Bethany Birches Camp manages to combine the very best of the old and the new. At the end of October, BBC hosted the Camp Association Annual Meeting, held for the first time ever on Zoom. While we could not gather together for the traditional potluck supper, as the Association has for many years, we could meet, talk, and conduct business safely. Conducting the Annual Meeting via Zoom also allowed seven out-of-staters to participate without traveling. At this meeting the Association approved two new members of the Board of Directors. Margaret “Batman” Campbell, Lebanon, New Hampshire and Maxwell “Nye” Halik, Wakefield, Massachusetts, who both have had a long affiliation with the camp. At a subsequent meeting of the Board, Max was approved for a one-year term as Vice President and Margaret was approved for a one-year term as Board Secretary.
Margaret first visited BBC in 2005 to participate in a Women’s Retreat. A year later she began regular volunteer work in the camp office which continued until late summer 2015 when she moved from Vermont to New Hampshire. During that time Margaret helped with mailings, camper registrations, paying bills and making bank deposits, as well as other duties. One of Margaret’s particular interests has always been the Kids to Camp Fund which provides assistance to campers when a family cannot afford to pay the entire cost of attendance. You can give any time to that fund at www.bethanybirches.org/give.
Max was first introduced to camp by his friend Taylor in 2007. Max was apparently taken in by Camp’s combination of silliness, laughter, truth and “Mission Impossible.” Since he was 14 years old, Max has figured out how to return to Camp every year. First, he came as a camper, eventually worked as a counselor, and in 2015, Max served as Assistant Program Director. Of particular importance to Max was how the Camp gave him a concrete model for living a life following Jesus. Serving as a staff member at BBC gave Max the opportunity to introduce young campers to the way of life he found so rich and fulfilling.
Joining the Board of Directors in late Spring of this year “felt like a full court press,” Margaret said. “We had frequent meetings during spring and early summer trying to help the camp staff develop plans to safely hold camp in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. At the outset it seemed impossible,” she said but in the end, it worked and camp sessions were held safely. “I’m excited about working on the Board with others who are committed to providing quality, caring, nurturing programs for youngsters that will introduce them to a meaningful way of life.”
Max felt similarly swept along by the process of joining the Board during a time of pandemic preparation. “It was good to step in to assist Chad [Chad Yoder is the Board President] and the other board members, to feel useful especially for a summer where I knew I would not be able to come volunteer personally,” Max said. Asked about his thoughts on now officially being part of the Board and serving as Vice President, Max had this to say: “I’m really looking forward to contributing my hands-on experience with the day-to-day reality of counseling and running programs at BBC.” Max was on staff for many summers. “My hope is that this practical familiarity with the camp will help guide our strategy and to direct time and energy towards where the camp needs it.”
Max is excited to join the board and in his words, “Serving on the board after working at camp was something modeled for me by others serving BBC, such as Dave Ross. I’m so proud of our community, which demonstrates commitment to what we care about. I hope that other campers and counselors, former or current, will see that pattern, and think about how they could continue to help this camp which has given so much to us.”
There are so many within the Bethany Birches community that have long been active in providing financial support, volunteer time, avenues for camp publicity, camper and staff referrals and general encouragement and cheerleading. We need each of you! If you are not part of the association, you are encouraged to consider becoming members. If you’d like to talk about this possibility, please contact Brandon Bergey (Executive Director) or Chad Yoder (President of the Board of Directors).
~ Brandon “Tuna” Bergey, Margaret “Batman” Campbell, Max “Nye” Halik