Opps…one more click HERE to see the Annual Fund 2017 Mailer
I’m sure that some families still MIGHT have a few more piles of camp laundry left, or perhaps a daypack or bag which contains a few pair of socks or a candy bar wrapper from a trip to the camp store. School has started and families are getting into the pattern of daily routines with sports, friends and new events.
Who has time to think about NEXT summer?
Last year we had waiting lists at Brookwoods and Deer Run. Moose River Outpost set an attendance record and we even added a new cabin to accommodate the demand. I would encourage you to get signed up for camp NOW so you will have a spot reserved for incredible adventure and fun.
The link to the online registration page is: https://www.christiancamps.net/camps/register-for-camp/
We offer existing families the first opportunity to pick your favorite session, before they are filled, so please don’t wait to enroll.
Probably the most asked question from new families who are checking out Brookwoods, Deer Run or Moose River Outpost is “what does it mean to be a Christian camp?” The question is also asked in another manner “what do you do at camp that makes it a Christian camp?” Both questions are understandable. Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, in Massachusetts, recently completed a survey and discovered over 33,800 different church Denominations in the United States and over three million different church congregations. Each congregation is unique with different strengths and abilities. No wonder there might not be a clear understanding for everyone with so many diverse backgrounds!
If you were sitting down in my office for a visit, this is how I would answer your question about Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost.
Our mission at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost is to introduce people to Jesus Christ in such a compelling fashion that they will come to know Him as Lord and Savior. This basically means we will tell campers about Jesus Christ through Bible studies and our own personal witness, with the hope that they will pursue their own relationship with Christ. The structure of our program, and the kind of staff we hire each summer, reflect that mission. We wish our staff to role model the life and love of Christ to each camper.
The staff that work directly with the campers are selected through an application process involving written paperwork, references, interviews and a background check. If the staff member is responsible for transporting campers on the road, we also do a drivers license check, and they must have a totally clean record for at least 3 years. During the interview we look for more than just good character. We look for staff that are demonstrating actions compatible with our mission statement. For example, we look for staff that are currently enrolled in Bible studies, small groups or other support networks that demonstrate their desire to deepen their relationship with God. Do they attend church or seek out relationships with others who desire to serve God? Do they choose their friends wisely? Do they demonstrate sound judgment and decision-making? We might even ask a prospective staff member a situational question, for example, how would they respond to a camper who wants to accept Jesus as their personal Savior? It is important that each staff member is able to speak to the spiritual questions our campers may ask. Each year we have more staff applicants than we can hire, so the process is selective. While our leadership programs are a natural training ground for future staff members, completion of those programs does not necessarily guarantee a staff position in the future. Because of the low staff turnover rate each year, we can always select the best candidates to fill the limited available positions.
On a daily basis at our camps we do the following formal activities directly related to our mission statement.
- Once a day we gather for singing of contemporary Christian songs lead by talented staff members. At Moose River Outpost we gather in Moose Hall and at Brookwoods and Deer Run we gather in the outdoor chapel.
- After singing, all campers and their staff return to the cabins for small group Bible studies. Over one month at camp, topics usually cover some New and Old Testament material, and the topics vary from season to season. This small group study is done in the security of the cabin group, and will last for approximately 45 minutes.
- At the end of the day, when the campers are in bed, the Counselors will frequently present a short devotional or thought for the day. This might take the form of reading a portion of a C.S. Lewis novel or perhaps simply talking about some of that day’s activities in the context of the morning Bible study.
I would also share with you that we don’t “shove” the Gospel of Jesus down the throats of our campers. It would be wrong as adults and people in authority to manipulate an emotional response out of a camper. You have probably heard stories of religious activities involving public demonstrations of faith, and while there might be a place for that in some circumstances, camp is not that place. We don’t sit around a campfire singing “kumbYah” until every camper has raised his hand. We prefer to simply make the presentation and permit the camper to make a personal decision, not coerced though emotional manipulation or peer pressure.
Since all our camps are located in New England, we often get asked if someone from a Catholic background can attend. Yes, in fact we have many campers each summer from Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, and non-faith backgrounds who are comfortable with attending our camps. While our non-denominational approach is centered on the historic Christian faith, we are not a denominational camp. We use the 66 book Bible, and our camp philosophy is clearly from an historical Judeo-Christian approach.
Everyone has a different reference frame based on his or her prior experiences. If you are a parent considering sending your child to Brookwoods, Deer Run or Moose River Post, and have questions about some of these topics, please feel free to call me, the Executive Director, at the camp office at 603-875-3600. I’d be thrilled to spend some time with you talking about our great camps!
The last nine years have not been pleasant for those involved in the financial sector or those who have new issues with their home mortgages. Areas of the economy that have been fairly predictable have experienced a level of unprecedented uncertainty. For those who have investments, the best advice seemed to be not to open up those window envelopes filled with disappointing statements; just throw them in the drawer and hopefully stocks will rebound from today’s loss.
A few years ago we had a family donate stock to our organization from a very reputable and highly rated insurance firm. I’m thankful they made the donation when they did since the stock price went from well over $20 down to $1.58 per share. Seven months previously this stock was a “strong buy” and now it is worth less than a roll of toilet paper! This illustrates the critical importance of timing involved with investments; what was good 7 months ago has lost its current appeal.
One of the largest investments we make in life, and in the future, is the raising of our children. The United States Department of Agriculture tried to determine the “average” cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 17. The department looked at several areas: housing, food, transportation, health care, childcare and education. Without going into great detail (you can read the study on the Department of Agriculture web site) the “average cost” of raising a child came out to $300,000. Housing makes up approximately 1/3 of that number; but still, it was staggering to see the bottom-line conclusion. Call me biased, but I believe that one of the best and safest investments you can make is in sending your child to camp. Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, while delivering a recent keynote address to a large conference of camping professionals said, “ No matter what the background of a child, camp opens doors, exposing children to possibilities and opportunities they might never know could be theirs. Camp transports kids with everything to a place where they have close to nothing. In so doing, it takes kids away from things they value, to teach them the things of real value.”
Camp is a temporary summer community involving an outdoor environment, with a child-centered program, safely conducted by trained leaders. Investments at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost also provide important spiritual objectives. The temporary community is created away from the normal distractions of life. It is amazing the “noise” we have to deal with from the television, iPods, Xboxes and cell phones. Sharing a cabin with others includes responsibilities and learning to respect each other and their property. When issues arise, campers have an opportunity to become more independent by resolving problems without the help of Mom and Dad.
The outdoor setting is a great place for that community because it is safe, healthy and provides openness and conversation as campers learn real life skills. To provide a great support network at our camps, we strive to hire a staff that possess character, and we train them to share their skills and their faith with the campers. Faith is the core of our camp experience. The spiritual objective is to point the campers on a journey of a lifetime by creating the desire, the will, and the ability to follow Jesus.
There Is Still Time to…
Join The Journey!
When you support camp, you “Join the Journey” as you come alongside campers on their faith journeys as they meet God in his creation and experience love in a Christ-centered community. It is this experience that transforms lives and none of it can be done without your help!
If you have already given—Thank You!
A healthy Annual Fund allows us to maintain and upgrade our programs and facilities and ensure that campers needing financial assistance will be able to attend.
This past summer, we were delighted to gift over $200,000 in scholarships, half of which was covered by donations to the Annual Fund.
Click here to make a donation and help us finish the year in a strong financial position and close the gap in our scholarship fund.
Thank you so much for considering camp in your charitable giving. If Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, or Moose River Outpost has helped you or anyone in your family become more of who you were created to be in Christ, I hope you will “Join the Journey” to give this gift to others today—and for generations to come!
We appreciate your support!