  We also have an entire day dedicated to getting messy and an entire one dedicated to the water!  And that is just the beginning!

With all of the games and other things aside, the best experience at camp, hands down, is building a relationship with God.  Camp has always been a place where I could feel God and I’m hoping you guys will be able to feel him too here.   I hope those of you who have been here before continue to learn new things about God and Jesus and grow with them (as I do when I am there).   I also hope that people who have never heard about God or don’t know about the story of Jesus get to see how great our God truly is, and that everyone can see God’s love through others around them.

If you like eating delicious food over a campfire, singing and dancing, playing games, swimming in the pond, meeting awesome people, and just plain old being ridiculous, camp is for you.  The relationships you build here, with others and with God, will continue with you for the rest of your lives.

I hope to see you there!

-Quinzy