Today I was walking around the new pavi. In part cause I had to do some shoveling in what will become the kitchen. We still have snow in there from the big storm. And now that room is getting closed in so we have to get the snow out! Here is Gary Parker helping to shovel:
It occurred to me as I was shoveling that the folks doing dishes in the new dishpit will have this very view shown above. How cool!
And then I realized that people would climb on the new climbing wall right here:
Then I started looking around for other future uses… here’s where campers will go up the stairs to see the nurse!
I got so excited I just had to share this with you. Speaking of excitement, it’s almost Christmas time. If you’re still looking for a unique gift for someone, consider buying them a piece of the pavi! Honestly, you can do it right here: bethanybirches.org/shop/. This is the camp’s current wish list. It will continue to grow.
Wishing you the very best Christmas, full of fun, relaxation and great food!
It’s been about two months since the fire marshal’s visit. We continue to be thankful for the way their office is working with us and helping to make the building safer.
Here’s what’s happening this month (May):
Electricians are working on the smoke detection system
Egress windows being installed
Cutting trees for a neighbor to earn cash for the project ($5000!)
Stairways being upgraded (smoke proofed)
Exit from loft constructed
LOTS OF CLEANING afterward!
Will you join us? Here are some ways to help:
Carpentry, building trades – May 21-June1. We need at least 2 volunteers each day.
Cleaning – we’ll need help with this from June 4-8
Cooking – particularly things that can be frozen. Baked goods too. We need some lunches for people working the last two weeks of May.
You can let us know when you’re available and what you can give by filling this form out. Again, here are the dates:
May 12: Spring Workday – come one, come all!
May 21 – June 1: Carpentry and building help
June 4 – June 8: Cleanup and prep for summer
Once we hit June, we hope to have occupancy. We expect to begin a small addition project that will finish the requirements for the building. But, because of time, we need to postpone that till August and the fire marshal has been gracious in helping us get a timeline that works.
Join me in praying and hoping for a fun-filled, safe, eternally impacting summer!
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.
This post is about a sad story. It’s the story of the BBC Cabin the day the fire marshal came to visit.
Bruce and Jay were friendly and clear. They have concerns about how quickly people could get out of the building in case of fire. They gave us a conditional permit, which ends April 1, 2012! After that, no one can sleep in the building until it’s amended to meet Vermont Life Safety Code.
How big of a deal can 8 violations really be? Apparently a big enough deal to cost $20-$30K (un-detailed estimate) – YIKES!
So I tell the board. They wisely came to the decision that now is not the time to upgrade the building as we hope to someday. We must stay focused on the pavilion project. We’re oh so close to beginning the fundraising effort for that. So, the vote is that we amend the building as simply as possible in the least expensive way we can.
For those of you who are wondering about these violations, here’s the first draft of a punch list:
1.No Egress window main floor bedrooms
Install 1 egress windows in each of four bd. rms.
Window to be 5.7 square feet
2.Stairwells out of code
. upgrade wall material. install 20 min doors. install closure on door. upstairs build wall
. 4 stairwells. drywall. doors
Add heating in loft
Need heating because of closure to lofts
3.No exits in lofts
Install exit door in each sided (2 total)
Need exit stairway from floor to ground
5. inadequate Co2 detectors
Install hardwired Co2 with battery back-up
Run wires with smoke detect system
6.No smoke detectors in basement
Install 2 smoke detectors in basement
Part of total smoke detect overhaul
7. no emergency lighting
Install emergency lighting system
8. inadequate fire alarm system
Install new fire alarm system with communications
Clarify what communications system is
Painting and other touchups related to construction
And so here we are. We MUST do the above if we want to use the building this summer in program. CAN YOU HELP US? HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO HELP:
Give money! Just the materials are going to cost over $10K (EDIT on 4/6/12 – materials will probably be closer to $30K!). Send a check or give online here and give to general operations or where needed most.
Give time: we’ll need volunteers to do most of the work. Consider getting a small crew of experienced people together and come up for a weekend. A few experienced laborers can make a big dent in just two days. Call the office or email Brandon.
Give material: perhaps you own or have influence in a supply chain that could get us sheet rock, lighting, paint, etc. If it’s in the above list, we need it.
And so the story of an old camp, that’s doing the best it can, continues.
Something very interesting to me is the fact that I had a two hour emotional cycle after the fire marshal’s visit. At first I was frustrated and annoyed. Then, humility kicked in. So often, when I receive correction, direction, instruction, if I am able to release my frustration, I begin to sense God at work.
God, join us in this endevor and in all of our endevors. I pray that you will bring the resources and people needed to acomplish this change and that it will not distract from the bigger things ahead.
Recently, some of you (141 to be exact) filled out a survey to help us understand the support you have for this project. The results were helpful and meaningful – thanks! See the bottom of this post for more context on this project if you’re not sure what all this is about.
Some highlights from the survey results include:
Estimate that together you may support this project to the tune of $425,000 in cash
Estimate that together you may provide expense offsets to the tune of another $500,000
The project as it is conceptualized is well supported among you, specifically these ideas:
Additional rainy day space
Winter space that allows campers to get and stay warm during winter program
Ability for staff to do their jobs well, with less stress
The continuation of the pavilion concept (rather than a traditional building)
The possibility of a “Barn Raising” meaning, lots of opportunity for volunteer help and labor
Support for the current leadership, vision and mission of BBC
Diversity around the importance of “Green” construction
Diversity around the term rustic and just how rustic BBC ought to be and remain
The cost estimate for the total project including all related expenses and fundraising for normal operations is estimated to be between $1,600,000 and $1,800,000. Bear in mind that there are many factors that go into these estimates and the project cost and the estimated revenue could change quickly depending on any of those factors.
So here we are. At a cross roads. How much faith do we put into these estimates? How big of a problem is it that there is a $700,000 discrepancy between what is needed and what might be raised?
These are extremely tough questions to answer. We know we don’t want a mortgage. We know we need to move forward with this project. We know God has done unusual things at BBC in the past.
We as a board are looking closely at whether we can overcome the perceived money gap by phasing the building from the outside-in. If this is possible in a way that is desirable, we will be able to proceed.
A little context:
For years we’ve been planning toward a more sustainable Bethany Birches (BBC). One that relies deeply on the wisdom and guidance of our gracious God. And at the same time, a Bethany Birches that doesn’t need to raise quite so much money for annual support. A BBC that understands deeply the heart of it’s ministry and is consistently able to find the right people to carry out the work of it’s mission. And this is the ongoing lesson in humility – to do this work while at the same time recognizing God as the giver and sustainer. It’s something we’ve been working out for over 47 years now.
Our planning and probing has revealed various things and sparked passionate conversation. The immediate next step in our work is replacement of our program head-quarters… the Pavi! It was the first building on site in 1966. It was added on to in 1968. The building has lived well and been used well. It’s old, broken and in many ways can’t do what we’re asking it to do. For more on the intentions of the project, see this post.
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