Summer programming starts in a month! We want to have occupancy to the pavilion by the end of the month. Can you help?!
Join us on Saturday May 28th from 9am – 3pm for Spring Work Day! Jobs will include (but not limited to)
.Painting the upstairs of the pavilion
.Turning the pavilion from a construction zone to summer camp zone
.Putting away/Cleaning up winter camp equipment
.Preparing Shelter Sites for Summer
.Preparing grounds for summer camp
We’ll have jobs for all skill levels and lunch for everyone, too!
Russell “OWO” Pejouey will be on site to cook a delicious lunch.
Lodging is available here at Bethany Birches for anyone who wants to come from a distance or make a weekend of it!
Email amber at bethanybirches.org to let us know you can help or respond on the BBC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/568154376678577/
What better way to start the new year than helping build the pavilion at BBC?! There is still lots of work to do on the 2nd floor of the pavilion including drywall, finishing work, hanging doors and shelving (see pic below). We’d love to have your help!
Join us on January 16th to make progress on the 2nd floor. We’ll start working at 9am with snacks/coffee available all day and lunch at 12:30. Join us for the whole day or just an hour! Specific work
will depend on what skill is available. PLEASE LET US KNOW if you are coming so Phil Wilkerson (construction manager) can plan projects accordingly.
If you can’t join us on the 16th but would still like to help, please let me 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,
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.
This week has been stressful! We had an electrical inspection on Monday (passed). Building inspection on Tuesday (allowed access to a couple areas). We are still needing a visit from the health department. And, on top of that, staff are showing up. In fact, summer staff orientation starts on Saturday!
In the building lots of progress has happened. Wall finishes are going on. Fire alarm has been completed. The kitchen is almost entirely set up (and is now being clean). Final grading and seeding has happened everywhere. Porch railings are being installed. The boiler is supposed to come on line Friday.
And yet, there is still lots to do. Some lighting fixtures have to be installed and there is plenty of finish carpentry to do. And of course after that, the upstairs has to be finished, chimney installed, big garage doors and wood boiler installed, climbing wall built and some other things. But, we are headed toward completion on phase 1 and that feels good.
It’s been a busy week at BBC! The work didn’t take a Memorial Day Holiday – instead Dale Snader of Dale’s Homes led a group from Taftsville Mennonite Chapel to rake and seed the property. Grass is already starting to grow. Another electrical crew from PA arrived to make sure we have lights, electric and meet the fire codes. Thanks to Harold Bergey, Will Bergey, Robert Frederick and Andy Bird for giving their time! Larry Derstine, Ken Hershey and Roy Snell volunteered alongside the crew of Jenne Construction to keep going on the finishing touches including putting doors in the mudroom! Vermont Protective Coatings sealed the kitchen floor and Joanne, Scott and others kept the painting process moving. Martin Excavating was here smoothing out the East Side Bank and dumping stone around the pavilion. The most exciting part of the week – putting the bell in it’s new home!!
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.
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
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)