We are excited to invite you and your family to come to Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run for one of our “Winnipesaukee Weekends”! The long weekend (Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch) includes housing, meals, and a variety of your favorite camp activities for your family to enjoy!
If you’re like us, you’re thankful that our loooooooong spring has finally turned to summer. Over the years, many of you have told that us that when June rolls around, you feel like there’s something you should be doing, and suddenly, you realize—it’s packing for camp! It’s part of your “camp circadian rhythm” (yes, we think it’s a thing). And what we didn’t know, but God did know, is that you now have an opportunity to come back to camp when it works for your schedule! Though it’s not the summer we planned on, we are delighted it will be a summer we’ll never forget, and our hearts are already full just thinking about you being at camp! We are excited to see you, to share camp stories, and to hear how God is working in your lives. We pray that this time to reconnect with you will be an encouragement to all of us!
Here are some of the Winnipesaukee Weekend details…
Housing: Housing options and weekend dates will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t delay and reserve your spots today! Click HERE for details and to sign up.
Dates: We’ve given some of the weekends a theme, which we thought might help you organize with other camp friends and families. The theme does not restrict that weekend to any particular group, however. For example, July 30th to August 2nd is designated for Moose River Outpost, but you don’t need to be a part of the MRO community to attend. Other themes include: July 4th Celebration (with fireworks), LDP groups, SALT, MRO and Former Staff Reunion.
Schedule: Click HERE to see a typical sample weekend schedule .
Pre-Camp Arrival: The State of New Hampshire has guidelines about coming to NH if you do not live in New Hampshire. You can find those details HERE.
In case you missed the email, by now you know that camp as we know it will not take place this summer at Brookwoods, Deer Run and Moose River Outpost. Here is a video message from Bob Strodel, Mary Beth Bowling and Ben Tabone. Also, here’s the message to the MRO family from Seth Coates.
Winnipesaukee Weekend questions and comments: Please contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Brookwoods and Deer Run will not be running summer camp in 2020…but we will be having “Winnipesaukee Weekends!”
Thank you for your support, patience, and understanding over the past few months as we worked to respond to the unprecedented public health concerns presented by Covid-19 and figure out how, in this environment, we might be able to safely and successfully deliver a meaningful camp experience this summer.
Based on the recommendations of the New Hampshire Re-Opening Task Force released on May 19th, we were thrilled to be able to inform families this past Monday that camp would be opening, albeit with some changes and adjustments, for this upcoming summer. Based on the communications from parents, we know many of you were thrilled as well.
However, late this past Friday night, June 5th, the Governor of New Hampshire released the final set of guidelines for the opening of New Hampshire residential camps. These guidelines were dramatically different than the ones released prior by the New Hampshire Re-Opening Task Force, upon which we initially based our decision to open camp. The final guidelines would require us to operate camp at 50% occupancy with cabin size limited to 8 campers; campers and staff would need to endure multiple nasalpharyngeal swabs at a significant expense; campers would need to remain socially distant from those outside of their cabin groups for the entire duration of the 4 weeks at camp and complete a much stricter Pre-Camp Health Screening. Staff would not be able to leave camp property for the entire summer. The final guidelines contain additional restrictions that were not in the Task Force’s initial recommendations, but these are the most dramatic changes.
After much discussion, prayer, and evaluation over the past 24-hours, both the Board of Directors and Senior Staff feel that given the newly released guidelines, we cannot operate Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run this summer. The staff have worked very hard over the past 12 weeks to re-program the summer experience based on the guidelines already set forth by the experts at the American Camp Association, the Christian Camp and Conference Association, the CDC and our local government officials. We were extremely disappointed to receive such dramatic changes to the guidelines from New Hampshire at such a late date and so close to the opening of camp.
Despite this discouraging news, we know and are encouraged by the knowledge that the Lord we serve has been in control all along and none of the events of the past 12 weeks were unknown to Him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We are heartbroken to think that our campers will not be able to come to camp this summer, especially after these very challenging past 12 weeks. We grieve the loss of a childhood summer of outdoor fun and friendships, and we mourn the loss of ministry and hearing our campers singing in the Chapel.
Our staff thought through some creative approaches to open camp to you, our camp families. We are happy to announce plans for “Winnipesaukee Weekends” at Brookwoods, which will provide your family unit an opportunity to come up to Camp and enjoy the out-of-doors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. George Bowling, our Tripping Director, is exploring several wilderness adventures as well. We look forward to sharing that news with you soon as it develops.
It is our continued desire, strengthened in moments like this, that Camp be a place where youth encounter Jesus in a real and tangible way, grow in their understanding of a Christian worldview, and gain life skills that will help them flourish and demonstrate God’s love in any community. It is with this mission that we now begin our planning for next summer.
We will be here to answer any questions you might have going forward as we move together down this unexpected and uncharted path.
If you are a parent with an enrolled 2020 camper, each family has several options on what to do with funds deposited for this summer:
Option 1– Donation: If you are able, consider donating all, or a portion, of your paid deposit or tuition to camp’s General Fund. A donation at this time would be very much appreciated. The financial impact of not running camp has placed a great burden on our ministry. A tax-deductible receipt will be issued to you.
Option 2 – Roll Funds Forward to Next Summer: We would ask you to consider rolling forward any tuition paid for this summer. If you choose this option, we would guarantee your child a place in the same session for 2021. By choosing this option, you would greatly help us manage our cash flow and have funds on hand for current operations.
Option 3 – Full Refund: You may request a full refund by completing the on-line form below by June 30th. A full refund will be issued to you within 120 days of your request.
Access this Online Form to choose which option is best for you.
When I arrived at Camp Deer Run for the first time at the wise age of 18, my visions of what I would be doing as a camp counselor included lines of little girls trouping behind me through the woods, assembling one s’more after another, and reading Bible stories by flashlight after “lights out.” While many of these visions became a reality, there were unexpected blessings that rounded my experience and keep me coming back to Deer Run summer after summer. One that I still reflect on is the Deer Run mentoring program.
In the summer of 2004 I was paired with camp legend, Bekah Peterson. I don’t remember much of what we talked about, likely funny stories of what my Whitetail campers did or said or how I spent my day off. What I do remember is that Bekah made me feel comfortable to be a clueless, eager, and overwhelmed first-year staff member. She had been around camp longer than me and she had more life experience. She listened and asked good questions that helped me see the bigger picture of camp and God’s Kingdom. Plus, she was just fun and cool and I liked hanging out with her.
Sarah Cohen (right) visits mentee Ellen Goodling in Nashville this past fall.
At this point in my “camp career,” I have spent at least a decade of my camp experience as a mentor. It is still one of my favorite parts of camp life. Every summer I have 1 or 2 mentees and my relationship with each of them is different; I love the way each relationship develops authentically. Sometimes we go for a walk along Damon Drive. Another mentee might prefer to stop by my office several times a week to chat for 10 minutes while eating a handful of M&Ms on her way to her next activity period. We always talk about campers, co-counselors, and the ways they are seeing God in those relationships. We talk about life at college, plans post-college, and how to discern God’s calling. We talk about future things, like marriage, babies, and family. Sometimes they just need to vent about the hard things that come with camp ministry and living in very (very) close community.
The mentoring program is a way that Senior Staff can support young adult staff in their daily ministry. As much as my mentees long for and need my listening ear, I also need to be reminded of the work God is doing inside each cabin and out on the front lawn. Just as Bekah helped me to see the bigger picture of God’s Kingdom, each summer my mentees remind me of God’s faithfulness and the work He is doing at Camp!
Sarah Cohen loves her job as the Brookwoods and Deer Run Program Director. Other jobs she’s held at camp include Whitetail counselor, Junior Unit Director, and LDP counselor. Sarah is a former 2nd grade teacher, now stay-at-home mom who brings her whole crew to camp every summer! She is mom to three future campers, Jacqueline (6), Paul (3), and Audrey (1). The Cohen Cabin loves breakfast cookout and can be frequently be found “selling” free sticks or painted rocks by the Eagle. Say hi to Sarah here!
Let’s face it, Lake Winnipesaukee is the best place on earth and there is nothing you can do to convince me otherwise. Sure, archery is fun and I guess horses are ok, but we (I) all know where the best activities are at camp.
As a camper I fell in love with sailing, SCUBA diving, and wakeboarding. As a counselor I was blessed to be able to teach swimming and most of the other waterfront activities at some point. However, once I joined waterfront staff, my relationship with the lake changed—no longer was it simply the place where I got to teach and do activities. The lake became a grounding place for me. A place where I have most clearly heard God’s call to me and the place where I go at my lowest.
Those who have been on staff know the Diving Pier after dark is a place for hanging out and chatting with friends (before curfew of course!). It is also one of my favorite nighttime haunts, but for the opposite reason. I go to the diving pier to stand alone and stare out across the still waters towards Rattlesnake Island. The wind quiets and I find one of the oft mentioned “thin places” in which God seems most accessible. It is in these moments that I have felt the irresistible urge to pray about anything and everything. Eventually, the moment passes and I head to the Lake Cottage or stand to watch Coach Crowers come back into the cove in his dory, racing the last light to shore. I have had similar “God moments” in life and in some truly random places (e.g. Amsterdam’s train station at 3am), but none of these places possess the raw power of the water.
I was, and am still to a degree, a Midwest boy, unlearned in the power of the ocean, so the waves on Winnipesaukee seemed large to me as a child. After seven years on waterfront staff, I realize that the waves on Winni may not be the biggest, but they are my favorite. Former staffers will know that most of my favorite things on the waterfront involve unruly water (waterskiing aside). From going on “rescue missions” that test our expertise in righting sailboats, or towing a boat into shore, or to standing on the diving pier watching a big storm march across the lake, slowly obscuring the islands one by one, or to occasionally taking the opportunity for a farcical photo shoot with Cody O’Loughlin, it is these moments where the raw power of nature grounds me to the place God has called me. Where the outside worries of a career and “real life” are quiet and I am able to simply do the job I love, in the place I love, for the people I love. The lake is more than water in a hole, it is the place where God finds me, smacks me on the head, and says “I’m bigger, let’s have a chat.”
Phil Lehmann has been on staff since 2008 and has served as the Waterfront Director for the last 4 years. He enjoys early morning skiing, leaving lunch early to take a nap in his hammock, and drinking coffee out of a battered enamel mug. Contact him at Philip.G.Lehmann@Gmail.com
I still remember the drive up to camp. I was 8 years old and I had never been that far away from home and I was terrified. I spent the entire car ride so nervous I thought I was going to throw up! Two weeks later I was calling them on the camp phone asking if I could please PLEASE stay two more weeks.
Camp is special like that. It is magical. It makes you want to stay and experience more of what it has to offer. I loved it all, from the days on the beach, to cabin nights, to the horseback riding lessons to all my new friends. I loved it so much I came back, 15 years later…I was looking to do something different the summer in between my junior and senior year of college. The Lord brought camp to mind and I decided to give them a call. Turns out they needed a Horseback Riding Director, but I wanted to be a counselor. Camp very graciously gave me the opportunity to do both.
When I arrived at camp, the term “Horse Chick” (we know how girls love horses) was affectionately batted in my direction. Not only do we have a special nickname, we also have special housing, fondly known as “The Chicken Coop” or “The Coop” for short, located at the top of the camp road. Since horses smell, and this smell is clingy—Horse Chicks preferably need housing close to the Stables in order to clean up before taking that lovely odor down to the Dining Hall to share at mealtime! In retrospect, I think my dual job of counselor and horseback riding instructor saved my reputation. I lived in a cabin and yet could spend my days at the Stable. I lived and breathed camp. I vividly remember calling my parents (from that same camp phone that I used when I was 8) and telling them that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was exactly where God wanted me. I felt His pleasure in my joy and love of camp. During the day I taught students how to ride and in the evenings I had the joy of impacting kids for the Lord in our cabin.
And now I find myself passing the proverbial torch. My 18-year old daughter, Anna, has caught the camp bug. Two years ago she spent a summer at Moose River Outpost. The wild Maine setting combined with great friends and a great counselor, had such a positive impact on her. This summer, she decided that she wanted to go back to camp, but she wanted to work with horses—SHE WANTS TO BE A HORSE CHICK! And so, I will live vicariously through her. I will walk the road through the woods from the Stables to the Main House. I will swim with her in the clear cold waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. I will eat ice cream with her at Bailey’s. I will sing songs with her after dinner in the Dining Hall. I will pray for her to grow spiritually and to have the same assurance that God has placed her at that place for that time. And, I will encourage her to wear the title (and fragrance) of Horse Chick with pride!
Amy Nichols (pictured on the right) lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona with her husband, John who is a pastor and their two kids. She is an instructor of education courses at Arizona Christian University. In her spare time, she reads, runs, and still dreams of owning her own horse someday. Reach out via email, firstname.lastname@example.org