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
In order to sink the new pavilion into the ground just the way we wanted it, we needed to do some blasting. With dynamite. The very competent folks at Main Drilling and Blasting did a great job. And now the ground is prepared to finish excavation!
Sparkles put together a video so you could see it – make sure to watch in full screen!
Would you consider helping from a distance by purchasing tickets for the mini bike raffle?!
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
Pavi tear down volunteers gather to say goodbye
Camper parents send parts of the pavi to the top of the barn
On the day of pavi demolition my mom proved how well she knew me by asking: “How is Amber (Cheeks)? She does not like change.” Normally I try to avoid change until it’s too late and then move forward with whatever is in front of me. Even though I know change is necessary and good, I’d prefer to avoid the process.
Exhibit 1: Right now instead of a pavilion there is a large hole in the ground with a growing pile of dirt next to it.
Exhibit 2: Behind the hole, in front of the bath house, sits pavi .50 (the roof of the former pavi sitting atop 2 storage bins).
Exhibit 3: The craft hut has been moved towards Frisbee Golf Hole #2.
Exhibit 4: There are ‘blasting mats’ in the parking lot and a consistent stream of very large machines.
Exhibit 5: Each day a few people are at camp who are not college age staff or local youth but instead builders, excavators, and architects, who are mostly men, none of whom seem to have interest in singing silly songs or swimming.
This time the process that comes with change is unavoidable.
Despite the process of change happening at camp, 3 guys this morning didn’t seem to notice. Martin Excavating (Nope, Bruce, Andy Blanchard) is here getting the site ready for a new building. I arrived at camp about the time of their morning coffee break (I enjoy a slower pace after camp…). The first comment I heard from these strangers were “…remember hiking down to the cold pond for swimming…when I was here we stayed in army tents…Is Nevin Bender still alive?…I sat on that rock many times…Remember playing softball in the field across the road?…I bet I sat in this very spot before!” Each of the 3 excavators working on site today attended camp as young people before BBC had a ballfield, pond or basketball court. This morning they didn’t seem to notice how things have changed or are changing. Instead they shared great memories and laughs. They seemed completely comfortable and happy to be back. They ended their coffee break with laughter and reminiscing and I started my day with laughter and excitement for the good stuff that happens here – past, present and future.
The change in building is unavoidable. The memories created here and the experience people have here doesn’t seem to be changing.
Exhibit 1: No Pavi, large hole, growing dirt pile
Exhibit 2: Pavi .50 (towards the back of the photo)
Exhibit 3: The craft hut in a new temporary location.
Cheeks taking on the change (as long as some things stay the same)
The old pavilion is no more! We have managed to save some posts, roof structure and fire place rocks. A camp supporter (Fred Schlabach) has taken some of the old building and is making art out of it to be sold at the auction. Beyond these items, the building is gone. You can see for yourself on the live pavicam: bethanybirches.org/paviprogress. Even better, you can watch the building coming down right here (below)! It was quite a site.
What was really awesome (besides the fireplace crushing through the roof as shown in the video below) were the 100 people who came to celebrate the old building and this milestone in Bethany Birches Camp history. Seriously – at least 70 people were put to work for a couple hours to empty the old building. It was awesome! Thanks to those of you who moved all the old stuff out.
Before you watch the video, allow me to ask for prayer (and money). We’re trying to sort out the budget right now. Each day the cost of the building changes as we make different decisions. The building plan is excellent and will benefit the camp greatly. As long as we can make it cost something close to the $1.4M we expected to pay. Pray for wisdom in decision making and speedy info collection. Pray for more money. We still have $400,000 to raise before the goal is met. More on all of this in the next post.
[button-medium color=”green” link=”bethanybirches.org/give-time-pavi/”]I Will Help[/button-medium]
Where do we start? The fundraising of money has been taking a backseat to construction planning! Current cash and pledges toward the $1,800,000 fundraising goal is $1,375,460 (as of May 30, 2014)! And the fundraising through hands-on assistance is picking up (because we have needed to wait until the construction schedule is more clear). Since our last newsletter, the project has progressed from conceptual to practical. We now have a first set of what is called floor plans and elevations. This really allows us to get serious about budgeting, scheduling, and the long list of choices that are to be made.
This project has filled in any downtime that the staff has had at camp this spring. For me personally, it’s been especially challenging. It has also been invigorating for at least two reasons. One, the challenges have indeed encouraged my learning and honed my skills. Two, I have experienced graciousness, generosity and the miracle of people working together in spite of great odds against that union. For me, these are signs that God’s spirit is alive and present.
Because this project highlights our own inadequacies, yet it continues to move forward, we trust that God is within it and we can say that with God all things are possible.
It’s a sad day and a glad day. As you probably already know, our plan, in faith (and assuming all the necessary permits are finalized), is to tear the pavilion down starting in August. To commemorate the building and the many memories, experiences, transformations, weddings, meals, (fill in the blank – seriously, which memories do you have from the pavi?) that happened under the original pavi roof, a party is being thrown! And you’re invited.
Come one, come all.
Where: Bethany Birches Camp’s Pavilion
When: August 9, 2014 @ 2pm
What: First, work. We’ll haul a bunch of stuff out of the building. Second, party. BBQ and square dance
People often ask how the fundraising for the pavilion project is going. I say really well! It’s been an encouraging so far with many people giving however they can. Many generous donors have given and pledged over $1,225,000. Below is an outline of the gifts we’ve received to date in graphic form. We are elated and grateful for the generosity shown to date and also aware we still have $600,000 to go till we reach the $1,800,000 goal. $1.8M will not only build the new pavilion, it will pay for camp program for four years (2012-2015). The logic takes a little explaining but the short story is that we built the campaign this way so that we could raise the program-subsidy money we raise each year while we’re raising money for the pavilion all with one message. That message is that VT young people need a place for faith-development and that place needs to include programming beyond summer. Our secondary message is very simple: the current pavilion is broken!
Will you help? There are two ways you can help:
We’re still searching for commitments of money. Would you consider a monthly gift of $10 or more?
We’re now seeking commitments of time. We’ll value time commitments at $20/hour. So if you said you could give us a week of time (40 hours), say to do a bunch of painting, we’d count that as a gift of $800 toward the remaining money to be raised. You can fill out the form on this page to let us know of your gift
In other news, I’d like to highlight the biggest gift given to date. It was in the amount of $200,000 and was given by the Clemens Family Corporation (CFC)! CFC (http://www.clemensfamilycorp.com) owns Hatfield Quality Meats, Country View Family Farms, Clemens Development, CFC Logistics, PV Transport and Nick’s Sausage Company. Their vision is quite simply to “steward diversified, profitable and growing enterprises controlled by the Clemens family.” Among their stated values are:
Honor God in all we do
Earn a reputation of high ethics and integrity
Take a long-term view
Share success with team members, community and shareholders
Seek to set commercial standards
Some of the camp’s supporters work for CFC businesses and that is, in part, the connection between CFC and Bethany Birches.
Thanks John, Merrill, Doug and other CFC members for giving The Pavilion Project a huge boost!
Campers say thanks to Pavi Donors!
Campers talk about the old and new pavilions:
And here is a visual image of the giving to date. Pretty amazing to have so many gifts of so many different sizes. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!