Greetings from BBC! We’ve had a couple of snow falls already so we are full speed ahead to snow camps!
Can you help us with snow camps? Cooking continues to be one of the biggest challenges to running snow camps. Last year it was a big help to the volunteer cooks to pull frozen meals out of the freezer and pop in the oven. We’d like to do that again this year.
This is where YOU can help: Below is a list of seemingly kid friendly meals that could be frozen until snow camps. Make as many of each or choose from a couple. If you have additional ideas for freezer meals, by all means, let me know and cook away, keeping in mind that we like to have the same thing for everyone at meals. So if we find ourselves with one exotic casserole, we may save it for a staff/volunteer celebration dinner:)
The freezers are on now! You can help at winter camps anytime from now till January! Drop meals off at camp anytime between now and Jan 8th. We’re here most days at least from 10-5. If we’re not here, the freezer is in the basement of the cabin, right outside the office. If you’re at Bethany Mennonite Church on a Sunday morning, please feel free to hand off the meal to me there as well!
Don’t let distance keep you from contributing. We’re frequent travelers of Rt 4 so if you want to meet somewhere on Rt 4, just give a call to set something up. If you’re in the SE PA area, you can drop meals off at Rich and Lucy Landis’ home and I’ll pick them up next time we’re in the area (Dec and Jan; Call 802-672-5220 for directions/details.).
Thanks in advance for your help and support! Amber Bergey
Potential Freezer Needs
Lasagnas/Baked Ziti Mac & Cheese Chicken Corn Casserole MeatLoaf Stromboli/Pizza Enchilada Casserole Shepherd’s Pie Meatballs
This past week for the first time ever another counselor and I led a photography interest group! I had no idea how it was going to work going in or if the cameras the camp provided were even functional. However, between me and Betin’s nice SLR’S rotating amongst the group the campers were able to take some decent shots. In fact, even the photos taken with the ancient cameras came out pretty well. Overall, I cannot explain how impressed I was with each camper’s photography skills. I was feeling sick that day, but after having the opportunity to share this passion of mine and watching the campers receive so much joy from it, I felt revived. I think expressing themselves in this way -by taking photos of other interest groups and God’s creation (both nature and people) was not only joy giving, but therapeutic. Then through this slide show I put together they were able to share their creative works with the rest of camp and show us all a bit of BBC through their eyes. Seeing how they had decided to capture their subjects gave me inspiration and a new perspective on my job.
I am filled with excitment just thinking about all the talent I observed this week in everything from sports (some mad GaGa and basketball skills) to art and all the wonderful ways God is going to use his children’s gifts.
It’s hard to find real people. People who will be open enough to expose their real thoughts and feelings, and safe enough to listen to yours. I’ve had a lot of friends, and I would have a lot of fun with them … but fun is just one aspect of life, and often times I would leave craving something more. Something deeper.
What I loved most about camp was that it wasn’t just a place for fun, but a place to be real. I was able to hang out with people who would do crazy, awesome, fun things, and then turn around and have a serious, deep conversation. I was able to share and listen as we opened up and exposed what we really thought and felt, who we really were. And connecting at a level like that, just made the fun times so much more amazing!
My prayer for this summer is that camp would once again be a safe place for people to come and be real. That both the staff and kids would be open to sharing and listening, and that through it all they would help each other grow. Grow closer to each other, closer to God, and closer to the wonderful person God created them to be.
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.
But 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!
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:
“…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.