Since the last pavi update more progress has been made! A faithful supporter gave $9,000 toward kitchen equipment so we bought the convection ovens and slicer. Huge upgrades! You can see the updated pavilion project punch list below.
Here are the ovens being delivered:
And the ovens in place!
And the slicer:
And here is the punch list. You can compare this to the one from a report this past December to see progress made. Very exciting!
Franconia Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania partnered with BBC for the 5th winter in a row. For one weekend, their young adult group brought up a full volunteer staff of cooks, counselors, and shepherds. The counselors dedicated their whole weekend to engaging with campers, running fun events, and building community. The cooks brought up a large quantity of food that had been donated by their church. They served delicious meals like pancakes, lasagna, chili, and our famous baked oatmeal.
The whole group also worked together to lead our daily Fireside sessions. Their theme for the weekend was “Love”. Counselors shared at each session by talking about different things we love. Throughout the weekend campers worked to build small journals, each page containing a drawing based on the theme for different sessions. Night one we discussed the love of food so their pages contained plenty of hamburgers, french fries, pizza’s, etc. By the end of the weekend, kids had drawn pictures of objects, friends, and family members. To tie the whole weekend together kids learned about the love of God; a love that is similar to but greater than any of the other things drawn in their journals.
It’s always so awesome for me to see young adults willing to serve and love kids that many of them had never met before. It’s amazing to see their heart and passion for serving and is always such a blessing to the camp. We look forward to partnering with them again!
Just when you thought pavilion progress was over…2017 started off with pavilion door painting! A group of 8 Seniors (+ 2 adults) from Dock Mennonite Academy spent Jan 3 – 8 doing a lot of painting. The interior doors of the pavilion are clean and colorful thanks to their service.
Painting doors wasn’t their only accomplishment. The group of seniors prepared the mudroom to hang/stack/organize winter gear including skates and skis. Others in the group spent time repainting the floor and walls of the cabin basement. Now the basement of the cabin matches the new bathrooms upstairs. Both are shiny, clean and fresh! The group rounded out their week with various odds and end jobs and finished the week having some fun on the tube run and ice rink!
Why would a group of 8 seniors from PA come to BBC to paint, clean, sand and scrub? Dock Mennonite Academy requires each senior to participate in senior experience week. Seniors have the option to job shadow a professional in a field they have interest in or spend the week serving. We are thankful this group chose to spend the week helping at BBC.
The next time you’re in the cabin basement as a renter or snow camper or the next time you walk through the pavilion door as a parent, renter, camper, staff or volunteer you might be thankful for their work also!
We’re hoping to see some of them in the future while camp program is in session. In fact we hope the same for you! 2017 has opportunity for folks of all ages to experience BBC (including freshly painted doors). Check out summer and winter options. Hope to see you on the hill soon!
Greetings friends. Some of you are single. Some of you have six children. Some of you are newly married or recently divorced. Whatever your status with respect to your family, know that we are glad you’re part of the Bethany Birches family. The BBC family is one that you can choose to be a part of and we’re glad you have chosen to join this family and we look forward to the next time we’re together. Until then, have some grace with your biological and other chosen families. I believe many of our societies problems could be solved through united and loving families.
Reflecting on this recent election I realized that there are a whole bunch of folks in my American family whom I don’t understand. And I would like to understand them. Not to prove them wrong or to change their minds, but to connect and deepen my own understanding. This is a key to learning to love my neighbor. Or my brother/mom/uncle/aunt.
So why not use this Thanksgiving day as an opportunity to both enjoy your family and friends and to get to know someone a little deeper. Ask a question about his life. If she supports a political or religious perspective that you don’t understand (or even hate) why not ask her about it? How will his chosen candidate solve a problem that exists? Don’t react against what you see as off-base but rather listen deeply and thank your brother/sister/grandparent for sharing vulnerably. Consider sharing vulnerably yourself. I believe that everyone’s perspective and actions make sense given their unique inputs.
Here’s to courage and patience enough to love our families: Cheers.
I’ve been struck the last few days how much fun it is to bring friends to camp! This past week 2 volunteers who have been coming to camp for the past 18+ years brought two friends to camp. Each of them contributed to help the 2nd floor of the pavilion progress.
Merle Horst and Dave Mussleman are part of the Musser Woodcutting crew. This crew of guys have been cutting the camp’s wood for the last 18+ years. A few weeks ago I sent an email to Merle to see if he could round up some able volunteers to help us finish the 2nd floor of the pavilion. Dave was available and so were 2 friends – Lester and Will.
Thanks to Merle and Dave inviting friends a lot MORE was accomplished in 2 and a half days on the top floor of the pavilion. Beautiful barn doors, trim, wainscot caps, shelves were among their projects. Not to mention everyone seemed to have a lot of fun! Community building happens among campers, volunteers, staff and whoever finds themselves on the hill. Camp is always more fun with friends!
If you’re a camper family – consider inviting at least 1 new friend to BBC this summer! If you’re a volunteer – consider inviting a friend who’s never been to camp to join you the next time you’re on the hill!
The words of Jesus came alive again this week at BBC. But this time, the example isn’t from the hill. It’s from Franconia, PA. Two of BBC’s youngest volunteers were helping to stuff mailboxes with the latest news from BBC. Karly (age 1) and Cameron (age 5) are pictured here. These two ladies counted and stuffed with the best of them, led by their mom, Kari Landis.
In 3 of the gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) Jesus encourages children to be with him despite the indignation from the adults around him. While we can’t point children towards Jesus in the flesh we can point them towards ways of being like him. Service is one of the ways we can encourage kids to be like Jesus and hopefully experience him.
BBC has opportunities for all ages to serve. Check out the volunteer page of the website for more details or join us at the next pavilion work day, Feb 6th. More details to follow.
Matthew 25:34 reads: ‘When I was in prison you visited me, when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was stuck on Lynds Hill Road, you pulled me out…’
Actually that last phrase isn’t in the Bible. But the phrase does describe how the Bible came alive last week at Bethany Birches Camp.
I was getting ready to feed Susie when I heard a knock on the sliding door (a common mission impossible destination for many – knocks are not uncommon!). A man I did not know stood outside our door, looking cold and tired. I opened the door a crack.
“Hello, can I help you?”
“Uh, yea,” the man replied. “I’m from VTEL, I’m stuck down the road. Could I use your phone to call a tow truck?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, you may use the phone, come on in.”
“Do you have the number for a local towing company?” The stranger asks sheepishly.
“Uh, sir, you’re in Plymouth, VT. the middle of nowhere. Nothing is local… Let me call my husband at the camp up the road, he’ll know who to call.”
” Oh, just up the road, I can walk up there.”
And after a bit more conversation the cold, tired man trudges up the road towards camp.
About 15 min later, I see Chick on the tractor and Tuna and the stranger in our car driving down the road.
15 min later I see the tractor, the car and a mini van come up the road. The stranger gets out and gives Tuna a hug. The man gave Chick the certificate pictured here.
He wasn’t naked, hungry or in prison. He was stuck. And Chick and Tuna helped him get unstuck.
The words of Jesus continue to come alive at Bethany Birches Camp. Join us on the hill (work days, winter camp, summer camp, volunteering) to experience Jesus for yourself.
For the third straight summer Benji will be behind the camp camera! If you’ve seen any BBC Videos over the past 2 summers you know we are fortunate to have her back. Since last summer she’s spent a semester in LA, taken plenty of selfies, graduated from Gordon College and is still psyched to be back at camp. Read on for more details on why she’s glad to be here and why you should come join her!
“Rahn (aka Benji) is BACK for a third summer! I am SO excited for…everything! Building fires, playing games, swimming in the pond, eating baked oatmeal, hanging out with cabins, and making videos! Oh, and avoiding the mudpit 🙂 I’m also excited to learn more about God (God is everywhere here!), and share about God with all the campers. Speaking of campers…I am most excited for campers to get here!! Camp is waaaay more fun when you guys are here- three weeks can’t go by fast enough!”
For the first time in a decade someone other than Cheeks will hold the role of BBC Program Director. While Cheeks is learning how to take care of a newborn, Dan will be leading the BBC Summer Program. Both people are excited for the summer ahead of them. Read on to find out more about Dan and why he’s excited to be at BBC this summer:
“The Lord’s hand was clear in guiding me to this place. After spending months looking for jobs at a camp, the Lord brought me on a trip from Pennsylvania to Virginia where I heard about this job in Vermont. I’ve been on site for just a few days now and have already fallen in love with the camp; the rustic atmosphere, my loving and godly co-workers, and of course the gaga pit! I’ve already sat down with Cheeks and done some major planning for this summer, and let me say, it’s going to be AWESOME! I’m so excited to present some amazing new games and activities that I’ve learned at my other camps, while bringing back some classic BBC camp games!”
Dan has a host of experience in camping. He spent the last 6+ summers working at camps and he grew up at camp. He recently graduated from Cairn University with a double major in Bible and Music Education. He’s been at BBC since Wednesday and already he’s seen most of camp, eaten at Ramunto’s and played games with Nanuk. COME JOIN US on the hill this summer to meet him in person and find out his camp name!