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Stand: 2020 Winter Reunion Reflections

Posted by on January 16, 2020

Stand: 2020 Winter Reunion Reflections

by Ben Tabone, Brookwoods Director

Over New Year’s, I was blessed to watch 130 staff, campers, LDPs, and SALTs come together, unified under the same mission at the Winter Reunion. Yes, we were faced with inclement weather, (two days of snow!!) but everyone made it safely and we were blessed with a beautiful winter wonderland. We were thankful to have Joe Lehmann, our summer camp pastor, share God’s word with us. Over the course of the weekend, we came together, worshipped our Lord, learned more about Him, and had a lot of fun!

Our first night kicked off with icebreakers and a message from Joe. Joe broke down our theme verse, Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Joe talked about what it means to be “justified” through faith. His key question was: Do you have peace with God? Joe challenged all of us by asking: Whose side are you on? The world’s? Or God’s side? 

Tuesday, we had a lot of fun activities planned. After breakfast, we had morning worship at Deer Run and headed back to cabins for devotions. Following that, we had a cardboard sled building competition where the Lodge was converted into a building area. The sleds were amazingly creative; some were built for speed and others for the largest capacity of people. Later that afternoon, we raced them down Deer Run’s back hill. Check out the reunion video for highlights of the sledding action! 

That afternoon, the kids enjoyed more fun during their free time, including sitting by the fireplace and reconnecting with their camp friends. That night after evening Rally, trivia, and cabin devotions, we reconvened at the Main House for a New Year’s Eve Party! We had hot food made by our awesome Food Service Director (Thanks Jon Cooper!), karaoke in the dining hall, the New Year’s Eve live broadcast in the theatre, and a sock hop and campfire on the back patio. And last but not least, we brought in the new year with fireworks (Thanks Bob!) It was a fun atmosphere, including dancing outside and shouting “Happy New Year!” 

As we wrapped up our time together, Joe encouraged the kids to now go out and STAND on God’s truth and to stand on His promise—Through being justified by faith, we have peace with God. When we have peace with God, we gain access into His grace. We can stand on that! The Winter Reunion was a fun three days for everyone who was there, but more importantly, it brought all of us a little closer under the “unity” of Christ. 

Please join me in praying for all the campers and staff to STAND upon the truth of Christ in 2020! We look forward to seeing you this summer….are you registered? If not, here’s the link!


Ben Tabone

P.S. A huge note of thanks to our leadership campers (LDP and SALT) for arriving early! They decorated the Upper Lodge and baked and decorated over 400 sugar cookies. The Friday night snack was a hit with the campers, along with the hot cocoa, of course! 

Ben Tabone is the Brookwoods Director. Ben enjoys spending his free time outside (summer or winter!!) and particularly enjoys whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and ice climbing. Ben and his wife Alexa were married last May and they met at Camp Spofford in Keene, NH.

Think About This… (Happy New Year!)

Posted by on January 3, 2020

Think About This… (Happy New Year!)

by Andrea Gurney, PhD, Deer Run Alumna, & Camp Mom

At the beginning of each new year I examine five areas of my life, asking and answering a question in each:

Interpersonal (think relationships!) – How (and who!) can I love better?

Intrapersonal – In what area I can grow in emotionally?

Spiritually – How may I serve God and others better?

Physically – How can I better care for my own body?

Work /School life – In what specific way can I challenge myself to grow in my career?

This has been an annual ritual since my junior year in college after a professor encouraged us to be intentional with our time. He said something along these lines: “Life will keep moving forward. And with each passing year, it will move more quickly. Before you know it—you will be five years out of college. Then ten; even fifteen. So often, we talk about our five and ten year plan—but it would behoove you to make specific goals each year.”

Small chunks. Small hopes. Small steps forward. Keeping the big picture in mind. That was my interpretation. Ever since 1994, as one year turns into another, I have done just that.

As this new year begins, I encourage you to consider how you can love yourself, your neighbor, and your world better.

Happy New Year.

Andrea Gurney, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor of psychology at Westmont College, and author of Reimagining Your Love Story: Biblical and Psychological Practices for Healthy Relationships. An East Coast camp girl at heart, and Camp Deer Run (Alton, NH) staff alumna, she currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband, two daughters, and playful goldendoodle. Connect with her at or Instagram @andrea_gurney for practical tips and insights on life!