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21st Annual Benefit Auction

Greetings friends!

Another camp season has come and gone, and with it, another benefit auction.  Having been a part of so many auctions, it is easy for me to forget how generous some people are.  I was reminded of this when talking with a newcomer this past Saturday morning.  Both he and his wife appeared somewhat stunned upon entering the pavilion.  He asked me why eggs just sold for $70.  Then he almost interrupted himself to ask why we are even selling eggs in the first place.  Turns out there are a couple answers to that question:

  1. The three sisters named in this description are all BBC campers: “1 lot of 4 dozen Farm fresh eggs from the Wolfe pack’s local, pasture-raised, free-range flock. Hand collected by the Helping HENS (Helen, Esther, Norah- Sisters). On-farm pickup as needed unless otherwise arranged.”
  2. It’s a benefit auction, at which we are raising money to subsidize families so they can afford to send their children to what is normally a very expensive experience.
  3. It’s fun!

My point is, people at the auction are generous.

One of the most important things about a benefit auction is the money.  How did we do?  In total, $71,376 was raised on the day (and another $5300 before the event toward the new mower).   Yay! For those of you who love the data, here’s the sold lot list.

It was a beautiful day.  It looked something like this:


Check out the photo album here.  The lot list with sold prices will be live on our website soon as well as next year’s date!  Plan now to join us next fall.

Thank you,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

20th Annual Benefit Auction

Dear Bethany Birches Community,

I write with thankfulness for 20 years of the annual benefit auction.  The auction is a fundraiser that supports the deep subsidies given to all campers and especially the ones who need much different price points in order to attend.  That auction is more than a fundraiser at this point.  It embodies our core value of community.  Each year, I hear from attendees that they enjoyed the event, and often they reference the joy of seeing old friends and making new friends.

Another key part of the annual auction is the food!  From Phil’s doughnuts first thing in the morning to a yummy, included no-charge lunch, food is a key part of the fun.  This year, in honor of 20 years, Bethany Birches staff provided children’s programming and thanks to neighbor Bob, a hay ride.  The programming was capped off with pig trough!  One of the youngest campers participated:


When the committee began the auction in 2002, their goal was to create an additional funding source for Bethany Birches. The first years were not easy but many of you stuck with us, and as we learned, it became easier and easier. Now there is a process for running the auction, dedicated volunteers, and a will to make sure that campers who cannot afford camp can still come to camp and have a fun, meaningful, nature-filled, Christ-centered experience.  Over the past 20 years this event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help guarantee that for many campers.  Each week we ask campers to write a brief letter to those who support Bethany Birches.  One reads:

Dear friend,

I liked the people and activities.  I learned that I feel calmer and more connected to people and God while I’m at camp.  Thank you for supporting this camp. 

Another reads:

Thank you so much for donating to camp. I have so much fun here every year, and i can’t wait to come back next year.  At camp I learn more about God and how to be a leader. 

This year, 150 people came out to give more than $60,000 to provide the BBC experience to local kiddos who need the help.  Thank you to all who participated!  If you would still like to join the fun, you can purchase the mug club here.


Brandon “Tuna” Bergey, Executive Director

Covid-19 update

Greetings friends!

Summer camp is so close and the weather proves it!  The Pandemic is over in this country and the disease Covid-19 remains.  There are varying viewpoints and opinions on how to behave at this time so we wanted to lay out our basic expectations for the summer 2022 season, as of June 7, 2022.  This post may be updated in the coming weeks.

We desire safety for all participants including emotional, social, spiritual, and physical.  As such:

  • All campers coming to camp need to be healthy, without symptoms of illness.
  • If campers develop symptoms of illness while at camp, we will let them rest, rehydrate, and if no improvement, arrange for a pickup.  Camp is a hard place to rest, recuperate and recover.  A camper may return to camp after 24 hours illness free.
  • At this time we require proof of a Covid-19 negative test (at home rapid is fine) within 36 hours before coming to camp.  Details will be explained in the preparation packet you will receive.  If there is an update to this requirement, you will receive an email prior to your session start.
  • If your child or anyone in the household has had Covid within the 5 days before camp, please notify us by email (camp @ so we can schedule a call with you.
  • We strongly encourage the required Vermont Department of Health vaccinations as well as becoming up to date with Covid-19 vaccination.

I hope your school year is wrapping up well.  Can’t wait to see you on the hill soon!

Brandon Bergey

Executive Director

19th Annual Benefit Auction Report

Dear friends,

Thank you!  Thank you to all of you who participated in the annual benefit auction.  It was a great day and the weather was perfect, as you can see.

I can’t speak for everyone, but, I have received many good reports of the camaraderie, food, and of course, the auction event itself.  If you’ve never been, the annual benefit auction is a place where you can both pay way too much for something as well as get a deal.  I was aware of how generous people are during the live bidding as I was watching Denise and Phil’s steak and lobster dinner sell for $600/2 seats.  Or Ruth Ellen’s focaccia bread that sold for $150.  It’s kind of fun to look through the items list and see how the bidding went.  You can find the list with results here.  While I’m sharing links, you can find the photo album from the day here.

By the numbers, 90 bidders online and in person, joined together with 108 donors of items and services to raise more than $65,000 for the camp.  More than 20 volunteers played different roles before and on the day of the event.  There are only about 365 days until the next auction which will be the 20th annual.  We are working on plans  to celebrate a little extra next year.  Plan to join us!  In the meantime, check out the fund a need projects and the volunteer opportunities.

Auction 2020 Success! $113,000

Wow.  Bethany Birches supporters showed up in a big way!  Looking down the list of all the bidders and donors of items warms my heart.  More than 100 persons banded together to contribute items and dollars and time to raise $113,000!  That total includes matches, mug club, fund a need, online auction, live auction, people covering credit card fees, and rounding up their payments. That is almost double a normal auction.  While the pandemic is wreaking havoc accross the world and erasing some businesses and non profits, it apparently isn’t going to erase Bethany Birches Camp.  The BBC community has proven that!

We will do our best to honor your support and care for this ministry and continue on our current path of providing a high-quality, Christ-centered camping experience at an affordable price for all.

If you would still like to give you can give to the “Fund a need” items here.  The climbing wall project especially needs a few more dollars.

I offer these three videos as a thank you!

Work Day this Saturday (Oct 24, 2020)

We need your help to prep camp for the coming winter and summer! Here are some of the tasks:
– Clear ski trails
– Cut trees for firewood (have a chain saw?)
– Split and stack wood
– Light leaf work

We will also provide individually wrapped desserts – physical labor earns brownie points and brownies!

October 17th 9am-5pm
October 24th 11am – 3pm*
*This is an update. If you were planning to come earlier or stay later, please just let us know! or FB messenger.

More info here:

Auction goes live Nov 7. We are testing Oct 16. Join us!

Greetings friends.  We are excited about the upcoming Benefit Auction.  Though it’s going to be different than usual, I think it’s still going to be pretty great.  There will be online bidding for a week, some important needs to give to, and of course Sandy Alderfer coming to us live via Zoom on Nov 7 at 9:30am.  We are trying to make the Zoom auction real time, similar to how we used to bid in person.  But we need to test that.  Will you join our test auction Monday, Oct 16 at 7pm?  If so, register here!

Auction Bidder Registration

Summer was fun! And weird. And expensive. Help?

Dear Friends,

If you haven’t read about our experience this summer you can get a glimpse here.  Reopening is one thing.  Doing so with a goal to have no virus transmission, especially when living together in groups, is another thing.  We are delighted with the results and so glad that we were able to pursue our mission fully.  We all need to connect with what matters in our lives and see God for who he is more now than ever.  It was a joy to share with young people this summer that God really does love and care for them and all they need to do is reach out and begin to experience the grace, purpose, peace and rescue that God has planned for them.  This message seemed to be especially relevant amid these unprecedented times.  Accomplishing this came at a cost, of course.  We spent over $16,000 for our pandemic response initiative and took in about $70,000 less than usual in summer camp revenue.  While we were able to cut costs by $20,000, there is still a gap!

I invite you give to “Where Most Needed”, “Kids To Camp”, or, “Pandemic Response Initiative” categories.  I also invite you to join us for the annual benefit auction in November.  Learn more about the auction.  Together, we will keep providing programming (even hopefully this winter) so that young people continue to develop a sense of hope, joy, and love.

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey
Executive Director

Camp In A Pandemic: Vol. 3

Dear Camp Friends,

We did it! 7 weeks of summer camp. 185 campers, 29 staff members, and checking with Rupert on exactly how many gallons of hand sanitizer, simple green, bleach, and other cleaning/sanitizing agents we’ve used.

When we started camp in July, I was surprised, and admittedly a little disheartened. Why did we have to be so strict? Will camp even be camp if we aren’t gathered close for fireside, or piled one too many around a picnic table for supper?  Will we be able to feel each other’s love and care even though we can’t see smiles through masks?

The answer is simple, and became clear as soon as campers started arriving. We didn’t bend rules so that we could offer the experience of camp to 185 young people this summer. So that they could reclaim some normalcy, and be with people who care about them, and learn about God in the middle of a global pandemic. While most camps closed or pivoted to virtual, we wanted to see if we could actually follow the guidance and actually avoid virus transmission.  Well it turns out you can take people from many different households, live together, and not infect each other!  All Covid-19 tests taken came back negative and all of the parents who responded to our post-camp surveys, stated their child was healthy or did not suspect their child of Covid-19.

But more importantly than no virus transmission, campers had powerful experiences and our mission was accelerated.  At the end of each week, campers have the opportunity to write “Dear Friend” letters to camp supporters. We got to read some of them and I wanted to share a few of them with you- in case you have wondered if camp was still “camp” this year. (spoiler – it was as good as ever)

See photo and video highlights from our summer here

For more details about our pandemic response, see our FAQ page here.

Kellyn “Benji” Boyden
Media and Communications Manager


P.S. We have a few volunteer opportunities including lawn mower, book keeper, wood cutters.  Are you interested in any of these?

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