Archive for the ‘Program News’ Category

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

The Return of Sparkles!

Sparkles is coming back as Program Extraordinaire for summer 2012. Read on to find out why she’s returning and who/what she’s bringing with her!

Dear campers,

I’m coming back for another summer because I love camp!

Sparkles at the Coop Course

I love camp because it is a place where I found myself and felt accepted. It is a place that God opened himself to me in a way that I could feel. I love singing praise songs as much as I love singing silly songs.

When I first arrive at camp there is an anticipation of all the fun that’s going to happen: swimming, slip n slide, group games, crafts, sleeping out, and the list goes on and on. Along the way these amazing friendships begin to form. It is these relationships that last throughout the year and keep me coming back.

I keep returning to camp to have the chance to see old friends as well as create new ones. It’s a community of people that all work together. I cannot wait for this summer to meet many new faces and grow into a tightly knit opened armed extension of God’s love.

Some may remember the infamous Dew the Bear, well he is coming back too, and he is going to be bringing his friend Dew the Hippopotamus. I invite and encourage you to return to camp and bring a new friend as well! See Dew, meet his new friend and experience a piece of, in my opinion, the best place on earth.

See you this summer!
Sparkles

Email about Free Camps – Discounts

About a week ago I sent an email to many camper families.  It was all about Free Camps (there’s still two more to happen this coming Sunday)!  I thought I’d post the email series here for anyone who missed the info… here’s the second one:

——————————————-

To the parents of Camper:

Greetings again!

I didn’t mention it in my last email, but there are lots of ways to save oncamp.  We make it so because one of our mission priorities is to makecamp super affordable!  One way to save is by coming to the upcomingFree Camps.  In short, we’re giving a $100 voucher at each Free Campevent (so 3 in total).  Each person that comes will get one ticket to be entered in the drawing.  The drawing will be done at the event. If you win, summer camp costs $100 less for you this year!

Also, you can save by bringing never-ever’s to the party with you.  Never-ever’s are campers that haven’t been to a BBC program before.  You’ll receive a $7 discount for each never-ever you bring with you that is camp-age (between 6-17).

Additional details on the discounts being offered through Free Camp here –www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp

A few other ways to save on camp this summer:

1.      Sign up for the BBC Blog – you’ll get a $10 discount when you send us the code you get from signing up.  You can sign up here –http://www.bethanybirches.org/blog/blog-subscription/

2.      If one child comes to more than one session or you send more than one child, you get discounts. You can select them when you register (register online here – bethanybirches.org/summer-camp-application-form)

3.      Apply for Kids to Camp money (scholarship) here –http://www.bethanybirches.org/scholarship-request-form. You will qualify if your child gets free lunch or reduced-price lunch.  Other discounts will not be honored if you receive Kids to Camp money (because we give lots of it to those that qualify).

Hope to see you this weekend in Rutland or the following in Taftsville or Ascutney!

Tuna

(Brandon)

p.s. Here are the dates again

THIS SUNDAY: April 22, 2012: 2-4pm

Rutland, VT

Grace Church, 8 Court Street, in the youth center

 

April 29, 2012: 1-3pm

Woodstock, VT

@ Taftsville Chapel, Happy Valley Rd. just off Rt. 4 across from the Taftsville Bridge, in the sanctuary

 

April 29, 2012: 5-7pm

Ascutney, VT

Ascutney Union Church, from intersection of Rte. 5 and Rte. 131 go north approx. 1/10 mile. Church is on the right.

PIZZA DINNER INCLUDED!

You’re welcome to RSVP to this email.  If you decide last minute to come, just come on out!

Email about Free Camps – special invitation

About a week and a half ago I sent an email to many camper families.  It was all about Free Camps (there’s still two more to happen this coming Sunday)!  I thought I’s post the email series here for anyone who missed the info… here’s the first one:

————–

To the parents of Camper:

I hope this finds you well.

I’m writing to invite you to an event that is happening near you.  We call it free camp.  It’s two hours of camp

with some of our favorite indoor activities, food and fun.

 

I’ll be there with some staff and volunteers and we’ll be talking about summer 2012.

There are lots of details about Free Camp on the website:http://www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp.

This is also a great chance to share camp with your friends – feel free to forward this to them.

 

Will you and your family join us?  I would love if you come to one of these parties and send your camper(s)

to camp this summer!

 

Here are the dates and locations:

THIS SUNDAY: April 22, 2012: 2-4pm

Rutland, VT

Grace Church, 8 Court Street, in the youth center

 

April 29, 2012: 1-3pm

Woodstock, VT

@ Taftsville Chapel, Happy Valley Rd. just off Rt. 4 across from the Taftsville Bridge, in the sanctuary

 

April 29, 2012: 5-7pm

Ascutney, VT

Ascutney Union Church, from intersection of Rte. 5 and Rte. 131 go north approx. 1/10 mile. Church is on the right.

PIZZA DINNER INCLUDED!

 

Kids Need Summer Camp

Kids need summer camp

“America needs to send all of these kids to camp this summer before this generation loses the values that have driven our country since the beginning,” says author Marc Joseph, CEO and founder of DollarDays International Inc. In a Huffington Post blog entry, Joseph points out that Generation Z (children born since the late 1990s), has never known life before Internet and online connections. Many of these children communicate by text messages more than talking; they spend little time outdoors and have a very different worldview than the generation before them.

Joseph urges parents: “We need to get these kids out playing and communicating and winning and losing so they can take our place in getting this country back to leading the world in economic and ethical ways. Help send these kids to camp this summer.”

You can read the entire article here.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com

Inside Out: Like a Child

Cheeks and Katelyn, BBC Fall 2011

It’s amazing what you find when you look for it! More themes of inside out continue to run through every day life.Last weekend I found a sampling of the inside out theme in Pennsylvania. Tuna and I made a quick trip south for a bridal shower for my soon to be sister in law. We had a great time catching up with family, hearing the latest news and telling lots of people about the latest happenings at BBC!

My favorite part of the weekend was sitting next to my almost 5 year old niece in church on Sunday morning. After the service it dawned on me yet again why God calls us to be like children. It doesn’t make sense. We spend our entire lives growing out of our childhood and yet Jesus states that we should become like little children. On Sunday, sitting next to my niece who was learning how to sit like a 5 yr old in church (Butt on the bench or feet on the floor), I was reminded again why Jesus values children:

She was quietly coloring for most of the service. It seemed like she was paying zero attention to the message the pastor was sharing. But every so often she’d look up at me and ask something related to what the pastor was saying. “What’s doubt?” The pastor had just mentioned Thomas’s doubt. So I tried to whisper an answer she’d understand and she went back to coloring. A few minutes later she looked up at me and said “what’s the least?” The pastor had just mentioned how God was always using “the least.” Again, I tried to put myself in her shoes and give an answer that would make sense.  A few minutes later she asked, “Did anyone else die on a cross?” So I told her that other people had been punished that way. She responded with, “Did they come back to life?” I just shook my head. After looking at me for a few moments she went back to coloring.

All the questions. All the inquiries. Asking about whatever we hear. I believe God wants us to do more question asking and more clarifying. Jesus invites us to spend more time with children and be like them. It doesn’t make sense for us to be more like children or to accept children the same way we do adults. But after hanging out with a 5 year old in church, I’m reminded yet again of the goodness of a young spirit and am excited to spend time with kids all summer long!