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Winter Archives - Bethany Birches Camp

Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Winter Camp Update (02/09/2021)

Dear Camper Parents,

I write to you with breaking news that is hard for me to share: we just learned that the Health Department made new policy and will not allow our resident camp program this winter.  This news is hours old at time of writing this post.

How did we get here?

  • I consulted with the Health Department in late November about our winter programming.  A representative from the department noted that our plans seemed in line with the guidance they have set forth and as safe as one can be right now.
  • I was instructed to follow the Governor’s orders, be aware of the law, and then make choices.  In mid December, after reviewing all the available guidance and executive order again, and finding solutions for how to eat and sleep safely, we decided to open registration for resident winter camp for 21 campers at a time with a mostly outdoor schedule.
  • A school nurse recently inquired (last week?) with the Health Department as to whether a child who attends Bethany Birches winter camp would need to quarantine before coming back to school.  Officials felt that section 8.2 of the WorkSafe guidance did not have a good enough answer.  As a state lawyer described it to me, he felt our overnight winter programs did not fit neatly into any of the ACCD guidance for Governor Scott’s executive order.  He noted that our plans seemed very creative and worthy of consideration and that we should submit a request to the Health Department.
  • They reviewed our request.  There was discussion between high ranking representatives from ACCD, Health Dept., and Bethany Birches.
  • Feb 9 in the late afternoon, I received notice that our resident camps were not allowed at the moment.  This was a policy the Health Dept. just created: no resident camps for February.

Needless to say, we are somewhat stunned at this updated policy/guidance.  Especially when our operating procedures seem safer than what I observe in many public places.  I try to remember how much stress some of our government officials are experiencing, and that gives me grace toward them.  More so than being stunned, I am sad and disheartened.  We were so excited to welcome your child to camp, and to stimulate hope and love and joy… and share some of this deep fluffy snow!

Given the timeline it was important to me that we get you this information immediately.

What’s next?

  • Money: tomorrow we will reach out about your preference.  You will have three options.  Roll your payment to summer camp, get a full refund, transfer your payment to a donation.
  • Winter Camp: we will consider whether we can offer any day programming this winter, or, open our facility to you so your family can come to ice skate, ski, tube, etc.
  • Summer Camp: it sounds like we may be invited to help craft guidance for resident programs in Vermont for summer 2021.  This is good news for BBC families because it means that we will have early awareness of the new rules and be able to best prepare for what is quite likely to be another strange year.  Registration for summer camp 2021 is open.  Many have already registered.  If you have not, you can find your session here.

Let me know of any questions, comments, and ideas. In the meantime give your kiddo a hug from me and the other camp staff.  We miss them and hope they are finding ways to thrive.

Sincerely,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey
Bethany Birches Camp
Executive Director

Winter Family Fun Day 2018

Well that was fun!  Each winter and summer we host a family fun day to highlight all the good stuff the Bethany Birches program has to offer.  This winter we will host 5 weekends of winter camp for grades 3-11.  Find your session here: bethanybirches.org/winter

About 80 folks enjoyed winter family fun day this year.  The youngest in attendance appeared to be less than a year old and the oldest seemed to be nearing 80.  That’s what we like to see!

As the founder of our back country ski program I enjoyed leading that very much.  We had some skiers who never skied before and a couple who were seasoned.

Of course there was lots of tubing!  Due to the recent snow the run was a little slower the first half of the day.  Waxing the tubes helped.  Big thanks to neighbor Bob Lambert who faithfully drove the truck and trailer all day so people didn’t have to walk the steep 1/4 mile hill after each run.

Lunch was great!  Thanks to Wonder Woman, Batman, Wendy, and Joanne for making great food and lots of it.  I’m still wanting those brownies.

On top of the skiing, tubing and lunch we roasted marshmallows, painted snow, had an epic broom ball tournament in which there were 5 overtimes, knitted, played carpet ball, gaga and 9square among other things (including a very artistic drawing pictured here).  Thanks to all of you who came out for the fun and I hope to see you up here for a winter camp!

Love,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Waiting Lists at Winter Camps!

This past winter has been interesting weather-wise.  Another interesting trend is the uptick in attendance for winter programs.  For the three overnight programs we saw 168 camper days which is 95% of total capacity.  On top of this, there were waiting lists for all three sessions!

As many of you know, winter is so busy for many families in central VT.  We continue to believe that what we’re doing at winter camps is unique and special and that almost all campers would choose it over other activities once they realize how fun and meaningful the weekends are.  It makes mission accomplishment possible if a camper can be here at least once in the summer, once in the winter and one or two other times between.

We are deeply indebted to the many staff and volunteers that make these weekends possible.  Gigi, a college student and long time BBC-er came to be Assistant Program Director three weekends in a row.  A group from PA drove 7 hours each way to help run one of the weekends.  Lots of other staff and volunteers sacrificed rest and relaxation to make winter camp all that it was.

Plan now to join us next year for one of the fun-filled, faith-building weekends as a camper or volunteer in the #BBCsnowGlobe.

Till then,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

Backcountry Ski Experience!

Backcountry Ski Experience

Parents. Campers. Donors.  Friends!

Backcountry skiing?  What’s that?  Well,  basically, it’s when you get some skis and go into the mountains and ski… it’s beyond the resort.  It takes human power (your legs) to get yourself up the hill.  And then it takes gravity to get you down.  The going up looks a little like this:

 

 

And my favorite part, going down, looks a little like this:

 

OR THIS:

 

So what’s happening this winter at camp?  We are doing backcountry skiing!  We have some good areas for this.  The hill above the pond (wide open, steep, safe). Nearby hills that are similarly open.  If the snow is fast (i.e. icy), we’ll ski on flatter terrain in a more cross country style.  If the snow is slow (i.e. powder) we’ll go all over the place and make turns!

Your child will learn basics of skiing and attempt telemark turns. They will get plenty of exercise and take skiing to a new level and beyond the resort.

You can sign up for this unique program within our winter camp program when you register for winter camp.  There is no extra charge for backcountry skiing.  Each session is an hour and a half and fit within the normal schedule. Your child will still be able to tube, skate and do all the other good stuff winter camp has to offer.

Hope to see you on the hill,

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey

High School Seniors Start the New Year Serving

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!

Basement floor – before and after

1/4 mile tube run. Full speed ahead.

Greetings Friends.

It’s that time of year again! In just two short months we will be ice skating on the basketball court and drying our boots by the fire after flying down the tubing run! Full speed ahead. Its Winter Camp season! unnamed-7

During Winter Camp we pack a full week of Bethany Birches into just one weekend. Campers will get to reconnect with their friends from the summer, hang out with some returning counselors, and sleep in the heated Staff Cabin! Campers also participate in a variety of Snow Camp specific events, including: Tubing, Sledding, Broomball, Snow Painting, Cardboard Sled Races, Firesides, Night Tubing, and the New Pavilion!

Winter Camp Weekends are:
Lynx: February 13-16 (Grades 4-7)
Polar Bear: Feb 19-21 (Grades 7-9)
Bobcat: Feb 26-28 (Grades 3-6)
Connect: Mar 25-27 (Grades 8-11)

If you would like more information check out bethanybirches.org/winter-camps or call the camp at (802)-672-5220 unnamed-8

We hope to see you there!

Brandon “Tuna” Bergey and Dan “Chick” Laubach
Executive Director and Program Director

REGISTER NOW

“See” Winter at BBC

Waking up to snow this morning reminded me that this is the winter that just won’t quit! And what a winter it has been. Lots of people were on and off the hill to help with the building but my favorite groups continue to be THE CAMPERS! During the month of Feb there were 3 great weekends of winter camp! I recently spoke with a camper who was at snow camp who said she enjoys snow camp even more than summer camp.

The 2015 Snow Camp Season included Bobcat Camp for grades 3-6, Lynx Camp for grades 5-7 and Polar Bear Camp for grades 7-9. Each camp had unique activities like cardboard sled races, snowball olympics and popsicle stick collages. Each camp had different staff and campers. Despite the uniqueness of each weekend all 3 snow camps included time outside enjoying the beautiful (and cold) winter wonderland, learning and asking questions about faith, great food (thanks to many volunteers) and lots and lots of fun!

See the BBC Snow Camps for yourself at these different links and then mark your calendars to join us next year or tell your friends to join us for exciting weekends of camp in the snow!

Bobcat Snow Camp: Pics of Bobcat  and a video with the new BBC Quadcopter!

Polar Bear Snow Camp: Pics of Polar Bear

Lynx Snow Camp: Pics of Lynx

As winter winds down (slowly) we are anxiously awaiting Summer! This summer marks BBC’s 50th summer and the first summer in the new pavi! Don’t miss these exciting milestones at BBC! Sign up for SUMMER CAMP now at  https://www.bethanybirches.org/summer-camps/

Winter Camp: Cure for the Common Winter

At camp, we tend not to do commercials. We aren’t a commercial place and we try hard to remain rustic. We cook meals over the fire, use wood to heat buildings, use cast iron to cook food, light our way at night with gas lanterns and all sorts of other old-time stuff. This lack of technology at camp helps keep distractions at bay (although, let’s be honest, cast iron and gas lanterns are awesome technologies!).

As we learn how to communicate with the outside world, we try to demonstrate camp as best we can so those who haven’t yet been to camp, can gain a sense for how fun it really is. Each winter camp session, campers just can’t seem to get enough tubing!

We used video to demonstrate how much campers LOVE to tube in this 30 second commercial.

 

See you at winter camp?

Tuna

The BBC Cabin has Something for Everyone in Winter

Cheeks trying to stay ahead of the raking

Cheeks trying to stay ahead of the raking

The other day Tuna posted this picture of me trying to stay ahead of leaf raking. Mowing leaves reminded me of plowing/shoveling snow. My heart sunk as I remembered how much harder it is to both shovel snow and drive in snow compared to leaves! Then I remembered the beauty of winter, the memories I’ve created while skiing down East Fall, giggling the whole way down the BBC tube run or heading deep into the quiet woods on my snowshoes. BBC is a winter wonderland. Consider coming to check it out!

The Bethany Birches Cabin is a great spot to enjoy every aspect of winter…
…Head to the nearby mountains for some of the best skiing in the northeast.  (Killington Mountain or Okemo Mountain)
…Tube down BBC’s 1/5 mile tube run on tube park quality tubes for a memorable adventure
…Strap on snowshoes or cross country skis and explore the 100 acres of camp.
…Snowmobile the VAST trail which runs through camp property and can take you anwhere in the state of VT.
…Or simply watch the snow fall from a cozy cabin.

No matter the type of adventure you enjoy – BBC is a cozy, affordable place to stay. The cabin is kid friendly and a great place for groups of any kind to gather!*

Take 20% off a week long rental. Inquire about midweek/3 night rental specials. For more details on rates click here. Or click here to check the availability. To reserve the cabin click here.  Or give us a call! (802-672-5220)

If you’re coming to ski – don’t’ miss out on Killington’s early bird deals ($58 Weekend Tix/$38 Mid Week Tix offered through 10/17) Keep in mind, Killington is open until May and skiing in April can be just as fun as skiing in Feb!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Non Profit Youth Group Discounts ($15/person)

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