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Time Machine: Fast Forward 30 Years. Camp is Different, But the Same. - Bethany Birches Camp

Time Machine: Fast Forward 30 Years. Camp is Different, But the Same.

2023 marked 30 years since we (Phil and Kelly) had both served on summer staff at BBC. God used Phil’s three and my one summer at BBC to create a special place in our hearts for camp ministry. Little did we know that God would use our BBC experience to lead us into camp ministry for over 16 years in Pennsylvania. All four of our children lived at, volunteered and/or worked multiple summers in camp ministry and have also found great joy in serving God in this way. This past summer we had the opportunity to come full circle and bring our four young adult children with us to BBC to volunteer for a week at camp. How neat it was to ascend Lynds Hill, together, to take in the familiar view of the beautiful green mountains, to visit Chickadee and Warbler where we were camp counselors, to stay in the staff cabin, and to enjoy the pond. How familiar it was to see the campers and staff coming to pick up their food crates, singing camp songs, hearing fireside speakers and seeing staff lighting their lanterns.

During our week, we enjoyed working with and getting to know the friendly camp staff, experiencing the gratefulness of the campers as we served food to them on rainy days. We enjoyed making progress in putting siding on the bath house, helping and learning from the kitchen staff, interacting with campers, and eating meals together in the pavilion. We even participated daily in the maintenance team devotions. And of course we loved just being outdoors and two trips to the Green Mountain Sugar House for maple creemees!! (Thanks Tuna and Cheeks for that suggestion!). As we reflect on our experience this summer and the many things that were the same, there were also several things that changed since our time at
BBC, as you can imagine. Changes such as the beautiful pavilion and much larger kitchen, the craft hut, the “blob” on the pond, the enlarged beach area, the hammocks, the tree
house and of course the flushing toilets in the bathhouse! Yet, with all of these changes, BBC continues to find its purpose in creating a fun and loving environment in an outdoor setting with a unique rustic experience, to introduce campers to and help deepen connections with Jesus. During our time there this summer, we were blessed to witness a staff member’s baptism at the pond and the opportunity it provided to explain to campers what it means to give one’s life to Jesus. We truly believe that summer camp provides an amazing opportunity to reach kids with the gospel. It is a place where they can “disconnect” from the virtual and get outside. It’s a place to form friendships and be kids! Plus, when you gather a bunch of young adult staff who love God and want to serve Him, God uses this community and the crazy fun of camp to make Himself known! We are thankful for the many years that God has used BBC to point others to Him and that He is continuing to do so! We are thankful to have been able to serve as a family this past summer.

~ Phil and Kelly Horning

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