Archive for the ‘Program News’ Category

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!

Inside Out: Death to Life

I know summer is getting closer when I start to see the summer theme everywhere I look. Easter weekend was an obvious display this summer’s theme: Inside Out. We celebrate the death of Jesus on Friday. This death then leads to life. It doesn’t make sense. Death is supposed to be the end of life, but in the Kingdom of God, death always leads to new life. Weird.

This theme of death leading to life is also present in the natural world around us. One of my favorite stops on the BBC nature trail was developed a few years ago by Katie “Scoop” Gehman and myself. We were walking along the nature trail and we saw this incredible pile of dirt. You see, the pile of dirt was actually the uprooting of a tree, but from our perspective you couldn’t tell, it just looked like a random, huge pile of dirt! We thought it was worthy of being a new post on the nature trail. However, the first time we took the staff on the revised nature trail, they knew immediately that the pile of dirt was an uprooted tree! (needless to say we were disappointed in their lack of amazement!) I walked the nature trail the other day. Currently, when you walk by this pile of dirt, you see new life springing from it. Grasses, ferns and moss all growing on the pile of dirt formed from the uprooted roots of the tree. The death of the tree is bringing new life to the forest.

As I reflect on various things in my life that are ending (or have ended) I look forward to the new life that lies ahead, including whatever Summer 2012 will bring!

Counselor Nye is comin’ back!

I just can’t wait to come back to BBC this summer! Working at camp last summer was probably one of the best experiences of my life, not to mention easily the best job that I have ever had.

I mean, what’s not to like? Running through the woods from “guards” with flashlights for Mission Impossible, doing elaborate team performances for the jump contest on Wet ‘n Wild Wednesdays, or just good old singing around a campfire and being in the woods with God. But, let’s not forget eating ice cream as fast as possible- with no hands, of course. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Week after week I would smile at the flood of new campers, mostly new faces. Well, this summer I will be seeing some new faces, but hopefully not as many. I hope I see some of my old campers again this summer, or just anyone who came in 2011. It was absolutely the best way to spend my summer in the woods.

But above all of the zany things that I did as a counselor, with others on the fantastic staff or even with you campers (enormous grease fires come to mind), what made this summer truly rewarding was the growth I found in my own connection with God. Time after time I hear people say that God is present on the Hill, and take it from someone who was there for a couple of months, the stories are true. I can’t wait for the spiritual growth to begin again and for the relationships that will grow between new and old friends.

So, this summer’s going to be a brand-new adventure for me, even though I’m coming back for another year. Who knows what wacky science experiments or activities I’ll think up next… Camp has truly become a place that feels like home to me, and I hope that you all will come be at home, or at least find out what I mean.

See you soon, I’m coming home!

-NYE

April Monthly Contact

Each month, I write an email to some of Bethany Birches’ supporters.  The topics and content vary.  I share from my heart in these emails, about things that have happened at camp that I just love! A lot of times, I highlight something that one of our campers or staff has written or done.  And, what would a note to supporters be without updates and sharing of needs?!  Expect that too.  Here’s April’s update.

You can subscribe to this update if you’d like right here.

The latest need:

Cheeks Finds Paris Like Camp

Cheeks to Paris… and it’s like camp!?

Last week this time I was walking the streets of Paris. It was excellent. It was great to be in a famous city on the other side of the world with REALLY GOOD FOOD, but even greater was the time I spent with my in–laws. Back in November Tuna’s mom (some of you know her as Mama Tuna) invited me and her 2 other daughter-in-laws to Paris. Just the 4 of us, no Bergey boys. We went overseas without our common thread: our husbands!

I was hesitant at first, traveling to another country is a big deal and I’ve heard you should be careful with whom you take on that adventure. But in talking with a friend, she said:

“Perfect! You’re mother in law is brilliant. There is nothing to do but bond in another country!”

And that is exactly what we did. I loved the streets of Paris and especially analyzing the streets of Paris with my newest family members. I loved the French cuisine and more than that, learning what my sister-in-laws loved. I loved trying to learn the French language, but I loved even more the acceptance of my mother-in-law and sister-in-laws as I butchered the words time and time again. As I was reflecting on this I was struck with the undeniable fact that this is what happens at camp.

Well, not exactly. We do not take campers to France. I don’t even think we have anything that could be considered French food at camp! What does happen at camp happened to me in Paris. People are in new environments. People are in situations where they can’t help but bond together as they explore new activity and relationship. Campers and staff alike explore new ideas, games and experiences together, in nature, and make memories. Campers bond with others who are experiencing new things. Veteran campers bond with rookie campers as they work together and each brings an experience.

As summer approaches and my time gets tight I’m reminded partly of the reason we do camp. Jesus taught through community and BBC does the same. Don’t miss the opportunity to bond with a community. Whether you come to BBC this summer (or next!) or head overseas with your in-laws, don’t miss the opportunity to share an experience with others in a different place. I believe it’s a taste of God’s kingdom here on Earth.

Cheeks

Free Camp!

These three events are free too... just like hugs

Free Camp!

What could be better than a week at Bethany Birches Camp this summer you ask? I say Free Camp!

No, this isn’t a chance to get a week of camp free, it’s a chance to get a few hours of camp free. Although, you can get $100 off your upcoming camp session this summer + multiples of $7 on top of that (see below).

Here’s the deal: For a few hours we’ll bring some of our staff to a town near you and do camp (if you live in VT or NH that is). We will:

  • Get messy (if you want) at our pig trough.
  • Play Full Contact Playdough Pictionary or Mission Impossible or Smugglers.
  • Watch video from last summer.
  • Hear stories of summer camp.
  • Eat snacks if the pig trough wasn’t enough.

Get Camp Cheap:

  1. GET $100 OFF SUMMER 2012 – Each eligible camper* that attends will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate good for BBC Summer 2012 program. One certificate will be given at the event.
  2. Any returning camper will be given a $7 discount for summer 2012 for EACH eligible never-ever** they bring along!

*will be in the age range 5-18 yrs. old this summer.
**never-ever camper is someone who’s never been to BBC for any program

No need to sign up, just show up! We’ll have info and forms on summer camp at the party as well.

FOR DATES AND TIMES – www.bethanybirches.org/freecamp 

Ski Okemo

To anyone in grades 9-12: join us this weekend at the Jan. Connect.  On Sat., Jan. 7 we will go skiing before heading back to camp for the rest of the weekend.  And get this – it’s only going to cost you $10!  Thanks to Neil and Hamish Dewar – the tickets are on them – thanks Dewar’s!  NOTE: $10 tickets limited to the first 10 campers.

So, if you’re coming to the Jan. Connect and you’d like to get some skiing in, let us know.  Email camp @ bethanybirches.org to get your name on the list.

Details

  • Register for the program and let us know you want to go skiing.  Add $10 to your payment.
  • If you already paid for the weekend, bring $10 with you.
  • You must have a parent-signed permission to participate along with you.
  • We’ll have two places and times for meeting:
  • Plymouth Country Store at 7:30am (store is on Rt. 100 and is closed now)… you’ll drop you stuff for the weekend off there and that stuff will be taken to camp… you’ll take your ski gear with you and go to the mountain
  • OR, meet at Okemo at 8am at the drop off area at the Clock Tower Base Area… 77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow, VT. There is an unloading area right next to the clock tower. This is the main area of Okemo.  You do NOT want to go to the Jackson Gore area. We will meet at this unloading area around 8am. Call Brandon at 802-432-8989 if you need help finding us.
  • Price – $10
  • Lunch – bring your own lunch or money for food – you’ll get dinner when you get back to camp.
Again, to get on the ski list, email or call (802-672-5220).  We’ll save a ticket for you!
Tuna

Wish List

Greetings.  Sometimes, supporters will ask what we hope for, what we need to do the work of Bethany Birches better.

Well, most of what we want isn’t what we need and most of what we need can’t be put on this list.  But, there are some tools and other things that will help us do our work better.  Some of these items will make our jobs easier.

If you are able to acquire, buy or otherwise gain for us, any of these things, we will be grateful! And, you can get tax benefit too.

THE LIST (right now)

  • Trail work – lots to do!
  • Benches for fireside sites – we need help on design and materials and install
  • Basketball court repair – $$
  • Large Generator – 15KW to 30KW – preferably PTO driven on 3 point hitch OR propane set in place
  • Pressure washer – ours broke
  • Tools – particularly ratchet set, wrenches, cordless drill
  • Paint brushes and other painting supplies
  • Ladders – step ladders 6′, 8′ or 10′ as well as extension ladders – 16’+
  • Wheel barrow (or two)
  • Logging/Farm winch for 3-point hitch attachment for a 30-40 horse tractor
  • Garden Hoses – flexible… rubber works best!
  • Large mower (52″ or 60″) – our 1970’s model Gravely is almost dead
  • Silage wrap – in large sheet (50×100) – for the ice rink!
  • Pond Beach Enlargement – Excavation services.  Eventually we need to dredge the pond also.
  • Director’s Residence – walkway from front porch to driveway
  • Volunteers during the summer