Posts Tagged ‘Winter Camp’

Acceptance and learning relationships

One of the founding principles of Bethany Birches back in the 60’s was to “provide a camping experience for youth where counselor and camper together can engage in learning relationships which will prepare them for future responsibilities in life.” As you probably know it’s easier to have a learning relationship with someone you trust and respect.  And it’s easier to trust and respect someone who accepts you for who you are.

During staff training we teach the importance of being with campers in the daily routine of camp; Befriending them, learning to know them, accepting them for who they are. I recently heard from a parent about her daughters experience from this past winter.  Her comments warmed my heart and pointed to an effective season of camps.

This young camper is a strong and talented girl.  She’s pretty and smart and her peers like her.  So I was a little surprised to get this email from her mother:

“Thank you all so much for providing such a wonderful place for [my daughter] to feel love and acceptance. She has been struggling at school feeling like an outcast .  She came home with a great outlook on life again and seemed so much happier. It is with tears that I write this.  Thank you, Dana”

I am thankful for caring staff  that can create this kind of experience.  I am thankful for a God that loves us and gave us examples of love and acceptance. Pray for us as we strive to mirror this blessing and pray that each camper will grow in their confidence and strength as they learn to see God through us.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Waiting Lists at Winter Camps!

This past winter has been interesting weather-wise.  Another interesting trend is the uptick in attendance for winter programs.  For the three overnight programs we saw 168 camper days which is 95% of total capacity.  On top of this, there were waiting lists for all three sessions!

As many of you know, winter is so busy for many families in central VT.  We continue to believe that what we’re doing at winter camps is unique and special and that almost all campers would choose it over other activities once they realize how fun and meaningful the weekends are.  It makes mission accomplishment possible if a camper can be here at least once in the summer, once in the winter and one or two other times between.

We are deeply indebted to the many staff and volunteers that make these weekends possible.  Gigi, a college student and long time BBC-er came to be Assistant Program Director three weekends in a row.  A group from PA drove 7 hours each way to help run one of the weekends.  Lots of other staff and volunteers sacrificed rest and relaxation to make winter camp all that it was.

Plan now to join us next year for one of the fun-filled, faith-building weekends as a camper or volunteer in the #BBCsnowGlobe.

Till then,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Backcountry Ski Experience!

Finishing The Pavilion One Step At A Time

This past summer a camp supporter, Yogi, noted that the kitchen was not near complete. He asked me what one of the next steps was to finish it.  A week later, a friend of his and camp supporter, Mark, asked him what else was needed at camp on the pavilion project.  Yogi told him quite simply, a stainless steel table.  This wasn’t just any table, as you’ll see in the photos below.  It took design and special manufacturing and would be expensive!  The table was envisioned especially to help with the famous BBC fire side cooking.  This table is the backbone of the crate packing and storage process.

To make a long story short, Mark mentioned the mini project to one of his friends Wil. Together they paid for the table and got the project under way.  Today, during Lynx Winter Camp, the good folks over at Steiger Supply North dropped the table off and helped to set it in place.  Campers even pitched in to peel off the annoying protective tape.

For me, this web of people making this small project happen in cooperation and team work is a vision of the community of God.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

 

Backcountry Ski Experience

Parents. Campers. Donors.  Friends!

Backcountry skiing?  What’s that?  Well,  basically, it’s when you get some skis and go into the mountains and ski… it’s beyond the resort.  It takes human power (your legs) to get yourself up the hill.  And then it takes gravity to get you down.  The going up looks a little like this:

 

 

And my favorite part, going down, looks a little like this:

 

OR THIS:

 

So what’s happening this winter at camp?  We are doing backcountry skiing!  We have some good areas for this.  The hill above the pond (wide open, steep, safe). Nearby hills that are similarly open.  If the snow is fast (i.e. icy), we’ll ski on flatter terrain in a more cross country style.  If the snow is slow (i.e. powder) we’ll go all over the place and make turns!

Your child will learn basics of skiing and attempt telemark turns. They will get plenty of exercise and take skiing to a new level and beyond the resort.

You can sign up for this unique program within our winter camp program when you register for winter camp.  There is no extra charge for backcountry skiing.  Each session is an hour and a half and fit within the normal schedule. Your child will still be able to tube, skate and do all the other good stuff winter camp has to offer.

Hope to see you on the hill,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Winter Camp gets tubing upgrades

That’s right. It’s safer, faster and you’ll get trips back up more often.  Many campers choose tubing as their favorite activity at winter camp. Why shouldn’t they? 1/4 mile long, speed, 3 turns, a ride back to the top. It’s great fun! We upgraded the famous tube run in three ways this year. Safety, speed and the ride to the top. Safety and speed were addressed through some excavation of the second turn. That turn was always problematic. On the slow days it was fine and on the fast days it was not fine! By adjusting the shape of the turn and adding earth a few places we think we have made it both safer and faster. Parents and campers rejoice! The ride to the top: with the addition of the Birchmobile for hauling campers back up (rather than the tractor) the ride up will be faster. That means more runs in a weekend!

Winter camp is around the corner. During February we’ll host elementary and middle school age campers for weekends and long weekends. Winter camp at Bethany Birches is something to behold. Super great food (afforded by volunteer cooks), 160” annual average snowfall, a large indoor space for getting out of the cold, a backcountry ski program and a quarter mile tube run. I wanted to take a minute to update you on the tube run.

See you here this winter?

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

 

Summer 2017 Dates!

Many of you have been asking about Summer 2017 dates. We worked hard to put our schedule in order so we could get them to you. Put these on your calendar and plan now for summer camp!

The schedule is very similar to last year.  Throughout the summer we will have three different weeks of “Core” for 9-13 year-olds. These weeks are the heart of Bethany Birches where we do classic and traditional BBC activities like Messy Monday, Wet and Wild Wednesday, Mud Pit, Plenty of Pond Time, and more! Campers are welcome to come to one, two, or all three of these weeks. And yes, we did adjust the aging of Core A to allow 9 year-olds to come to our Core program!

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Summit weeks are for older campers who enjoy BBC but desire more free time, cooler games, and unique activities like Night Group Games! Summit High has trips and activities totally unique to that week, so stay tuned for more information on that!

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If you’re a teen camper and you love camp why not consider the leadership development programs?  They are the perfect way to get the inside track to being a counselor or staff member.

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Summer ends with a week for the youngest campers. Launch is a great opportunity for your 6-10 year-olds to experience some classic BBC events and activities that have been specifically geared for their age. Is your child uncomfortable going overnight?  Launch Day Camp!  Perhaps they want to try overnight but for a short bit. Launch Half! The launch programs are a great introduction to any young camper.

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We’ve also updated our website with these new dates. This is a great way to share about the upcoming summer with your friends!

Online Registration for Summer Camp will open Nov 11.  In the meantime, check out information on Winter Camps coming up this February!  Registration for winter is open right now!

We hope to see you up at camp this summer!

Dan “Chick” Laubach

1/4 mile tube run. Full speed ahead.

Greetings Friends.

It’s that time of year again! In just two short months we will be ice skating on the basketball court and drying our boots by the fire after flying down the tubing run! Full speed ahead. Its Winter Camp season! unnamed-7

During Winter Camp we pack a full week of Bethany Birches into just one weekend. Campers will get to reconnect with their friends from the summer, hang out with some returning counselors, and sleep in the heated Staff Cabin! Campers also participate in a variety of Snow Camp specific events, including: Tubing, Sledding, Broomball, Snow Painting, Cardboard Sled Races, Firesides, Night Tubing, and the New Pavilion!

Winter Camp Weekends are:
Lynx: February 13-16 (Grades 4-7)
Polar Bear: Feb 19-21 (Grades 7-9)
Bobcat: Feb 26-28 (Grades 3-6)
Connect: Mar 25-27 (Grades 8-11)

If you would like more information check out bethanybirches.org/winter-camps or call the camp at (802)-672-5220 unnamed-8

We hope to see you there!

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey and Dan “Chick” Laubach
Executive Director and Program Director

REGISTER NOW

TBT: Polar Bear Campers in the New Pavi

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.

Will you come too? (Bring a camper, volunteer, or come to the annual sunday service)

If you want a sneak peak of the new pavi before summer come on up to volunteer anytime between now and June!

-Cheeks.

Nye and Campers are ready to play 4 square in the new pavi!

Nye and Campers are ready to play 4 square on the porch of the new pavi!

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Benji and campers are ready to sing prayer songs in the new pavi!

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Ru and campers pretend to sing in front of the designated spot for the fireplace in the new pavi.

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Ray’s campers are ready for fun!

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Buoy and campers are ready to eat in the new pavi during inclement weather!

 

 

“See” Winter at BBC

Waking up to snow this morning reminded me that this is the winter that just won’t quit! And what a winter it has been. Lots of people were on and off the hill to help with the building but my favorite groups continue to be THE CAMPERS! During the month of Feb there were 3 great weekends of winter camp! I recently spoke with a camper who was at snow camp who said she enjoys snow camp even more than summer camp.

The 2015 Snow Camp Season included Bobcat Camp for grades 3-6, Lynx Camp for grades 5-7 and Polar Bear Camp for grades 7-9. Each camp had unique activities like cardboard sled races, snowball olympics and popsicle stick collages. Each camp had different staff and campers. Despite the uniqueness of each weekend all 3 snow camps included time outside enjoying the beautiful (and cold) winter wonderland, learning and asking questions about faith, great food (thanks to many volunteers) and lots and lots of fun!

See the BBC Snow Camps for yourself at these different links and then mark your calendars to join us next year or tell your friends to join us for exciting weekends of camp in the snow!

Bobcat Snow Camp: Pics of Bobcat  and a video with the new BBC Quadcopter!

Polar Bear Snow Camp: Pics of Polar Bear

Lynx Snow Camp: Pics of Lynx

As winter winds down (slowly) we are anxiously awaiting Summer! This summer marks BBC’s 50th summer and the first summer in the new pavi! Don’t miss these exciting milestones at BBC! Sign up for SUMMER CAMP now at  http://www.bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/

Winter Camp: Cure for the Common Winter

At camp, we tend not to do commercials. We aren’t a commercial place and we try hard to remain rustic. We cook meals over the fire, use wood to heat buildings, use cast iron to cook food, light our way at night with gas lanterns and all sorts of other old-time stuff. This lack of technology at camp helps keep distractions at bay (although, let’s be honest, cast iron and gas lanterns are awesome technologies!).

As we learn how to communicate with the outside world, we try to demonstrate camp as best we can so those who haven’t yet been to camp, can gain a sense for how fun it really is. Each winter camp session, campers just can’t seem to get enough tubing!

We used video to demonstrate how much campers LOVE to tube in this 30 second commercial.

 

See you at winter camp?

Tuna