Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

Summer Staff Sighting: From Camp Counselor to Veterinarian

Quinzy at Camp10 years ago she was known as a camper.

7 years ago she was a rock star intern.

5 years ago she was a solid staff member.

The last 3 years she’s been our competent life guard trainer.

Right now she’s on her way to becoming a veterinarian at St George’s University in Grenada.

Quincy started to coming to camp at a young age. She completed the BBC internship in 2010 to fast track her to BBC staff as a 17 year old assistant counselor in 2011 and returned as a counselor in 2012 and 2013. She’s also been back to volunteer numerous times since being on staff. Quincy is a top quality person and we are thankful for her service to the youth of VT. We have great confidence she will provide wonderful care to animals just as she did to campers. And if she’s back in the area and a camp pet is sick, we’ll know just who to call.

Can’t wait till we see you on the hill again Quincy!

quinzy-blog

Work Day Recap – Thanks to All!

Snow covered the ground. The temp was rainy and cool. People were few. A lovely day had by all. All good descriptions of Sat Oct 29th at BBC.

A group of 12 folks worked at getting the grounds ready for winter and tearing out the cabin bathrooms. The volunteers who braved the blustery weather took down tarps at shelters, put away picnic tables, stacked wood, set up sand barrels, cleaned up the garden and disassembled the volleyball net and nine square in the air. The volunteers inside tore apart the cabin bathrooms. In Larry Derstine’s words, “I don’t really like bathroom renovations.”  Well I don’t either but they were in sore need of help.

I was outside a lot of the day. At first I was slightly discouraged by the weather but when I saw Nick Champine’s look of sheer glee as he rode around the gator with Dan “Chick” Laubach I felt much better. A little later Caitlyn “Judith” Laubach and I and enjoyed laughing about cleaning up the garden while it was under snow. I was struck with the odd contentment that accompanies serving alongside others. I got to know people better, help the camp and enjoy yummy lunch with all who were present. I’m reminded Jesus doesn’t encourage us to serve as another set of rules to follow but as a way to experience contentment that is otherwise hard to find.

Volunteers joining us on work days is also what allows BBC to keep costs low for campers. It’s a win-win!

Stay tuned for details for other service opportunities at camp (and if you want to come up now, we’re still working on the bathrooms)!

Cheeks.

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Pavilion Progress Continues – Can you help?!

Happy December from BBC!

Work on the pavilion continues!  We hope to have the 2nd floor of the pavilion completed and usable by April of 2016. The 2nd floor includes office space, a large meeting room, the nurses station, etc. We’re hoping to utilize as much volunteer labor as possible. Can you help? See the details below and write to amber@bethanybirches.org or call the camp office at 802-672-5220 to let us know if you can help!
Join us on Saturday, Dec 12. The work will start at 9am with lunch at noon and continue until 3ish. Snacks, coffee and treats available throughout the day. All work will be inside!

Come for all of the day or come for an hour but PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU CAN COME. This will help Phil Wilkerson plan what work can be done.
Contact amber@bethanybirches.org or call the camp office 802-672-5220 to let us know you plan to join.
If you can’t come on the 12th keep your eyes pealed for the next pavi work day in early January.
If you’ve got a couple days you’d like to give or a group of people who’d like to help let us know. There is plenty to do in the hopes we can have the top floor finished by April.
Thanks for your ongoing support. For an up to date report on the pavilion progress check out this link: http://www.bethanybirches.org/mission-possible/
Thanks for your help!
Volunteers have already begun working on the 2nd floor

Volunteers have already begun working on the 2nd floor

LarryDerstine FBPavilion profile shot

 

 

Pavi Construction Update April 1-30

What a month! The pavi has been transformed from a partly finished shell to an almost summer-ready building…well, parts of it.

Progress could not be made without the help of so many volunteers! People have come from far (PA) and close (Lynds Hill Road) to help get the pavi ready for Summer 2015.

Progress also could not be made without the daily efforts of the Jenne Construction Crew. We’re thankful they braved the mud season & cold spring temps to keep moving the pavilion closer to finished!

Despite all the progress that’s been made during the month of April there remains quite a ways to go! Do you have anytime during the month of May to join us in getting the pavilion ready for summer? Email us or call the office to let us know when you can come. If you can’t come to help in May be sure to join us this summer! Bring a camper or come volunteer!

Read on for a recap of pavi work throughout the last month.  Click the link to see Pavilion Progress Pics and the people who have been doing the work.

Pavi Construction Update week of April 6
Another exciting week at BBC! A group of 13 are here from Salford Mennonite Church (Harleysville, PA). In one day (Tues) they’ve put decking on the porch roofs, started shingling, aided Harold Bergey with the electrical progress in the kitchen and continue to prepare the downstairs for insulation and sheet rock.  The crew of Jenne Construction continues to steadily move the pavilion towards completion. Pray for good roofing weather this week as many hands make the work light!

 

Pavi Construction Update: Week of April 13

There continues to be lots of action on the hill this week to move the pavilion towards a certificate of occupancy by June 1! Inside the building a team of electricians are finishing up the rough wiring and spending time on a lift to prepare the high pavi ceilings for lights. Many thanks to Harold Bergey who’s here for the third straight week and his posse of volunteers: Will Bergey, Marlin Bergey and Neil Bergey from Bergey’s Electric (Hatfield, PA). Andy Bird (Bridgewater, VT) has been volunteering his VT Masters license all week too! Roy Snell (Woodstock, VT) Ken Hershey and Larry Derstine (Bridgewater, VT) have spent 2 days shingling and siding. Nancy and Russell Pejouhy and Jeremy Ebersole (Tafstville, VT) have spent time staining interior boards. RFactor is here spraying insulation downstairs. On Tuesday Nevin and Job Mast (Oley, PA) spent the day installing piping for a central vac. Audie Bellimer (Bridgewater, VT) is making sure propane is ready to be used in the kitchen. Jon Blanch (Wallingford, VT) continues to spearhead the heating efforts. And the crew of Jenne Construction steadily contributes to pavi progress each day!

Pavi Construction Update – week of April 20:

Today marks 6 weeks exactly until we would like to gain conditional occupancy and start moving into the new pavilion.  In some ways, that seems like a long time. But it’s not!  There is much to be done before that point. If you’re able to give some time (or $$$) between now and June 1, please do!

This week a group of 10 guys from Blooming Glen Mennonite Church is volunteering.  R-Factor insulation experts are on site doing spray foam.  Jenne Construction is here, of course.  Local volunteers (Betsy Tonkin, Marcia Bender, Calef Hepler, Naomi Moyer, Joanne Hershey and others) are staining board after board.  Porches are being finished and then siding will continue with help from Ken Hershey, Roy Snell and Larry Derstine.  Roofing will continue as weather allows (it snowed some today, April 20).  Electrical rough in is nearly done and finishes are starting.  Pray with us for ongoing safety and good times.

Pavi Construction Update – Week of April 27: 

Harold Bergey is back to work with Andy Bird on underground electrical needs. Dale Snader of Dale’s homes donates time and machines to dig trenches. Ken Hershey and Larry Derstine contribute their carpentry expertise to every aspect of the building. John Blanch continues to move the heating work towards completion. Jenne Construction completes the shingling on the 2 story part while making headway on drywalling the kitchen. Tuna, Greg and Robert discuss phasing with the fire marshall in an effort to gain conditional occupancy by June 1.

Come join us and be part of the May Update!

Pic of Pavi on April 1, 2015

Pic of Pavi on April 1, 2015

Pic of Pavi taken May 1

Pic of Pavi taken May 1

 

See more pics here!

(Mennonite) Disaster (Service) at BBC

The Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) van could be seen in the camp parking lot from April 6-10. Each spring a group of volunteers from Salford Mennonite Church travel in this van to an area that has experienced a natural disaster. The group serves for a week by doing whatever needs to be done to minimize the physical effects of the disaster. This spring there wasn’t an option to head towards a natural disaster on the East Coast so they drove the van to BBC!

A number of the guys in the group joked about bringing the MDS van to BBC. Clearly, this is NOT a site of a natural disaster. And yet something about having the MDS van at BBC last week was so fitting. At times this project has felt like a disaster…

…Attempting to build a large building from start to finish in VT during the months of Sept – June is a bit disastrous…Utilizing as many volunteers as possible to build a commercial building has the potential to be a scheduling disaster…Going 50+ days below freezing when attempting to complete outside construction work feels like a disaster to each worker who can’t feel their fingers/toes most of the day…A spring thaw turning the parking lot into a huge mudpit has the feel of disaster.

The Salford MDS crew did what most MDS crews do. They brought encouragement in the face of discouraging facts. They smiled as they climbed ladders to shingle the roof. They shrugged off the April snow that pushed them to insulate inside. They asked questions about the mission of BBC and worked all the harder. When they finished on Friday the building had more siding, shingles and insulation. The van pulled out early Saturday morning. The parking lot was still muddy. Much of the building is left to be finished. There still isn’t enough money in the bank.

On Monday Ken Hershey, Larry Derstine (Bridgewater, VT), Roy Snell (Woodstock, VT) volunteered time to continue working on shingling and siding. Andy Bird (Bridgewater, VT), Harold Bergey, Will Bergey, Marlin and Neil Bergey (Hatfield, PA) are volunteering all week to continue the rough in electrical work. Today Russell and Nancy Pejouhy (Bethel, VT) came to stain interior boards. Margaret (Lebanon, NH) is here keeping the office in order. A group from Make it Rain will be here this weekend to volunteer their skills and on Sunday a group from Blooming Glen Mennonite Church will start a week of service.

At BBC we normally experience God using people to bring encouragement in the face of discouraging circumstances all summer and this year, all winter. Experience first hand how God does this by volunteering time or giving money to help build the pavilion or sending a kid to BBC this summer!

The MDS Van

The MDS Van

Salford MDS Crew

Salford MDS Crew

Larry Derstine adds shingles

Larry Derstine adds shingles

Marlin and Neil of Bergey's Electric Volunteer to do the high ceiling work.

Marlin and Neil of Bergey’s Electric Volunteer to do the high ceiling work.

Nancy (OSO) and Russell (OWO) volunteer to stain.

Nancy (OSO) and Russell (OWO) volunteer to stain.

 

Pavi Construction Update Week of Mar. 2:

Weather is getting better!  Today (tues.) being town meeting day meant very few people on site. Happy Birthday to Jerry (of Jenne construction) and a big thanks to Rich Landis and Nanuk for putting a full day in today.

This week brings more heating system work, framing the mudroom, blocking in the walls and the beginning of siding staining.  A big thanks to Fred Schlabach and Paul Derksen for putting in windows yesterday.  Most of the windows are in now which is very exciting.

Volunteer opportunities for the very near future include mudroom framing (skilled), radiant tubing help (un-skilled) and siding staining (un-skilled).  Contact Amber (802-672-5220) to help.

Pavi Construction Update: Week of Feb. 16

Plumbing rough-in was almost completed this past week thanks in part to a group of volunteers including Austin Landes (Make It Rain), Ben Leatherman and Jon Studt.  Four others helped (Kyle Nyce, Jim Frankenfield, Eric and Frank Sirianni) to make the trip a success. Today (Feb 16) was so cold that very little work was done other than prepping for the close-in of the main entry porch.

Greg Jenne tries Funny Cake for the first time

Site Supervisor Greg taking a break from the cold to try funny cake for the first time!

 

If weather is decent, that porch structure may be wrapped up this week. The main job for this week is exterior insulation. This will help protect sheathing, give increased R-value and be our main air barrier in the stick frame part of the building.

Volunteer opportunities for the very near future include window and door setting (skilled), radiant tubing help (un-skilled) and siding staining (un-skilled).  Contact Brandon (802-672-5220) to help.  Or sign up here.

Be Thankful Beyond Thanksgiving

November is a time when we remember to be thankful – in between stuffing ourselves with a delicious feast and watching football! What would it look like to be thankful each day? Ask anyone who has been to camp and they would probably agree that being at Bethany Birches Camp makes it a little easier to be thankful. The atmosphere surrounding camp makes it impossible to ignore our miraculous God.

Around seven years ago I was introduced to camp. I went to visit a staff member (who later became my sister-in-law) and went back the following year to become a counselor. I spent eight weeks in the mountains in Vermont. Every week presented different challenges but looking back the lessons and blessings that I experienced will last a lifetime. I am so thankful for every moment I spend at BBC!

Bethany Birches gives me the opportunity to be myself and to teach campers about Jesus. God takes our efforts and our abilities and multiplies them more than we can ever imagine. When it’s time to leave camp it feels like a part of me never leaves, and I always try to take a little bit of camp with me.

If you have never experienced BBC I strongly encourage you to find a way to help out. Everyone is welcome at camp, all have a talent, skill, or ability that can be used to further the Kingdom of God.
As you enjoying thanksgiving allow me to leave you with this passage: Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For The Lord is good and His love endures forever;  His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100: 4,5
Finn (aka Brent Gehman)

Pavi Hoedown Teardown: Thank You!

Sometimes the task ahead of us looks too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

When completing a thesis became a requirement for graduate school I wondered if I would pass. (I did.)

When driving over the Killington Pass in the snow became necessary to go home I wondered if I should rent an apt in Rutland. (I didn’t.)

When a group of new summer staff shows up each June and many campers are registered to join us I often wonder to myself, “hmmm, how will this go?” Each summer has gone well, with plenty of lessons along the way. (Except for 2009, that summer was really hard!)

When Tuna told me we needed to have the pavilion packed up, prepared for tear down and host a party the day after 8 weeks of summer camp ended, I laughed. Usually, the day after summer camp ends, I sleep. For a very long time.

The task seemed too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

Then a large group of people showed up. People of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and camp connections came to help.

I started to realize the day was going to go differently than I expected when one of the Musser Woodcutters (a group of men who have been coming each November to cut firewood for camp for the past 15+ years) walked into the pavi just before 2pm with his wife. They live in central PA. After hugs and greetings they both asked, “what can we do?” Lynette got to work in the kitchen and Merle hauled stuff from the pavilion to various places on the gator.

Board members arrived ready to get their hands dirty. Shoot, they even brought their spouses and kids!

Rouke’s Mom and Dad arrived at the start and took apart the water fountain, the kitchen and some of the walls! Campers from past and present came with their families and cut trees, cleaned out the craft hut, organized and boxed up the nurse’s station, moved kitchen supplies, put the craft hut on trees, and all the while smiled and asked what else they could do to help.

Volunteers who have been around since the start of camp cleaned out the recycling shed (which had not been fully cleaned out for an embarrassing amount of time), took apart electrical things and continued to ask, “what else can we do?”. Sharkbait’s (assistant cook ’14) family spent time moving the cubbies to chickadee and organizing items in their temporary homes.  Chad Yoder and Austin Landes started in well before 2pm, moving the ball box, taking apart the mural, and dismantling the sound system. Jeff Rosenberger and Dale Snader drove their trucks and trailers around camp property moving heavy kitchen appliances. They too, did all this work smiling and always asking what else can we do?

Local carpenters salvaged pieces of the old pavilion to sell at the upcoming benefit auction. Althea and Jane inventoried, bagged up and organized the camp store supplies. Phil, Denise and a crew of helpers provided everyone with a great meal, sans kitchen!

It wasn’t long until I had no answer to the continuous question, “what else can we do?” And it has taken me too long to say THANK YOU to each person who came to help with the Pavi Teardown Hoedown.

And now, as various challenges with each step of the building process arise, the task of replacing the Pavi seems too big. Monumental. Insurmountable.

Then I remember the Pavi Teardown Hoedown. I also remember the volunteers who come to help each summer. I remember what BBC shared with campers for the duration of Summer ’14: God will build God’s people up by using God’s people. That is the story of Bethany Birches. God uses God’s people to build a community of love.  Bring on the task of building a new Pavi.  Only with God are all things possible. May God inspire you to help build the new Pavi.

#We would be building #withGod