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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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.
I was preparing a document today… it’s a Pavilion Project Campaign finance and construction update. You’ll see it soon in the fall newsletter. And I got to thinking about the real purpose of the building and project. You see, during the course of the project I became overwhelmed at times and forgot why we were doing this. I lost perspective among the many details and decisions.
We originally set out to do this project to enhance and further BBC’s mission. The new building makes camp easier to run, makes camp more fun on rainy days (and we get a lot of those!) and of course, expands non-summer programming opportunities. This is where our mission begins to shine. A camper who is here multiple times each year typically develops their faith much more quickly and seriously. On top of those things, it makes the state happy. Let’s just say they were very unhappy with the old building (especially the “commercial” kitchen).
One thing that was evident this summer: it was a huge boost in summer operations. I found that staff seemed to have an easier time planning and running activities and storing and retrieving supplies. I think this gave them extra energy for making camp the best they could for campers. And the kitchen… the kitchen staff and volunteers worked so much faster… they could stage a whole day’s work and take breaks in the afternoon and get out at a reasonable hour. That just wasn’t possible in the old kitchen.
I overheard our new Program Director, Dan Laubach, talking about the benefits of the new pavilion when giving a tour recently… “It’s great even on rainy days. I can have dodge ball over there, cards out on that porch, 9 square here, arts and crafts on that porch and there’s still room for people to walk from place to place!” I think this highlights the point I’m trying to make about the new building being just want the camp needed to boost operational efficiency and to make camp as good as it can be for the many campers who utilize it. This is saying nothing of the rental opportunities and partnerships that are starting to crop up. More on those topics another time.
Here’s to hoping you don’t get lost along the way during your next overwhelming season in life. If you do, step back and try to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
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.
Impressive. Well Constructed. Beautiful. These are words people have used to describe the new pavi when look around the construction site. But the word we hear most is BIG. And it’s true. There is a lot of space in the new pavilion. Outside of renovating the kitchen, more (dry) space was one of the main motivators for a new pavi. And now we have A LOT OF SPACE. It’s easy for me to think of all the games, activities, etc campers and staff can play in that space. But that’s my job.
At Polar Bear camp in February I asked campers to consider what they might do in this space. Before they started making cardboard sleds they acted out activities that would take place in the new pavi. They had no trouble coming up with ideas. Look below to see a couple of the ideas they came up with.
I hope they’ll each come back and use the new space this summer.
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
Salford MDS Crew
Larry Derstine adds shingles
Marlin and Neil of Bergey’s Electric Volunteer to do the high ceiling work.
VERY cold this week. This morning was -20. Needless to say we got a late start. But not Nanuk. He was ready to go at 7! He’s from northern VT so -20 is no big deal for him. He is a camp employee working on the building.
Anyway, this week holds work on the main entry porch. That roof structure will be completed this week. Jenne Construction is finishing the exterior insulation. Nanuk and Rich Landis are following them with house wrap. Preparation is being made for siding staining. Some volunteers will begin staining next week.
Volunteer oportunities 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.
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.
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.
Greetings all. I have been somewhat silent lately related to the pavilion project. I had been hyping it for so long and I was so excited about it… I was always talking about it. And then we ran into challenges. And I got a little lost for a time. And you may not have heard much from me in general nor about the project. I’d like to use this space to share about some of the challenges we’ve experienced and how things are going now.
Some challenges I’ve experienced as a member of the pavi design team and owner’s representative:
Alternative building and contracts model – we received counsel (from a trusted advisor) that money could be saved by utilizing what’s known as an agency approach. This is different than the General Contractor approach in the sense that the lead contractor receives a fee or salary rather than making their money on markups and changes. If done well, this provides freedom to alter plans as well as savings. In our case, it seemed ideal because there are materials donors happy to offer discounts directly to the camp without going through the contractor. Well, this approach is somewhat new to some on the design team and we are learning.
Relationships – human relationships are often one of the most challenging (and rewarding) aspects to anyone’s life. This has been true in our working relationships as well.
Budget – this has perhaps provided the greatest source of stress for me. Related to the two above challenges, it was a challenge to finish construction documents. Resulting from that was an incomplete understanding of budget. Resulting from that was a design that was more than we budgeted. To be clear, the building that has been designed, and is being built, is an awesome building. It’s exactly what the camp needs to maximize ministry and program. It’s the building the board wanted and approved. It’s also more expensive than we wanted it to be (up from the desired $1.4 million to $2 million).
Timeline – And almost all of this could have much more easily been overcome if we did not have a tight timeline. Because the new pavilion was to replace the old in the same exact location and because skipping a summer of camp was not an option, we had only from mid August till the end of May to complete the project. Doing things fast and well typically costs more than if you can do them slowly and well. And constructing this building poorly was not an option.
So what are we doing?
We decided to move ahead with the preferred design in the face of budget challenges and look to save in two ways:
Phasing whatever did not have to be completed to use the space for summer 2015
Seeking volunteerism wherever possible
With phasing, volunteerism and a loan of $400,000 we are hoping to complete the building enough to get a certificate of occupancy by the end of May, 2015. We hope then to finish the building entirely over the following couple years and pay off the loan at the same time.
This is both not what we planned and not uncommon for large building projects (so I’m told). We knew from the very beginning that a project of this scale would be a great challenge for Bethany Birches Camp. We knew that using volunteers and keeping a tight budget would add to the challenge. We even felt at times like it was an impossible project. And that’s why the name Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project was selected. It harkens back to something Jesus says in Matthew 19:26: “with God, all things are possible.” We know this is true and we continue to put our trust in God.
We welcome your gifts of time and money, as God leads. We thank you for your ongoing interest and support of Bethany Birches Camp. Pray with us that all who use the new pavilion will be blessed and experience God’s love.
On September 27, the 12th annual benefit auction will be held at Bethany Birches Camp.
The original pavilion was torn down just a month ago. And we are busily working toward the completion of the new pavilion. And boy is it going to cost some money to build and finish this new pavilion! Many people have given faithfully, sacrificially and exuberantly. And we are thankful. More on that in a future post. This post is about the auction and old pavi art!
Some camp supporters who are skilled craftsmen decided to make some really cool items for the auction out of the old pavilion. Fred Schlabach and Dave Beidler have been hard at work and they’ve created some incredible stuff. Fred made a bunch of mirrors. He will explain why he chose mirrors at the auction. He also made a pendant light. Dave made a table out of the old pavilion posts! Some of these items will be matched so that when you bid on it your dollar is worth two or three! Who wants one?! Can’t make it to the auction? Place a bid online right here using the codes in the descriptions