Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Counselor Bobbi coming back for 2011

So last summer I landed a job at this really cool place that grew to become my home for 8 weeks.  Even on a hundred acres of beauty, it didn’t take long to become familiar with the layout.  I traversed creeks and hills and did nature scavenger hunts and slept out in a tree-house and swam in a pond and played in a mud pit.  I slept safely in a shelter with the sounds of crickets lulling me to sleep every night.  And I got to know some wonderful people who would become like family to me.  New kids would come every week – each one of them bringing something special to the group of girls I was responsible for having fun with (not usually a hard task).  We laughed together, cried together, smeared paint and shaving cream on each other and washed paint and shaving cream OFF of each other, swam in the pond together, cooked meals over the fire together, and got to know other groups of kids together.

Bobbi PictureBut you know what the coolest thing is about this place I worked at?  Jesus is there.  Now I know Jesus is everywhere and that’s one of the things I love most about Him.  But Jesus is very present, active, and moving at this place.  I could see Him in the activities we did.  I could see Him in the smiles of the kids as they accomplished things they did not know they were capable of.  I could see Him in the learning that took place.  I could see Jesus every day in a thousand different ways.  And that is what made this place so alive and inviting and fun!  We serve an awesome God and when we worship Him together, well, a summer can’t get much better than that!

Welcome to Bethany Birches Camp!  Get ready to join the fun!

Bobbi

Many Fall Away From Church

I was out to dinner last night with some friends.  We were discussing, in part, a book by Author and Pastor Rob Bell. It’s called Love Wins. In it, he argues that God is indeed love and that we often fail to understand the expansiveness of that love. He looks at the Bible as a whole and discovers that our ideas of Heaven and Hell in American Christianity aren’t exactly a picture that the Scriptures paint.  As we talked, it seemed that each of us who grew up in the church had a significant falling away from Christianity at some point in our lives. More than half at the table are currently distant from Christianity. We all very much appreciate Jesus and uphold his teachings.  But, some of us haven’t found a deep connection to the religious tradition that followed the death of The Christ.  Here’s an excerpt from a blog post from Christian Camp and Conference Association on this very topic:

http://cccapresident.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/fostering-sticky-faith/

—————-

“…First, Kara mentioned that in her research with 500 teens, the kids were asked to define Christianity. One in three youth did not mention Jesus in their definitions – and these were church kids who were active in youth groups across the country.

Kara also mentioned that in her studies, 40 percent of committed Christian high school kids walked away from their faith in their first year of college. The number struck home when Kara said something like: “So picture five great high school kids you know right now; then draw a red ‘X’ through two of them, because they are not going to hold onto their faith as they go through college.”

Why is that? One of the reasons Kara and her team believe kids walk away from their faith is that it isn’t deep, isn’t “sticky.”

She talked about Dallas Willard’s concept of a “Gospel of sin management” that replaces a real, vibrant relationship with Jesus, and instead presenting a list of do’s and don’ts, because that’s the easiest thing for parents and youth leaders to identify, to discuss and teach….”

————————-

Our mission is to help youth develop their relationship with God. This is a larger commitment than one week of summer camp. That’s the main reason we’re developing winter program.  As we, the community of BBC, gather more, it becomes more possible to encourage each other along this road of following Jesus.  Two of the key items we pack in our bags along this road is honesty and openness.  I believe kids veer away from the church because they aren’t encouraged to express their views and share what they’re learning.  When they do, they are sometimes met with answers rather than a listening ear and a desire to understand.

Here’s to trusting in a God that will honor our questions and concerns and use them to draw us nearer to himself.

Brandon

Facebook Landing Page Video for Bethany Birches Camp

Well this is just silly (the video, I mean). But it says something, right?

This video (below) will be live on our Facebook Landing page this week. If you haven’t been to our page, you can see it here. You don’t even need to be a Facebook user.

The goal of the video is to quickly show new visitors a bit of camp. The hoped for result is that they would be interested enough to learn more. Do you think this does those three things?

– Tuna

Aglow: Summer 2011

This summer we’re exploring Fire?. What does it teach us about our Creator?