Posts Tagged ‘summer camp’

Safety and Care at Camp: Tuna Tuesday

This Tuesday, I decided to write about safety at camp.  Why?  I believe many parents are on some level concerned about some aspect of camp.

For some, it’s the thought of their child being bullied or even worse, abused by an adult.  We could classify these concerns as violence.

For others, it’s less threatening and about every day challenges. Some of the questions may be: will my child have fun?  Will they stay warm?  Will they want to come home?  Will they make any friends?  We might call these sorts of concerns comfort related.

For other parents, it’s about physical harm not caused by a person but by the environment and setting.  Will my child break their leg at group games or while hiking?  Will they get stung by a bee?  I might label these concerns as environmental safety.

So what does Bethany Birches do to address these three categories of safety (don’t get me wrong, there are other areas of safety that we monitor!  But for the sake of a reasonable length blog post, I’ll have to include those in a future post)?

Violence: we work very hard when hiring staff.  We do multiple reference checks, a criminal background check including sex offender registries.  We have a detailed interview.  We ask lots of questions about faith, religion and world view.  Finally, if we notice any behavior from a staff person that is concerning on this front, we let them go.  As for bullying, we guard against this as best we can through maintaining adult supervision at nearly all times, requiring campers to travel around camp with a trusted buddy (like when going to the bathroom) and by disciplining those exhibiting bullying behavior and working closely with them to change their patterns of relating to others.

Comfort: this is a tough one!  Some campers don’t want to admit their cold in front of their friends. Others don’t tell their counselor they wet their bed.  And some times, campers just don’t know they’re uncomfortable!  As a parent, you know that you often have to think for your child in ways they cannot yet think for themselves.  This is what we teach our staff to do.  We teach them to notice how their campers are feeling.  Are they happy or sad?  Are their shoes wet or dry?  Do they have extra clothes to change into?  Does their sleeping bag smell weird?  One of our primary goals for counselors and all staff members is that they would be an excellent guide for each camper.  By guide I simply mean that they would provide a meaningful experience, initiate fun and conversation, and take really good care of each child, including washing their sleeping bag after peed in without anyone noticing!

While life and the outdoors throw all sorts of curve balls like a mean spirited attack from another to a cold rainy day, we desire to always care deeply for each person entrusted to us.  We take seriously complaints from parents and do our very best to get better at keeping kids safe, comfortable and happy so their mind, body and soul can grow while at camp.

Here’s to another exciting, meaningful safe season of summer camp at Bethany Birches!

Tuna

 

 

 

Staff Saturday: Ray Charles

Greetings friends – this past Saturday was crazy busy here at camp.  It was Spring Work Day, Open House and the Annual Association Meeting.  There was so much going on I couldn’t post this note from Ray.  Here’s what she says:

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Hi campers!

So excited to spend another summer up on the hill with you all! Last year was just too much fun so I had to make my way back up from Ohio to camp again this summer. As the weather has started warming up I can’t stop thinking about the fun Wet’n’Wild Wednesdays we had last summer. From the baked oatmeal, to the slip’n’slide, then the cookout complete with s’mores—that day stands out as one of my favorite parts of the week. I’m excited to see again those I got to know last year and also meet some new and awesome friends! I’m sure we’ll all learn something new this summer too, whether it’s from shelter chats, fireside, or from all the fantastic people Jesus brings to camp. God’s got great adventures planned for this summer and I hope to see you all there!
Ray Charles

Staff Saturday: Frodo (and a Lamb)

frodo and a lambHello My Dear Campers!

This is Frodo here, reporting in that I will be seeing all of you at Bethany Birches Camp this summer! I hope you are planning to return with me and are ready to enjoy some of our favorite camp craziness. Every day I think about being up on the hill at camp and enjoying my very favorite day of the week.. wet n’ wild Wednesday. I think about soaping up my belly and running towards the slip n’ slide, and then going down to the pond for some jump competition and of course an amazing cookout. There is no better way to spend a summer day than up at Bethany Birches with all of you! I have been practicing up on my guitar skills every day too, getting ready to have a summer filled with music. I can’t wait to sing to Jesus, share His amazing love, and have an amazing time with each of you!

Until we meet again!

Frodo Birches

Staff (spritual) Saturday: Sonny

Are you guys ready?!?!

Campers of 2013; are you READY?!?!

I am! I am so thrilled to be coming back to camp, for the WHOLE summer!! Spending time in the beautiful mountains of VT, leaving the flatlands and humidity of Delaware. I am so ready to meet all you new campers and reconnect with the campers I met last summer! To be back in the woods, on the hill, in the tree house or the lake or the pavi; is more exciting than any of the plans little ol’ Delaware could offer. Why? -Because there is no place like camp.

Why do I love camp so much anyway? Why am I traveling all the way from Delaware, by train, for camp? I have been coming to camp for years! The thought of summer without camp, isn’t summer! Growing and learning about God, getting messy, singing, slip n’ sliding, and so much more! The atmosphere at Bethany Birches is acceptance and fun. Not making new friends is IMPOSSIBLE!! Coming to camp now as an Assistant Counselor (rather than intern) will be much more fun because I get to meet ALL of you!!

Don’t miss out on all the spectacular fun and silliness of camp this year!! I hope to see you there; I can’t wait to meet you!

-Sonny

Summer 2013 Registration Open!

It’s true. It’s open. AND, you get a $50 discount for registering between now and next Friday at noon. An automatic discount that is. More details here.

If you already know your sessions and dates, just go ahead and sign up!

 

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Boating on the ice!

We didn’t take the dock out until nearly thanksgiving! Here’s how that went: