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.
Just when you thought pavilion progress was over…2017 started off with pavilion door painting! A group of 8 Seniors (+ 2 adults) from Dock Mennonite Academy spent Jan 3 – 8 doing a lot of painting. The interior doors of the pavilion are clean and colorful thanks to their service.
Painting doors wasn’t their only accomplishment. The group of seniors prepared the mudroom to hang/stack/organize winter gear including skates and skis. Others in the group spent time repainting the floor and walls of the cabin basement. Now the basement of the cabin matches the new bathrooms upstairs. Both are shiny, clean and fresh! The group rounded out their week with various odds and end jobs and finished the week having some fun on the tube run and ice rink!
Why would a group of 8 seniors from PA come to BBC to paint, clean, sand and scrub? Dock Mennonite Academy requires each senior to participate in senior experience week. Seniors have the option to job shadow a professional in a field they have interest in or spend the week serving. We are thankful this group chose to spend the week helping at BBC.
The next time you’re in the cabin basement as a renter or snow camper or the next time you walk through the pavilion door as a parent, renter, camper, staff or volunteer you might be thankful for their work also!
We’re hoping to see some of them in the future while camp program is in session. In fact we hope the same for you! 2017 has opportunity for folks of all ages to experience BBC (including freshly painted doors). Check out summer and winter options. Hope to see you on the hill soon!
We are fortunate to be operating completely out of the new pavilion! We gained occupancy to the entire building June 2016. We had partial occupancy June 2015. We are focused on finishing this project! That includes finishing moving in, some additional fundraising and completion of a few items.
Moving in is the easy part! Total cash needs to finish the project and pay down outstanding debt is $249,500. $116,000 of this is debt on which we are paying interest. We are working to get rid of this debt (you could make a contribution now… or buy a session of camp for your child for Christmas)! The remaining $133,500 is to finish aspects of the project. Those aspects include kitchen equipment, climbing wall/high ropes, wood boiler, finishes (paint, sealing floor etc). Find the detailed list and estimated costs at the bottom of this post.
To date we have spent a little over $1,800,000 on the building including the loans referenced above, some in-kind gifts of materials and almost 7,000 volunteer hours. We expect to complete the project and all its components as time and money allow. We expect to finish paying down debt by end of calendar year 2017. And we expect many great uses of the building from now on! The building has served campers for two summer camp seasons and this winter will be the second winter camp season hosted in the new building. There have been 5 weddings and many other group uses already in the short time the building has existed. If you would like to give to help finish this project, PLEASE let me know.
I was preparing a document today… it’s a Pavilion Project Campaign finance and construction update. You’ll see it soon in the fall newsletter. And I got to thinking about the real purpose of the building and project. You see, during the course of the project I became overwhelmed at times and forgot why we were doing this. I lost perspective among the many details and decisions.
We originally set out to do this project to enhance and further BBC’s mission. The new building makes camp easier to run, makes camp more fun on rainy days (and we get a lot of those!) and of course, expands non-summer programming opportunities. This is where our mission begins to shine. A camper who is here multiple times each year typically develops their faith much more quickly and seriously. On top of those things, it makes the state happy. Let’s just say they were very unhappy with the old building (especially the “commercial” kitchen).
One thing that was evident this summer: it was a huge boost in summer operations. I found that staff seemed to have an easier time planning and running activities and storing and retrieving supplies. I think this gave them extra energy for making camp the best they could for campers. And the kitchen… the kitchen staff and volunteers worked so much faster… they could stage a whole day’s work and take breaks in the afternoon and get out at a reasonable hour. That just wasn’t possible in the old kitchen.
I overheard our new Program Director, Dan Laubach, talking about the benefits of the new pavilion when giving a tour recently… “It’s great even on rainy days. I can have dodge ball over there, cards out on that porch, 9 square here, arts and crafts on that porch and there’s still room for people to walk from place to place!” I think this highlights the point I’m trying to make about the new building being just want the camp needed to boost operational efficiency and to make camp as good as it can be for the many campers who utilize it. This is saying nothing of the rental opportunities and partnerships that are starting to crop up. More on those topics another time.
Here’s to hoping you don’t get lost along the way during your next overwhelming season in life. If you do, step back and try to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Where do we start? The fundraising of money has been taking a backseat to construction planning! Current cash and pledges toward the $1,800,000 fundraising goal is $1,375,460 (as of May 30, 2014)! And the fundraising through hands-on assistance is picking up (because we have needed to wait until the construction schedule is more clear). Since our last newsletter, the project has progressed from conceptual to practical. We now have a first set of what is called floor plans and elevations. This really allows us to get serious about budgeting, scheduling, and the long list of choices that are to be made.
This project has filled in any downtime that the staff has had at camp this spring. For me personally, it’s been especially challenging. It has also been invigorating for at least two reasons. One, the challenges have indeed encouraged my learning and honed my skills. Two, I have experienced graciousness, generosity and the miracle of people working together in spite of great odds against that union. For me, these are signs that God’s spirit is alive and present.
Because this project highlights our own inadequacies, yet it continues to move forward, we trust that God is within it and we can say that with God all things are possible.
People often ask how the fundraising for the pavilion project is going. I say really well! It’s been an encouraging so far with many people giving however they can. Many generous donors have given and pledged over $1,225,000. Below is an outline of the gifts we’ve received to date in graphic form. We are elated and grateful for the generosity shown to date and also aware we still have $600,000 to go till we reach the $1,800,000 goal. $1.8M will not only build the new pavilion, it will pay for camp program for four years (2012-2015). The logic takes a little explaining but the short story is that we built the campaign this way so that we could raise the program-subsidy money we raise each year while we’re raising money for the pavilion all with one message. That message is that VT young people need a place for faith-development and that place needs to include programming beyond summer. Our secondary message is very simple: the current pavilion is broken!
Will you help? There are two ways you can help:
We’re still searching for commitments of money. Would you consider a monthly gift of $10 or more?
We’re now seeking commitments of time. We’ll value time commitments at $20/hour. So if you said you could give us a week of time (40 hours), say to do a bunch of painting, we’d count that as a gift of $800 toward the remaining money to be raised. You can fill out the form on this page to let us know of your gift
In other news, I’d like to highlight the biggest gift given to date. It was in the amount of $200,000 and was given by the Clemens Family Corporation (CFC)! CFC (http://www.clemensfamilycorp.com) owns Hatfield Quality Meats, Country View Family Farms, Clemens Development, CFC Logistics, PV Transport and Nick’s Sausage Company. Their vision is quite simply to “steward diversified, profitable and growing enterprises controlled by the Clemens family.” Among their stated values are:
Honor God in all we do
Earn a reputation of high ethics and integrity
Take a long-term view
Share success with team members, community and shareholders
Seek to set commercial standards
Some of the camp’s supporters work for CFC businesses and that is, in part, the connection between CFC and Bethany Birches.
Thanks John, Merrill, Doug and other CFC members for giving The Pavilion Project a huge boost!
Campers say thanks to Pavi Donors!
Campers talk about the old and new pavilions:
And here is a visual image of the giving to date. Pretty amazing to have so many gifts of so many different sizes. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!