Here’s the Bethel Camp Times — Fall Edition 2019.
The clap of thunder rang through my ears as I watched the wall of rain slam onto the ground. Team games were in thirty minutes and I had just tacked all the activities onto the board. The Recreation Director, Auxiliary staff and I looked at each other and realized we had to pull together a new plan for team games…and quickly.
If you’ve ever been at camp when one of our lovely Kentucky summer storms hit, you know this feeling. It’s that moment when you realize your plan isn’t working and you need a new one.
The Kitchen staff graciously let us clear out the tables in the dining hall to set up our game. Counselors and campers helped us stack tables and chairs. The Auxillary staff helped us set the “field” for team games. Soon everything was set and we were ready to start! The teams did a great job playing the game as if we were out on the field, yet cautious enough to keep everyone and everything safe inside. The game ended well and much fun was had. We were all grateful the storm didn’t ruin the fun!
That’s one thing I have always appreciated about working at Bethel Camp. No matter how the day goes, or whatever circumstances happen, everyone is able to think quickly and find ways to work everything out. No one sees themselves higher or lower than the other, we just want to be there for each other. Our goal is to serve one another, have fun, and learn to love like Jesus.
Bethel Camp community (aka “Camp Fam”) has always done a great job reflecting what the Body of Christ is like. We celebrate, mourn, challenge, and grow together as one big community that simply desires to have fun and grow in Christ. Even in those times when sudden summer storms hit us, we know that we can depend on each other to make camp work and have a good time.
Thank you staff, campers, volunteers, board members, donors, prayer warriors, all of you who participate in many ways with camp for all you do. You are awesome members of our “Camp Fam” 🙂
Happy 18th birthday to this beautiful girl! Aleisha Boley, you are fantastic. We’re so glad you’re a part of our lives here at Bethel Camp!Aleisha helps out with a lot of things around here. But I think one of her favorite jobs is keeping this
feisty sassy spunky ornery interesting man in line.
Something tells me… she gets this look from him often.
Happy birthday, Aleisha!!
The week of June 11-16 brought 48 campers (grades 6, 7, and 8) to the Bethel Camp facilities. They came from as far away as Canton, OH and as near as Riley Branch just off Hwy 476. It was a great group of campers. They had a lot of energy and played games with lots of energy. They were however much more of a contemplative group when it came to chapel. They listened with open ears and soaked up what was being said. Andrew, one of the counselors commented that his cabin group was very attentive during the morning cabin devotional time.
They may have been a thinking group, but they were also very talkative at meals. There was usually a buzz of conversation as they stood in line waiting for some of those chicken enchiladas or some of Bill’s home-made pizza. There was also plenty of fun to be had as the campers played games in the Rec. Hall. One of the favorite games there was the carpetball game. The other surprise to me was the time that the campers spent spinning on the Merry-go-round. If I as a camp director could harness the energy expended by spinning that think, I might just be able to run all the air-conditioners with that power (smile!).
Camp always gets more exciting as the week goes on, and this week was no exception. The shaving cream struggle was a success on Wednesday as everyone got completely covered in the slippery stuff and slid all over the large sheet of black plastic. The cook-out and hayride were a fun time of relaxing on Thursday and were the prelude to the all new night game called, “Capture the Scavenger.” Bethel Camp Olympics were Friday morning, the tournaments finished that afternoon, and the Bible Quiz allowed the teams to gain a few more points to see who would win the team competition. Later that evening, we experienced a meaningful campfire service, and enjoyed watching the camp video that recapped all the week’s activities.
Probably the most touching part of the week of camp for me was during part of the campfire service when all of us were asked to pray together in groups of 3 or 4 people. I was grouped together with two 6th graders who encouraged me so much with their prayers. They wanted to pray for one of their friends who had lost her mother during the past year and was having a hard time. I expected them to ask for something for themselves, and instead they were concerned about a fellow camper. That is faith in action.
We thank everyone who has been praying for us. God is indeed doing a good work in the lives of campers and staff this summer.
March 2009 Ministry Update for Team Driskill
This has truly been a season of transition in weather, activities and schedules! We’ve had snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, sun and lots of wind—all in the same few weeks. Despite cancelling several “regular” services, we continue to see God moving in our various ministry efforts.
Emmanuel Fellowship: it took more than six weeks this year to hit a Wednesday where we could have kids, adults and youth group all on the same week, thanks to some wild weather which seemed to land on the mid-week service days. We had some tree damage at our house and were without power for four full days Feb. 11-15 and had some debris hit the truck windshield on Mark’s way home from school. Many homes and businesses in the county were damaged, but no injuries reported—thank God! The church celebrated our birthday the second Sunday in February and observed Ash Wednesday the end of the month. Mary continues to work with the Youth Drama Team who performed for a recent Youth Rally. Mark continues to do the monthly radio broadcast and has had someone offer to cover the $50 per month ministry—PTL! In addition to weekly sermons, he continues to write a weekly newspaper column and daily internet devotions. He plans to compile some of these works into a book in the near future. Please pray for his continued creativity and inspiration as he also develops curriculum for his 6 classes at Oakdale. We continue to minister through a couple of home groups and the Owsley County group has had people accepting Christ at each monthly service!
Oakdale: We’ve had the opportunity to host several students during the Spring Break and Mark’s opportunities to share his faith continue with each class. Pray especially for his Introduction to Christianity and Introduction to the Bible classes as these provide the most direct witness opportunities. One student has made a profession of faith and several others are asking critical and probing questions. Mary continues to work with the co-op group and has big plans for the study on ancient Greece, including the construction of a Trojan horse!
Bethel Camp: Mark was the speaker for a youth rally sponsored by Bethel Camp and the Big Rock Players were one of two performing groups. About 60 youth attended, many who had never been to Bethel Camp. We left for the Christian Camp and Conference Association regional meeting March 2 and spent three days at Ridgecrest team building and being challenged and refreshed in camp ministry. We really enjoyed the chance to do some planning and dreaming about the summer—especially in the midst of snow and ice! We are beginning to develop materials for the summer camp season including devotional guides, Bible speaker outlines and staff enrichment.
Pray for these coming events and our strength as we minister through them:
Spring Youth Retreats starting March 27-29 and April 3-5 at Bethel Camp—events for 5th through 12th graders at Bethel Camp.
Easter & Holy Week services in our community April 5-12.
End of semester events at Oakdale, home school and Alice Lloyd College.
For Katie and the Voices of Appalachia as they go on tour in New York March 14-22.
The last two weeks have been busy. After the youth retreat, Julia’s grandparents, Stan & Arlene Sizemore came to help out for most of the week. Stan used his carpentry skills to help us check off some items that have been hanging around on our to-do lists for a long, long time. He finished up the bathrooms in (the newly remodeled) Krestan Hall by building shelves in the closets. I’ve been waiting (not always so patiently) for that job to get finished so we have a place to put all the clean towels. Arlene spent so much time cleaning, and she did it well. Sometimes it feels like we have so many different jobs to do that they all get done halfway. I am so grateful to anyone who can put their heart into cleaning and really making a place sparkle. Stan also built shelves in the pantry of “the cottage” which, as of Saturday, is no longer empty.
Justin told me last week that he likes the challenge of getting to do new things. He made that comment while he and Roger were in the process of learning how to lay carpet. They rented a carpet stretcher, figured out how to use it, and got the hallway and two bedrooms in the cottage looking like home. I was very impressed. (I still am.)
This past weekend seemed to be full of nonstop action. Thursday evening a work group came in from Wooster, Ohio, and stayed through Sunday afternoon. That group of middle schoolers got a lot of work done – with much enthusiasm. When I cook for a group like that, I gain new respect for Bill (our summer cook.) By the end of the day, I was so tired I couldn’t think straight – and that was just cooking for 20 people! I don’t know how he does it. Maybe I should drink more coffee – or grow a mustache…
And now for the big announcement… we have another baby! Well, not us personally, but us the camp. Shaun and Wendy Davis and their 4-month-old, Lily, moved in to spend the next year at Bethel Camp. It took me less than 24 hours to realize that I’ll have to set down some rules for Malin and Avery. No visiting at Lily’s house without mom or dad’s permission! It’s just too much fun to have a living baby doll to love on.
That reminds me of a story Ella June tells about one of her girls when she was little – Elaine I think. She loved going down to the cottage to visit Mabel and Martha Maust, but she was too independent, and she had Ella June worried about where she had gotten off to. So the ladies worked out a system. If Elaine didn’t have a note pinned to the back of her dress with her mom’s permission to visit, then she was sent back home. Sounds like a good idea…
Sunday afternoon, just as the work group was packing up to leave, we had a nice surprise. Bear and Opal Noble stopped by to visit! Bear has spent many weeks here at camp in the past, and we’ve missed having him around. Camp’s always open – if you ever want to stop in, we’d love to catch up with what’s been going on in your life. And if you come at mealtime, we just might feed you. Have a great week!
We have new (old – but young) friends at camp for awhile! Last Friday, Justin and Julia Kurtz moved up from Asheville, NC to spend 5 weeks helping out while Julia does her nursing clinicals in Hazard. They met for the first time here at Bethel Camp when they were young, then got to know each other better over several summers while they were on staff together. It’s good to have them here.
We are so grateful to Martha Stoltzfus and Pauline Yoder who, earlier in the week, spent most of a day cleaning Miller Hall so it would be ready for Justin & Julia to move into. At one point during the day, we were talking about the idea of an “age factor.” Everyone has an actual age, but there’s another “age” too – the age that you look or act; the age that other people may think of when they see you. Those two ladies must have a pretty low age factor. Either one of them could be a grandmother to my girls, and yet at suppertime, Malin referred to them as “the girls that came to Miller Hall today.” And earlier in the day, after spending time with Martha & Pauline, Avery came up to the house and asked for a snack to share with her “good friends.”
And that was just the beginning of the spring clean-up process… This past weekend, a youth group from Delaware – about 30 people – came down and got all kinds of stuff done around here. They have kind of a tradition of coming down every other year – doing work projects around camp on Friday and Saturday, then doing an Easter program at the Turner’s Creek Mennonite Church. We didn’t get to see their program at Turner’s Creek, but we had the chance to watch one of their practices. Excellent.
I spent most of my weekend in the kitchen preparing food and catching glimpses of progress from the windows. The camp pick-up and golf cart were kept busy hauling leaves, trash, tree limbs and workers who were efficient enough to catch a ride. A couple of girls were kept busy all day Friday feeding a fire that consumed tree stumps and fallen limbs. Another group cleared a trail through Larkin Holler to the top of the hill. They cleaned leaves out of ditches, emptied out the wood shop and moved everything to another building, hauled rec. equipment up to the old wood shop, set posts for a fence, cleaned out gutters, and put shingles on a roof.
With all of the work that’s gotten done, we feel ready for the spring youth retreat that will be going on this weekend. It starts at 6:00 with registration and a hot dog cookout. There’s still room – if any of you (in 7th-12th grades) have been wanting to come but forgot to preregister… come on over!