Posts Tagged ‘For Donors’

Volunteers Invite Friends to Camp

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!

We hope to see you on the hill soon!

Cheeks.

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The sawing station

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Lester and Will work on shelving

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Pine Trim Everywhere

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Shelf and Coat Rack at the Main Entrance

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Dave putting up Barn Board Trim

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Rustic Shelving above office doors

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Friends from Lancaster helping at BBC!

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Having a good time

2015 Annual Report and Meeting

Greetings BBC Supporters:

Each year in March, we have our Annual Association Meeting.  The Association is the formal ownership group of the camp (being a non-profit, there are no financial benefits to ownership).  FYI – anyone can join the association.

It’s a fun evening; sharing a meal, hearing from the staff and board directors and conferring together about important issues.  This year the association had discussion around the camp’s core values.

You can listen to a good portion of the meeting right here.

 

The annual report can be found here.  If you would like a copy mailed to you, let us know here at the camp office (802-672-5220).

It would be great to see you at next year’s meeting!

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Ongoing Pavi Volunteer Opportunities

BBC continues to be an exciting place to be in the winter. With and without snow! Thanks to the doors being installed in the new pavilion snow camps are exciting and fun even with limited snow.

Can you help us continue to move towards a finished pavilion? This time it’s in a slightly different form than a traditional work day.

Do you have an hour or 3 to give to the pavilion progress efforts over the course of the next 2 weeks? Pavilion Progress will continue during the weeks between snow camps with the following projects:

– Staining pine boards for the upstairs ceiling and the garage door interior siding.
– Painting the walls of the 2nd floor.

Staining/Painting will be set up in between snow camps. If you can come for a chunk of time on any of the following days, please let me know and we’ll be ready for you! No prior experience required.

Tues Feb 23 – Thurs Feb 25: 9:30am – 4pm

Tues Mar 1 – Sat Mar 5: 9:30am – 4pm

While the format is different we’ll still plan to have coffee, snacks and lunch for you if we know you are coming. Email amber at bethanybirches.org to let us know when you can help!

We are so thankful for your help! Hope to see you on the hill soon,

Amber “Cheeks” Bergey

Volunteer to Help Finish the Pavilion at BBC – Feb 6th

2016 is off to a good start at BBC! Framing for the big doors is happening, an inaugural fire was lit in the pavilion fireplace and drywall on the 2nd floor is almost complete. Can you help us keep going?!

Join us on Feb 6th to keep making progress on the 2nd floor of the pavilion AND to transform the pavilion from a construction zone to a snow camp zone! We’ll have work for skilled (hanging pine boards, trim, etc) and unskilled (painting, clean up, organizing, etc) volunteers alike. Coffee Break, Lunch (12:30) and a tubing break for all as well! Please let us know you’re coming so we can plan projects and lunch accordingly. (amber at bethanybirches dot org or call the office 802-672-5220)

The fun will start at 9am. Come for an hour or come for the day.

If you can’t join us on the 6th but would still like to help, please let us know. There are various projects that can be done outside of work days if you have other time you are able to give.
OR if you have a group you’d like to bring for a few days we’d be happy to coordinate that as well.
We are so thankful for your help! Hope to see you on the hill soon,

Amber “Cheeks” Bergey

work day pic

Matthew 25: BBC Style

 

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.

-Cheeks.
Towing Certified

13th Annual Benefit Auction Review

Hey Camp Friends!

As you may have heard, the 13th Annual Benefit Auction was a huge success! I’m here to tell you more about the day.

Crisp and cool, everything that an autumn day in Vermont should be. Add just about every fall staple; we really had the perfect day: warm homemade doughnuts, fresh apple cider, hot coffee, an enthusiastic community, and the myriad of colors just starting to show among the trees in the surrounding hills. Something that stood out to me was this sense of joy among everyone who was at camp that day. From campers tossing apples to be pressed into cider, to board members working hard in the kitchen and behind the scenes, to every auction-goer. Whether they were working, or simply sitting in a plastic lawn chair, everyone was there for one common reason: to raise money for kids to come to camp. At its peak there were around 170 people together at one time. I found this to be an amazing testament to the power of camp (one of many I would experience that day).

My favorite moment of the auction came when it was time to “bid” on camperships (scholarships to pay for camp weeks). Each cost $400, and as soon as the auctioneer called for bids, hands were raised. 19 donors in fact.  Some of them even raised their bidder numbers more than once for a total of $8900 raised for Kids to Camp Fund. It was beautiful!

After the auction ended, everyone shared lunch together, sponsored by Gallagher & Flynn. As the afternoon went on, some people left, and some stayed to enjoy hayrides, pavilion tours, and even a Dutch Blitz tournament! After having dinner together, provided by Jesse’s BBQ, everyone gathered for fireside, a common camp tradition. We heard from Audie Bellimer about his first summer at camp, back in the first years of summer camp. We also heard from Alison Charbeneau about her camp memories. After that, anyone was invited to share their memories and stories of camp throughout the years. We closed by singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” together. I could not think of a more fitting hymn to encompass God’s goodness and provision for camp throughout the last 50 years. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, celebrating camp’s history and bright future.

Ok, now let’s talk numbers. Through bidding, camp store purchases, apple cider and related products, and chimney stones, the total amount raised was $52,500! All of this goes to pay for campers who can’t pay to come to camp AND the new pavilion. $13,000 of that sum was raised for the new chimney. This is the most money raised through the auction yet!

For more details from the auction, visit bethanybirches.org/benefit-auction. Here you’ll find information about how much each item brought, photos from the day, and 50th Anniversary merchandise available for purchase online! Now, mark your calendars for next years auction, September 24th, 2016!

We sincerely thank every volunteer, staff member, camper, and auction goer. We could not have done this without you. Heck, we can’t do camp without you, and many others! We hope and look forward to seeing you next year!

-Benji

50th Anniversary and Auction Success

Fresh homemade doughnuts hot out of the oven.  Fresh, fair-trade, high-grade coffee to go with them.  Nippy fall air.  Sipping fresh pressed apple cider made from VT apples out of your 50th anniversary mug club mug.  People bustling about, excited for the auction to start, 170 of them, prepared to do what they can to support the camp and Vermont’s young people.  This is the stage upon which the 50th anniversary celebration and annual auction played out.  It was a wonderful time.  We’re going to write a more full report but wanted to post this just to let you know that more than $50,000 was given.  Hooray for all of you who made it happen!  More to come when we get all the money counted and details hammered out.

Tuna

Bethany Birches Turns 50! Join the Fun Sat. Sept. 26

It’s true. BBC is 50 years old!  The first summer of camping was 1965.  Wasn’t long after that and winter camp was added to the mix.  Then facility rentals for weddings and other program groups and activities. We haven’t looked back since.  We’re celebrating and honoring the past on the weekend of September 25-27.  The full schedule is here.  Won’t you come and join the fun?

Speaking of fun, the big day is Saturday September 26.  The day kicks off with a pancake breakfast.  The breakfast is for those staying on site.  You can rent your camping shelter here.  The shelter is $50 for the weekend and meals are covered on Saturday.

After the breakfast is the Annual Benefit Auction.  And then an afternoon of fun!  Here’s the schedule:

  • All afternoon!   Pond Open (Boating, Swimming, Fishing-Pick Up Rods and tackle at the camp store) (Everyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 21 or older)
  • All afternoon!   Table Activities
  • All afternoon!   Yard games (Whizzball, Gaga, Kube, Volleyball, Basketball, Playground, Disc Golf-Start at South side of Pavi at the Disc Holder)
  • 1:30-3:30         Water Slide Below the Gaga court with Whitt
  • 1:30-2:00         Pavilion Tour Start in Parking Lot with Tuna
  • 2:15-3:00         Then-Now Photo Tour of Camp Start at the Bell with Cheeks
  • 2:00-2:30         Hay Ride Start at the Bell with Nanuk
  • 2:30-3:30         Hike to Perimeter Trail / Tree House Start at the Bell with Rouke
  • 3:00-4:00         Craft at Craft Hut Craft Hut 
  • 3:00-4:00         Dutch Blitz Tourney (All ages welcome!)
  • 3:30-4:00         Pavilion Tour Start at the Parking Lot with Chad Yoder
  • 4:00-4:30         Hay Ride Start at the Pavi with Nanuk
  • 4:00-4:30         Gaga Variations (Never ending, Teams, etc) Gaga Pit with Chick
  • 4:30-5:00         3 v. 3 Gaga Tourney (Come with your two teammates! All ages welcome! Winning teams gets a prize!) Gaga Pit with Chick
  • 5:30-6:30         Dinner
  • 7:00                   Fireside

I do hope you’ll join us for all or at least part of the day.  There will be 50th merch and all sorts of goodies.

Happy Birthday BBC!

Tuna

Cheeks is Pregnant!

Yes, it’s true. Her due date is June 26. We’re posting here to make sure the whole Bethany Birches family knows this exciting news.  This will be our (Tuna and Cheeks) first child.  We were so busy with camp for many years that we didn’t consider children.  One day, Cheeks turns to me (Tuna) and says by the time I’m 30, I want to know if we’re going to have children. I said OK.  30 came and went.  So did 31.  By the time we were 32 we were ready for a child.  And in our 33rd year, we will have a baby, Lord willing.  It’s amazing how God works in our hearts and adjusts our perspectives over time.

As you know, June, July and August are the three busiest months of the year here at camp.  Probably not the ideal time to welcome a new person into the world.  But, we are.  And we are thankful for the opportunity to have a child.  So the camp started looking for an interim program director since Amber will not be able to do her job this summer.  We offered the position to Dan Laubach and he accepted.

The full story on staffing at camp, in case you’re wondering:

  • I (Tuna) will continue to be the Executive Director
  • Cheeks may or may not return to her post as Program Director (she is allowed a little more time to decide that)
  • Dan, the interim Program Director, is committed through October at least.
  • Many of the summer staff are returning from prior years.

If you’re at camp this summer, you will recognize many of us from past summers.  And you might even see baby Tunacheeks!

Hope to see you at camp soon!

Tuna

(aka Brandon)

 

 

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!